After posting the highly technical suspensions from Italy and Japan with intricate static rigging, it’s nice to see the other — and equally beautiful and profound — end of things. Cere just dropped me a message this morning to take a look at his page where he’d been collecting images from their Suspension Campout this past weekend — below are four of my favorites (whittling it down was nearly impossible). That reminds me, while I’m thinking of Cere and his band of merry misfits, a wonderful article was just published in The Atlantic that heavily features him. It’s titled “The Therapeutic Experience of Being Suspended by Your Skin” and is one of the most positive articles about suspension that I’ve seen to date in the mainstream press.
Anyway, I’m sure that this waterfall location will seem familiar to those who’ve admired previous outdoor Rites of Passage events. I don’t know what it is about water, but for me, it just goes so well with suspension. I don’t know if it’s the meditative quality of water, or the idea of being hung between sky and sea, or if it’s just the simple beauty of nature. But it really works for me. I also have enormous respect for people like Cere and the others in Rites of Passage and iHung and the many other suspension groups that are now well into their second decade of bringing something very special to people’s lives. They’re giving of themselves in ways that profoundly alter the course of lives for the better, but the world rarely sees it or thanks them for it.
There’s magic in this world because we create it.
I’m so moved by these pictures that there’s little I can say about them that won’t come off super-cheesy. I’m sure more pictures will show up in BME’s galleries as time goes by — please add your pictures via the normal channels!
Almost a decade ago I remember admiring pictures from Gus Diamond and Paragon in Hawaii doing suspensions, often on a beach or in the water itself — Suspension.org has some great photos of a sandbar suspension and ModBlog as well posted a nice pulling/suspension combo — using a large bamboo tripod allowing them to set up anywhere quickly. I was reminded of these pictures when I saw the tripod rig in use at the recent Italian Suscon, which is a similar design, but realized in metal for both increased durability and because it’s hinged at the top, even faster set-up and break-down. And like with the Hawaiian style suspensions, the resultant photos are quite beautiful. The first photo was posted by Marjolein Lankester van Rijn and the second by Giuseppe Beppe De Palo.
Sometimes it seems like you have to travel to the boundaries of the map, the sort of “here be monsters” zone where you’re likely to sail off the edge of the world, to find somewhere truly epic to suspension. That’s probably just a bit of “the grass is always greener” thinking, but when I look at this picture of Jussi Paradise (photo by Wormz) suspending in Iceland, I feel like it might as well be swapped in for the opening shots of Prometheus or something. “Suspension is not a crime”, September 17, 2012.
For their 35th free-fall suspension, The Sinner Team changed things up and attempted a difficult six-point free-fall knee suspension, pierced with six hooks, three horizontal placements stacked vertically over each knee (and a back-up safety harness in case of failure of course). There were 10m (32 feet) of free-fall, with the exit point at 25m (82 feet), and Stanislav says he was quite surprised with the amount of stress it put on his leg muscles even though the jump was perfectly staged to minimize this. That said, he was able to walk just fine the next day, although he only weighs 67kg (150 lbs) and warns that if anyone heavier were to attempt this that he feels there is a good chance of injury. Note that the stress on the legs is more because of the jump itself, not the hooks per se, which are of course not passing through muscle tissue!
Amazing, forward thinking, and most of all, responsible work as always. I say it every time, but to me The Sinner Team really does it right, and it makes me so happy to see the way they operate. Following are some screen-caps from the video, and then the video itself on Vimeo. If you haven’t already done so, browse all their videos here. Be sure to note a few things besides just being wowed and writing September 1st, 2012 in your body modification almanac as the first ever free-fall knee suspension — for example, the fact that the hooks didn’t tear at all, the incredibly complex and professional rigging, the many small details to ensure safety, to say nothing of the beautiful documentation they keep. My hat is so far off to these guys that I’m pretty sure it’s colonizing Mars right now.
This suspension picture c/o Sofija Marie Velimirovic of Luna Duran’s resurrection with Allen Faulkner is one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen. I’m not sure what else I can say other than do yourself a favor and click on it to see it big. Just amazing.
Speaking of guerrilla suspension, the Cadillac Ranch (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_Ranch for more info) may not be quite as idyllic as a diving structure over the water at sunset, but half-buried cars covered in graffiti in the desert around Amarillo, Texas, is so very American. Never thought I’d have seen a suspension done between the cars, but I am today proved very wrong and happily surprised about it — these come from (and I apologize if I get this wrong) Skin Mechanic Suspension.
And now speaking of suspension in America, I wanted to mention that HOOKED is hosting the SUSPENSION MECCA Omaha Suscon from August 31st to September 3rd, which includes lectures from suspension luminaries including Allen Falkner, Havve Fjell, and Steve Joyner. For more information follow this link: hooked13.com/suspension-mecca-2012/
The thaw has hit Russia, which means it’s time for The Sinner Team to go outdoors and do what they do best. Get ready for a summer filled with incredible free-fall suspensions, and whatever else those crazy kids come up with.
NEXT JUMPING DAYS are 22 and 24 JUNE, we are going to jump from the bridge. The exit point: 25 meters. Free fall: 10-15 meters. JUMPS ARE MAKEING OVER WATER this time. Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to join.