IO Artist Interviews: Roll Forever, Dave Bachinsky

Dave Bachinsky is a professional skateboarder, woodworker, and visual artist. In 2016 he founded Shapethree a company that recycles broken skateboards. Through these handcrafted projects, he is using blockchain technology and bridging the collector's experience through his digital art. Having spent most of his life in Lowell, Massachusetts, he currently resides in southern California to skate everyday. 

The Roll Forever collection is a total of 100 different pools filmed from a birds-eye view; The collection captures a skaters line in a pool and is edited so it loops forever. This physical is a celebration of the first 50 pieces, captured between December 2021 and May 2022. 

Full Transcript

Infinite Objects: I think we'll just jump right in, I would love to maybe just start with some intros if you could maybe just tell us a little bit about who is Dave Bachinsky, and  just tell us a little about yourself.

Dave Bachinsky: Yeah, so my name is Dave Bachinsky. I'm a professional skateboarder. Over the last five years I've been taking a drone and shooting visuals of all my friends and editing those lines of them skating to loop forever. On the side of that I'm a woodworker, designer, and builder, and that's what I do!

IO: Amazing, such an incredible mixing of skills. I'd love to know maybe just a little bit more about personal journey from going from professional skateboarding to visual art and woodwork, what did things look like before roll forever existed?

DB: So I grew up in Massachusetts and the winters got me as a skateboarder. I wanted to skate every day. So I did a drive down to Florida, San Francisco and I ended up being in Los Angeles for 12 years and just skating non-stop. Being a professional skateboarder, it's like during the winter you're out in the streets and then summertime hits and it's all contests. So I was constantly bound during the summer and then winter times hit or wintertime would hit and I just be kind of hanging out around friends and back in 2015 I started cutting up my skateboards and making a little photo frames for Christmas gifts.

DB: A good friend invited me to a gallery to sell these little photo frames because I was shooting a lot of film and I was like damn this would be cool to just raise money for back home. So I started just making all these little woodworking projects and raising money for where I grew up back in Lowell, Massachusetts, and that was the beginning of ShapeThree. So it's all woodworking, kind of making household furniture and photo frames getting random and even making canoe paddles and just kind of whatever my mind sees at the time, even  just buying little knickknacks at thrift stores and replacing little handles on an old coffee grinder and all those little fun things. So yeah, it's been a journey.

IO: That's really cool. No, that's such an interesting way to think of the re-use of skateboards and the fact that they do break and have an artful way to sort of I don't know…that's interesting. I remember when I played Tony Hawk as a kid the skateboard breaking was always my favorite part *laughs* it's cool, it's, I don't know, it's really cool to hear about what you're doing with it. That's actually the perfect transition into the next question about how… just kind of curious how skateboarding influenced the transition into art and just sort of what drew you to combine those passions into creative projects.

DB: I think just visually a bird's eye view is just amazing. I think even hopping on a plane and all the traveling I just would always look out the window and flying out of LA you can just see all of the valley and that's where I was living. I was like ‘That peak!’ ‘I got to that peak’ and just something about shooting a visual from a bird's eye view perspective and always being in front of a camera fisheye, it's just such a different landscape and zooming out and showing all those elements of what's going on in the surrounding area. So for me, I think people are like, you're making art but I think it's like I'm just hitting record and filming my friends and kind of searching out these unique locations that are like, have some kind of geometry going on or there's just, I don't know, that setting that catches the eye, that's really what I'm trying to do is just find these visual pleasing places and when I film something I want it to be…I want to make something that when you walk in a room, you're like, ‘where is that?’ you know? Something that’s eye-catching, I don't want to put out anything that's not visually pleasing to the eye. For me, it really goes into the editing process. And I think it's more about the skater that's involved, is the real picture. So I completely got lost in the rabbit hole of even the question now. *laughs*

IO: No, that's fantastic. That's actually a really great sort of segue into Roll Forever. I'd love to maybe just hear you talk about that a little bit, how it started, and also where you're at in the process because it's an ongoing project if I understand.

