Part memoir, part document of the DIY, punk-infused subculture of skateboarding as it came of age in the 1990s and early 2000s, Ed Templeton’s Wires Crossed pulses with the raw, combustive energy of Templeton’s image- making from the last twenty-plus years.
Illustrated by photographs, collages, texts, maps, and other ephemera from Templeton’s journals, Wires Crossed offers an insider’s look at a subculture in the making and reflects the unique aesthetic stamp that sprang from the skate world he helped create. Templeton occupies the rare position of having been a professional skateboarder, a two-time World Skateboarding champion, as well as a photographer and artist working within the skateboard community as it gained increasing cultural currency in the 1990s and beyond. His work first gained recognition as part of the Beautiful Losers collective loosely gathered around Aaron Rose’s Alleged Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
This work, much of it previously unpublished and unseen, explores Templeton’s own journey as an image maker, as well as the lives of professional skateboarders as they spent long hours crisscrossing the world on tour, reveling in their newfound status as rock star–like figures and the eternal search for new terrain to skate. Interviews between Templeton and fellow pro-skaters and friends add compelling detail about the pressures and pleasures of life on the road, and what it’s like to obsessively pursue an art form—whether on their decks or behind the camera.