Swoyersville, PA 6.2008

The Institute teamed up with photographer Ray Klimek to invent new sports on a slag heap northwest of Wilkes Barre, PA in June 2008. Klimek, who grew up in Wilkes Barre, has extensively documented the coal mining landscape of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Slag heaps are large waste deposits left over from the coal mining industry and are abundant in Luzerne County. In Ray’s lectures about his photographs, he recounts how he and his friends used to play in these post industrial landscapes as children. His play illustrated one of the main points of the project, that life continues once industry, and subsequently historical interest, departs. We headed out to the slag heap with this vision in mind: to play again on the slag heap . Donning white attire, which we hoped would turn black, and thus imitate the black and white paintings of Wilkes Barres hometown artist, Franz Kline, we set out onto the mountain with a variety of sports equipment and an improvisational spirit. In short time we had created some very fun games, including crevice dodgeball and capped off the evening with the dirtiest game of Wiffle Hurling yet.

After History from Aesthletics on Vimeo.