DB: Yeah, Roll Forever was an idea that I was like, how can I make something that's visually pleasing and to bring it back, when covid hit I lost my woodworking shop and I ended up being back in Massachusetts and I had the drone and all my friends, we weren't really skating together because we're around family and it was that time frame and I ended up having the drone and I just put it up at the skate park and I was like, visually I find all these cool little angles and then when I got into Web3 and the art space I was like, what could I make that would be cool and I was, I just recently moved to San Diego and a lot of the skate parks are transitioned. So there's all these different bowls and shapes and that was the scene and it hit me, I was like if I could make a line loop forever, that would be so awesome. And that's like kind of where Roll Forever began was with trying to film the friends. So Steve Cab[allero] was the first skater over Alga Norte Skatepark. He did a line in the pool and it looped forever and I basically was sitting there editing and the idea is the skater has to do the line two times in a row, but mimic that line and right over the exact same spot. So it was like I don't know if it's gonna work. The real process is the magic and the editing of getting that line to loop seamlessly, but did they ride over the same place? Like doing that line twice, they're really comfortable in the first one, but the second one they're exhausted and their arms are up in the air trying to get that momentum and get back to the square one and it's like a lot of them don't loop. So behind the scenes, it's really me editing, but I think it's about the skater that's involved. And that's what I'm trying to do is bring together the pioneers that have paved the way for skateboarding like Steve Cab, he invented the Caballero and was the first person to have a pro model shoe on Vans like the history of skateboarding just runs deep.

IO: Wow.

DB: And like, just even like bringing the best of this generation, it's awesome. Two weeks ago I filmed Tate Carew and I knew he was amazing, and then after we got done filming a line, I saw on my story that he was over in Australia with Tony Hawk, he just got on Birdhouse and he shut down that well and I was damn two weeks before I had no idea that that was happening but it's like I knew I was ahead of the curve.

IO: Yeah, yeah, that's such a beautiful way to tell those stories too and just it's such a beautiful not only a moment for community and also just capturing literally a piece of history that we are experiencing right now. That's so magical. cool.

DB: Yeah, it's been such a fun ride. So this has been two years in the making and it's interesting releasing these but forgetting collectors involved, it's always interesting because it's like no one in skateboarding has a Twitter account, so putting these out I kind of let the world decide its price and was very grateful, Tyler Hobbs is a skateboarder as well and he ended up buying into the first one and it's kind of snowballed, where he gave me a little more presence within the space being a collector back in 2021 and it's just been one pool at a time and it's been an awesome ride.

IO: That's amazing. No and I love that it's so full circle, no pun intended, but the idea of community bringing in and lifting each other up, that's so dope. I'd love to know, especially like you mentioned a little bit, but I'd love to know what sort of challenges did you run into for this project? What was, I mean beyond just the ultimately hard challenge of getting a perfect seamless loop, but anything else that stands out?

DB: Trying to get 50 skaters to set up a digital wallet. *laughs* 

IO: Fair.

DB: I think just getting, I mean skateboarders just want to be free and skate. I mean when you tell them, it's funny, a lot of them I'll be like you gotta do the line twice. So they’ll film, they’ll get in the pool, I'll hit record, they do the line, they hop out of the pool and I’m like, no you gotta do it twice in a row in the same exact recorded time frame. And it’s a lot. It’s like a different puzzle piece to figure out to get back to the same trajectory of where the pool corners will make it get back to square one, really hard to figure out. So it's fun getting out and filming those with skaters that don't skate pools. A lot of the friends just recently Chris Joslin, he just made it into the Olympic qualifying so basically he's a street skater and he doesn't skate pools at all. So having him part of this collection was just so awesome because it's just putting the best to do it out of their element and I love that kind of side of things. But yeah…

IO: That's awesome. That is so cool. And it's amazing the fact that you're able to pinpoint, I mean, I guess you're so involved in the community as a skater yourself, it just seems like you're so able to pinpoint these skaters that are doing such amazing things in general. I think there's something to be said about your own curation of this too. That's really powerful.

DB: It keeps it fun. I mean for skateboarding we all just want to run wild. I mean having a hard time getting skaters out too, it's really hard with these guys being so busy, traveling to all these contests and of course all the people that I really want to get involved are doing these Olympic qualifying contests right now or they're out in the streets or they're across the world. So for me there's only gonna be a hundred pool lines and the first two years of putting these together was the first 50 pools that were filmed, so it took two years to film that and I really want to take my time for these next I guess 40 something. I think we're at line 57 right now and it's like…

IO: Wow.

