A peculiar meme with global reach, you can find shoes hanging from telephone lines in New York City, Sydney and Madrid. Like being able to find a McDonald’s or a Starbucks in almost any major city, the spread of the strange phenomenon is a testament to how quickly ideas and culture travel in the global age even when the significance remains opaque. Depending on where you are and who you ask, you’re likely to receive varying interpretations – some sinister, some strange, some hopeful – as to what exactly the ‘flying kicks’ mean.
Described by the Australian director Matthew Bate as a ‘digital collaboration between the filmmakers and the international public’, The Mystery of the Flying Kicks is a crowd-sourced collage that combines animation, donated video, photographs and phone messages to shed light on the trend. But as theories, second-hand stories and anecdotes pile up, so does the complexity of the mystery.Matthew Bate
I saw some flying kicks in Paris, on the narrow streets of the Latin Quarter, and always wondered what they meant. Apparently, nobody knows for sure, but there are many fascinating theories.