Kenny Borge is a local skater/filmmaker as well as a resident of AS220. His 20 minute short film T I M E showcases the Providence skate culture and displays a wide scope of his friends and fellow skaters talent. Kenny’s philosophy on skateboarding focuses in on Providence’s resources while promoting skating as a lifestyle and cultural phenomenon. When given the chance to sit and talk with Kenny this is what he had to say:
What does skating mean to you & when did you realize that skating was your passion?
Skateboarding is everything to me. It is a culture, a medium for art and a means to send a message. It’s cross-cultural. Having a skateboard has allowed me to travel in and out of the stereotypes that might follow me as a young person of color, even with skating’s reputation for being an outsider sport. Skateboarding has allowed me to find that right balance.
How long have you been filming your skate sessions / which have you come to like better, skating or the filming?
The first time I bought a camera to film a skate session was around 6 years ago. Ive been skating for 7 years. The first time my friend Eric bought the Sony VX 2100 specifically for skating was 5 years ago. I bought that same camera from him 2 years back. I think skating and film go together hand in hand. I make time for both activities and they’re not exclusive for me. I make sure that no matter how much filming I do, I still have time to get out and skate, and vice versa.
Where is your ideal place to skate / film?
Trinity. It used to be an outdoor space where they would act and put shows on for the public ,but they stopped doing that well before we started skating there. I first went there two years ago to check it out and began to film people. Soon after I had enough footage for a full length film.
What sort of styles influence you and where can we see that in your videos?
Through rewatching my past videos I can rework something that looks old to me, but might seem new to someone else. Doing this allows me to breath life into some of the things I’ve already done and present them in a new and fresh way. It’s important to remember that there’s always another angle when shooting film. As a single director with a single camera there’s always another shot I could be getting, as well as multiple ways to film any given shot.
In what ways would you like to promote the local scene and establish longevity for the skaters within that scene?
I would like to promote the local scene by curating events the caters towards skateboarding especially in Providence. I want to be able to provide a space for skateboarders to discuss and create ways to push providence skateboarding to higher heights than it ever was. By doing this I believe that will establish longevity in the scene. Art shows, skate jams and contest, even skateboard block parties are the type events I hope I organize in the near future.
How has your connection with AS220 been able to provide you with the necessary resources to develop your skills as a director and as a skater?
Allowing me to use the space in the AS220 media labs and the Mercantile building was monumental to my skills on and off the camera. Chris Anderson who runs the media lab really gave me a helping hand in editing techniques so I didn’t loose any footage. Using digital film and being able to access AS220’s equipment was also a huge help.
PVD has a lot of pizza places, which one do you like the best?
Nice Slice is really good and I also like Fellini’s. They’re the top two in Providence in my opinion. I think pizza places go hand in hand with skating. Everything does. Skateboarding drives fashion, it drives food and it drives a culture.
What sort of goals would you like to state as a final closing statement?
My goal is to promote Providence skateboarding. I don’t just see skateboarding as an art, which it is, but everything I do revolves around skating. By immersing myself in the culture and using it as a resource I’m able to fully realize my potential as a skater and a filmmaker. Skateboarding is practical and diverse throughout a wide variety of communities. Part of my purpose for living here at AS220 is to spread the understanding of skateboarding. Skating is still illegal here in Providence and my hope is to one day have an indoor skate park; to build some sort of community safe haven for skaters so that they can continue to skate, create art and grow.
You can find Kenny’s Youtube channel along with the T I M E video here!