DB: For me, I want to curate it right and that's kind of the next chapter is taking these next, two to three years and watching what skateboarding forms because I mean we're seeing kids that are eight years old in the Olympics right now and it's like the trajectory of just consistency and pushing the bar there's still stories to be told. I think the oldest skater in Roll Forever is Dave Duncan and he's been skating for 53 years and he was skateboarding with clay wheels back in the 60s and…

IO Wow.

DB: Then right now just recently Julian Aguilar is 13 years old and he's unbelievable on a skateboard. He's like, I want to say to skaters, he's in the next Nyjah. He's grinding 18 rails and he's part of France working with the Olympics right now and it's like he's only 13 and then you have Dave Duncan that’s like 60s, so it's cool to have that different range of skaters. I kind of want to bring the mix of everyone into this collection and just yeah kind of unique pools and do it, right.

IO: Yeah, what an amazing range you can't say that for all sports too… that's really cool, really unique. I would love to understand a little bit more about just sort of the blockchain integration of this project and you've already kind of called it out, it's so interesting, working with skaters. I imagine kind of similar working with artists in general similar to herding cats, everyone's creative brain up in the sky. So it's so interesting, blockchain seems almost in opposition to that. I'm so curious, how did you discover it? Where did you see it that sort of inspired you to want to work with blockchain. And where do you sort of see the future of this collection going?

DB: Yeah, I mean blockchain is such a powerful amazing opportunity in this digital sector of where we're heading. And it took me a while to grasp. For me I really got introduced to just crypto and it made sense, but Ethereum, it took me a while to grasp that concept that we could tie artwork, it could be real estate, deeds, all these different things to a token. I learned through Kevin Rose, VC investor, there was a podcast called Modern Finance that put me into the rabbit hole of NFTs. I think the future is going to be digitally connected. That's where we're all headed and it's just early days, and I think what really got me was I just started collecting. I found out about the NFT space and got into hen, which was the tezos ecosystem and I just saw all these amazing artists doing cool stuff. And I was like, I want to support that. I want that in my collection. I got the bug and just started collecting. Mostly I think what really got me was generative art. The fact that you had to write a code and have an algorithm to produce these amazing artworks and that just hit me where I was like, yeah, that's cool. Like it's freedom that everyone can write code and it's free to do but it's coming up creative with these algorithms and making these cool projects come about and I wanted to participate in that. The fact that I could hit buy and get one of those pieces at a randomized, generative mint was just too cool to me. So FXhash really got me, I was there from day one. and yeah, just blockchain in general. I think it'll be awesome to see these rollouts between the music industry and gaming. Yeah, it's gonna be everywhere.

IO: Yeah, totally seconded. That idea of accessibility and anyone being able to do it from anywhere is such a powerful thing. We've seen kind of across the board, but I love to hear that. It makes so much sense for this project, such a cool integration. Yeah…

DB: Yeah, I think the fact that you having a hundred pools and just putting these pieces on chain, it was cool even recently Steve Cab, he's the first one and it's like that was one of my favorite skaters, but that's probably the first piece of him that’'ll ever go on-chain as a skateboarded. Putting your favorite skateboarders on-chain. That's awesome.

IO: What a crazy concept. No, that's so cool… OK cool, going into the locations and how you pick the pools,  I'd love to know how did you determine which pool at a time? *laughs*

DB: *laughs* I mean, it's kind of awesome just looking at as a building perspective, they're all different shapes. Like moving to San Diego, the skate scene is known for transition and all that. So it worked out perfectly like I was in Los Angeles for 10 years and then moving to the southern side, it was just filled with so many different pools. So I kind of made a map and I started looking throughout the US, there were all these different pools and kind of just like bookmarking them and I'm just taking my time and I did a trip up to Washington and met up with a good friend Kevin Kowalski. He's like a real core building scene, it’s like Grindline and they're all in the Northwest and the parks are just unreal, they're just huge and they have some of the biggest concrete bowls. So it was really awesome to get up there and just experience that rawness because a lot of the parks down in Southern California are beautiful but up in the Northwest, they're really raw because of the season so the weather and concrete is just really rough and just the builders up there, it's like a different mentality. They're just full skate rats and they just make really just raw bowls, like they're deep and they're huge. It's like a piece of art in their own, so it's cool to kind of get up there and experience that because it was all new for me. But just worldwide I'm so excited to just explore and see what's out there. I saw I think somewhere over in Tokyo one of the artists made, they put something in the concrete so it glows at night, just like I want to capture that.

