Is cool transitive?

Concerto for skateboard and electric bass.
Casey Muller, MASXXX

Subcultures form around activities, and excellence is strongly correlated with perceived popularity. Since cool is derived from ability, a transference of ability results in a transference of cool. Allowing one skill to give rise to another enables the perfection of one subculture's fetish to grant status elsewhere.

To investigate the truth of this hypothesized rule, I chose two subculture-defining objects, and attempted to make them connect.

The electric bass and skateboard both exhibit the properties of:

  • Skill results in acclaim
  • No real skill limit
  • One is in my possession

The skill transfer device is a mock up of a system that evaluates the skill of a user of one of these devices and transforms it into skill with the other.

In essence I create skill-money and a system for acquiring and redeeming it.

The goal of pop culture is to trade in cool, so why not instantiate this concept in physical form?

The motivation for me was to regain lost time. In my youth I owned a skateboard, but my neighborhood was too hilly to learn it, and it was stolen. Now I find I have neither the time nor strong enough ankles to learn. Likewise I wish I had learnt the bass guitar before now, and am currently trying to fit it in with my busy undergraduate schedule.

More convenient would be if I could just learn one, or extend the system to include juggling, programming, singing, or some other skill which I am already proficient in.

And of course, there remains the question of what popularity is besides a shared respect for ability. A virtuoso bass player who doesn't value "keeping music evil" may not make it, likewise a skateboarder in a tie could easily fail.

Skill is really the only important thing in life. Everything appears to stem from either skill or luck, and who wants to count on skill? Therefore directly coining skill-money, the legions of middlemen are completely skipped. Poochie is all about efficiency.

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And apparently the artiste is supposed to show him/herself on these pages. Here's two that I shot this morning at 4am as a break from trying to get sound working: