Picture Farm hosts a celebration of surfboard shaping at their Brooklyn gallery.

Picture Farm hosts a celebration of surfboard shaping at their Brooklyn gallery.

It Doesn’t Not Work is a gathering for all those who appreciate the noble art of surfboard shaping. Whether you’re a master artisan, an amateur craftsman or just want to learn more about the construction of these water-bound treasures, you are cordially invited to come and take part. The event is a collaboration between SMASH, Imaginary Surf Co. and Picture Farm, who are hosting the event at their gallery in Brooklyn, Saturday, May 3 to Sunday, May 4. Huck spoke to Todd Stewart to find out more.

What is It Doesn’t Not Work all about?
IDNW is about talking, sharing, showing. It is about homemade stuff, critical design theory and inclusiveness.

What exactly do you do?
I’m a filmmaker and a part time gallerist, with my Picture Farm partners Chris Bren and Ben Freedman.

Why did you start?
Seventeen years ago my car broke down, precluding me from my budding career as a substitute teacher. Heh, long story.

How do you hope it will have an impact?
Well, the filmmaking and the gallery-ing sort of go hand in hand. A lot of what excites me most in filmmaking is telling intimate stories and facilitating people to tell their own stories. This overlaps right into our gallery as we try to offer our space to friends and our community in a real open way.

What’s the existing scene like?
Being an artist in New York has been tough since the wild heydays of the early Aughts, but things seems to be coming back on line. I think little galleries like ours are gaining relevance again, especially in context of the local DIY movement and all that junk. The surf scene in New York is reaching some kind of saturation point, and that’s a good thing. It has exploded, and there are awful things about that, but having a great community with which to… commune… is really motivating.

Who’s involved in It Doesn’t Not Work and what does everyone do?
Well, David Murphy of Imaginary Surf Co. and I were talking at one of our gallery openings and he was saying how great it’d be to have a gallery show all about the discussion of the shaping process. Failures that lead to successes sort of thing. We got really excited about that and talked to Ty Breuer of SMASH about it because he’s the guy to talk to about surfy events in NYC and he got super excited about it, so we reached out to a bunch of backyard shapers and pro guys. We put out the call to submit and right now we have ten or twelve shapers who are going to show up with boards and ideas and explanations. We’re going to talk story.

How can people get involved/show support?
Show up! If you’ve shaped a board and want to compare and contrast it or talk about it, bring it! If you want to learn more about why your board works or how hydrodynamics work, come ask questions or just listen in. If you want to just check out a living folk art design craft scene, this will be a good event for you. Bring a smile and some ears. Oh, and if you’ve got an old board you’d like to see if someone will buy, we’ll be offering space for that too. Email us at: itdoesntnotwork@gmail.com

What have been the challenges in bringing It Doesn’t Not Work to life?
Keeping it very simple, very rootsy. We had dreams of sponsorship and films about shapers and big presentations for a minute, but thankfully we got over that. We found we were most comfortable having a casual community inspired event rather than something more done up. Maybe that was easy, actually. Heh, the difficult part was probably getting the three of us, David, Ty and myself together to “plan” as we all have these other jobs and families and things we need to take care of, so this has been a jalopy piecemeal labour of love.

What have been the major inspirations?
At some point you gotta thank Kenvin and Kidman and all those involved in the big resurgence of hydro-design culture, and of course all the masters who have kept the craft moving for all these decades. But really it’s the guys who are showing up to show their wares. These shapers, some of them have only shaped one or two boards, others hundreds, who want to talk about it, drink a beer, further the conversation.

What’s the future for It Doesn’t Not Work?
There’s already this whole DIY movement out there. Could this sort of event slot into that? There’s already the Fish Fry things that happen, and those are rad and talk about the same things. This dovetails with those things. We’d like to take this event other places, and open it up to other related flow design and do-it-yourself things. Add in people who make their own skate gear, snowboard and ski gear. It could be a real fun, crazy roving flea market of ideas that isn’t industry based. I know Ty and David are talking about taking it out east this summer or doing another one this fall. We’ll see.

Head down to check out It Doesn’t Not Work at Picture Farm Gallery, Brooklyn, Saturday, May 3 to Sunday, May 4.