IO: Oh my gosh...

DB: But I just really haven't got to explore throughout, outside of the US. I'm always traveling to Puerto Rico, I'm actually flying there tonight. So one of them was my good friend, I think it was the eighth one Alexis Rivera. He's an amazing skateboarder and he actually fought through cancer and just to be able to skate with him and put him within the collection, he's just such a huge inspiration within Puerto Rico and his story and just there's a whole bowl back in the 60s that they built right in San Juan and it's right on the water. And his pool is the only one to have water outside of the pool and it's just continuously looping and it's beautiful, so I just want to find these bowls all throughout the world and solely build it out.

IO: What a badass and what a cool story, I love that. That's awesome. 

DB: Yeah, Alexis, is cool.

IO: So cool, and it's also just like watching the Roll Forever loop and just like seeing all of these differences. Like the phrase, like the architecture of skate pools… I've never thought of that as a thing like the architecture of bowls and how just they're all so unique and there's some that have these beautiful tags on them that are just beautiful colors and some that are very minimal. It's just like the range of what you captured is so cool and it's inspiring. Yeah.

DB: Thank you so much. They're building, we're skating,

IO: That's awesome. It's so cool. I'd love to know. Just sort of a little bit about future directions and sort of talking a little bit about just the future of Roll Forever. How many more skaters are on your list and are there projects beyond Roll Forever that you're thinking about, cooking on, excited about?

DB: My mind it's all over the place with this. I have so many pieces that I want to incorporate with woodworking and the skaters that are involved I've been taking their boards and I'm like what's the angle? I'm excited to kind of release these in a small series, like I was saying like curated. Moving forward I have up to 59 filmed and when I first released the collection, Steve Cab was number 3 and he invented ‘The Caballero’, which is a fakey 360. So his first line was 3 in the Roll Forever collection and his next line will be the 60th. So I'm putting together a Legends curated series with… I filmed Lance Mountain, Eddie Elguera, Steve Cab, and there's two more skaters which I won't name, but I'm gonna bring them together and do a release of five of this Legends collection. I don't know when I'm gonna do it because I still have to film the other two. So for me, I have up to 59 filmed and I'm gonna just slowly build it out. I'm excited to put the puzzle pieces together and kind of start filling out even more afterwards to release more because it's just like I don't know when I'm gonna do it. But yeah, that's kind of the next chapter of Roll Forever. Other than that, yeah filming for my last video part, full length. It's been three years working on it and it's actually my 20th part. So this milestone, it's kind of wild, my board sponsor actually ended up going bankrupt under a distribution, so  I had 12 years of graphics and so many boards put out into the world, but I have all these boards that are blank. So for this part, I've been filming these visuals. Of tricks that I'm filming for the video part from a bird's eye view and from down below. So when the part comes out, I'm gonna try to have an art gallery and have these artists paint the boards and when you tap the board with your phone, you'll see the trick that was done from the part in a visual way. So I'll send you over a video so you can kind of intertwine it into these pieces because yeah, we're on the streets and it's beautiful like filming these pools. I love it. We're backyards we're exploring doing these missions throughout the world but being in the streets and just getting in there, while businesses are closed and just finding unique spots. It's been awesome. So this is kind of like my next chapter within skateboarding is trying to figure out where maybe I'll start a brand or maybe I'll hop on a good friends board spot or have a new board sponsor.

IO: Wow, that's so cool. No, it's so much opportunity and so much to come. I love that. That's really really awesome. And yeah, I think I'm kind of all of questions, but really excited to release this physical piece with you later this week and yeah anything else to call out or talk about before we wrap up?

DB: So excited to have Roll Forever part of Infinite Objects. It just flows so awesome, I have it right here next to my computer and it’s just like. The fact that they loop forever and just seamless, and like just having all the friends involved, it’s just awesome. So yeah thanks for making this all happen.

Thanks Dave! Check out the physical Roll Forever available now.