Photographic Memory: Jason Dill, fakie five-0

Photographic Memory starts with a chrome from 2002 of Jason Dill fakie five-0 grinding a curved bench at the 1st and North Broadway foundation spot in Downtown Los Angeles. Jason and Bill Strobeck were living in New York at the time but had come out to LA to film for Mosaic and were staying at a place out in Santa Monica. Dill and Bill took a cab 34 miles to and from this spot every day for an entire month, there’s a pretty funny 16mm clip of Dill frowning in the back of a cab in the intro to his Mosaic part which is shot on one of those rides. The spot itself is more magical than your classic foundation spot, as well as those strips of exotic looking floor tile, if you Google Map the address you can see that not only is it still there, its surrounded by some of the most important buildings in Los Angeles: The LA District Attorney building, City Hall, and the LA Superior Court. I always wondered how many people must have been momentarily distracted from their participation in big trials of murder cases or drug trafficking or just corrupt government mischief when they looked out of their office windows and saw Dill out there moshing around. Anthony Van Engelen would meet at the spot everyday and the two of them would tear around this square of concrete trying crazy lines back and forth between this metal bench which had “somehow” found it’s way there from the IE, a picnic table that had been relocated from Lockwood, and a couple of metal flatbars which appeared to be indigenous to Downtown. Bill filmed this trick which is in one of the lines from Dill’s part in Mosaic and you can see Greg Hunt and AVE in the background watching footage from a line they’d just got. Sometimes that spot would feel like a war zone in Afghan-Iraq with meltdown board executions going down left, right, and center, but other times such as this evening, it felt like the best skateboarding on the planet at that moment in time was going down right in front of your eyes. To put out such a noteworthy four-minute and 17-second long video part with only two single tricks and to have a 12-year-old photo look like it could have been shot yesterday speaks volumes about Jason Dill’s skateboarding and divulges why he has been one of the most influential skateboarders of all time throughout his career.—Oliver Barton

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