The Rink Installation

2011, HD video, 4 channel video installation, 20min– A companion piece to The Rink feature documentary, this installation features three skating subcultures– Jam Skating, Gospel Praise, and Worship Skating, and Roller Derby––at Newark New Jersey’s Branch Brook Park Skating Center. Even though the groups share the same space, they rarely interact, reflecting larger racial and social divisions in this city and country. The installation is immersive and asks the viewer to physically engage by responding to the screens from in the center of their square formation. This work uses documentary vocabulary in the format of installation. The decision to use four screens is spatial and thematic. Arranged in a cube, they provide an enclosed area, reinforcing immersion. As it is impossible to view all screens simultaneously, the viewer is forced to move within the space, literally twisting the body like a skater. My goal is to collapse the difference between dance/movement and cinema, forging a reciprocal relationship between viewer and screens.

Made possible by: the Integrated Media Art MFS program at Hunter College

Select screenings: Visible Evidence XXVIII NYC, Dobbin Project Space, Monkey Town Denver

Companion research and inspiration: Read Sarah Friedland’s companion thesis written for the completion of an MFA in Integrated Media Art at Hunter College here. Suggested readings- see thesis bibliography, + Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do About It by Mindy Thompson Fullilove


  • featuring- Gralen Stephon Vereen + Family, Mickey "Bonesaw" Taylor + the Garden State Roller Derby Girls, and the First Thursday Jam Skate community
  • director- Sarah Ema Friedland
  • photography + sound- Ryan Joseph + Sarah Ema Friedland
  • editor- Sarah Ema Friedland
  • composition- Brian Criner