Taggraffiti

Interview with Art Crimes Web Master Susan Farrell

By Miedo12 of Valencia, Spain

By Miedo12 of Valencia, Spain

Art Crimes, the first website dedicated to archiving photographs of graffiti, is about to turn 20 years old. To mark the occasion, The Toast interviewed Susan Farrell, the creator of the site:

One of the things that makes artwork precious is that there’s only one of it. We don’t think a lot about this concept now, but at the cusp of the digital era it was a very big deal. When I worked with museums in the ’90s, one of their main concerns was: “If we make a copy of this work available digitally what will that mean about the value of the original?”

The graffiti artists had a different set of problems than fine artists. They had personal-safety issues, they had a terrible public-relations problem and they had an audience-feedback problem. They had an art-preservation problem, and they had the problem that art historians would not take them seriously because their artwork was too ephemeral.

I thought, I can solve that problem. I can create the repository of work and then no one can ignore it anymore. I can attack the public-relations problem because I can help interpret the work, I can showcase the work as important, I can help show the value of it aesthetically, and I can stand in the middle between the public and the artist and create communication both ways.

So, photographs are multipliable, unlike canvases and sculptures. Some photographers will make only one print in order to retain its preciousness, but graffiti writers never did. They took photographs and immediately printed copies to trade like baseball cards. That’s why graffiti art was able to colonize the Internet before other kinds of art, because graffiti writers had a very open attitude toward creating digital copies.

Full Story: The Toast: Bombing the Net: A Conversation with Susan Farrell, Creator of Art Crimes

Today in Drones: Weed Farms, Wi-Fi Hotspots and Graffiti

Katsu's Open Source Graffiti Drone

For the drone spotters out there:

The Independent: Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers:

One such man, an unnamed 33-year-old, told the Halesowen News that after finding a property with a cannabis farm he and his crew either burgle or “tax” the victim.

“They are fair game,” he said. “It is not like I’m using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world.

“Half the time we don’t even need to use violence to get the crop. Growing cannabis has gone mainstream and the people growing it are not gangsters, especially in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury.”

Wired: Darpa Turns Aging Surveillance Drones Into Wi-Fi Hotspots:

A fleet of surveillance drones once deployed in the skies over Iraq is being repurposed to provide aerial Wi-Fi in far-flung corners of the world, according to Darpa.

RQ-7 Shadow drones that the Army flew in Iraq for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions are now becoming wireless hubs for connectivity in remote conflict zones where challenging communication environments can mean the difference between being ambushed and getting reinforcements.

Wired: This Open Source Graffiti Drone Will Give Cops Nightmares:

“What does it mean that I’m able to be throwing these strokes up and across a canvas that is 30 feet wide and is suspended 25 feet in the air?,” he asks. “Painting in these ways just wasn’t previously possible.” Much in the way that smartphones have become an extension of our minds, Katsu wonders if drones could someday serve as a commonplace way to extend our physical selves. Of course, in that sort of drone-filled future, you’d have to imagine that cops would have their own drones, too–anti-graffiti UAVs that chase rogue robot artists through alleyways and across rooftops, or else just clean-up quadcopters that scan walls for illegal art and clean them autonomously with high-powered water weaponry.

Graffiti: 40 Years of Hacking New York City

Futura 2000

Sci-fi writer Tim Maughan on graffiti:

My own interest in graffiti dates back to my first teenage introduction to hip-hop culture in the mid-1980s, when the first images of New York subway art started to make their way over the pond in magazines and, much rarer, snippets of TV alongside those first rare glimpses of block parties, scratch DJs, rappers, and breakdancers. Apart from their raw visceral energy, both hip hop music and graffiti struck me as intensely science-fictional. Both are about the appropriation of technology to create something new?—?hip-hop taking samplers and turntables to generate new sounds they weren’t designed to make, and graf taking car repair paint and the very architecture of cities to create new visual spaces and canvases. They are, perhaps, the most literal expression of William Gibson’s famous cyberpunk-defining phrase ‘the street finds its own use for things’.

Gibson’s early works, and those of his many lesser imitators, would herald the hacker as the rebellious hero of the future; a trope that would immeasurably shape everything from political activism to venture capitalism in the decades to follow. Perhaps the stereotypical image of the hacker as lone digital warrior, skulking over keyboards in screen-glare lit rooms seems very far removed from the image of the spray can welding, shadow dwelling, trespassing graffiti writer, but the two subcultures share a startlingly similar set of goals, values, and approaches: both look to subvert existing infrastructures and systems, both value one-upmanship and bragging rights, and neither can resist the illegal thrill of breaking-and-entering?—?whether physical or virtual?—?even when the risk of being caught may well lead to ruthless, draconian punishment. Both also share, perhaps most importantly, an aesthetic obsession with the future?—?something apparent in the work of artist Leonard McGurr, better known as FUTURA 2000.

Full Story: Futures Exchange: Graffiti: 40 Years of Hacking New York City

Maughan’s short story on graf “Paint Work”

More by Maughan

The Street Art of Chemis

Street art by Chemis

Chemis is a Czech street artist. The piece above is from Copenhagen, and the hole is real.

More Chemis art at Art Crimes

Henry Rollins and RE/Search’s V. Vale on Occupy Wall Street

At the LA Zine Fest, V. Vale tells Henry Rolls about about his idea for an “Occupy Handbook” collecting posters and slogans from the movement worldwide. Rollins talks about his collection of George W. Bush graffiti from around the world.

(via V. Vale on Twitter)

See also:

The official RE/Search site

Richard Metzger and R.U. Sirious on Occupy Wall Street

“I Lack Creativity,” Sharpie on Drywall

"I Lack Creativity," sharpie on drywall, by Anonymous

(via Acrylicist)

EyeWriter: Open source technology for people suffering from ALS

EyeWriter

EyeWriter

The EyeWriter project is an ongoing collaborative research effort to empower people who are suffering from ALS with creative technologies.

It is a low-cost eye-tracking apparatus & custom software that allows graffiti writers and artists with paralysis resulting from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis to draw using only their eyes.

Members of Free Art and Technology (FAT), OpenFrameworks, the Graffiti Research Lab, and The Ebeling Group communities have teamed-up with a legendary LA graffiti writer, publisher and activist, named Tony Quan, aka TEMPTONE. Tony was diagnosed with ALS in 2003, a disease which has left him almost completely physically paralyzed… except for his eyes. This international team is working together to create a low-cost, open source eye-tracking system that will allow ALS patients to draw using just their eyes. The long-term goal is to create a professional/social network of software developers, hardware hackers, urban projection artists and ALS patients from around the world who are using local materials and open source research to creatively connect and make eye art.

EyeWriter

(Thanks to Brett Burton, who pointed this out on the post about Intendix’s brain-computer interface)

Street art documentary to premiere at Sundance – Banksy involved?

"No Ball Games" by Banksy

The guerrilla pseudo-documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” billed as “A Banksy Film” and narrated by Ifans, will have its world premiere Sunday night. […]

According to a description, “L.A.-based filmmaker Terry Guetta set out to record this secretive world in thrilling detail. For more than eight years he traveled with a backpack through Europe and America. After he met a British street artist known only as Banksy, things took a bizarre turn.”

But whether the artist known as Banksy directed the film himself is still a mystery.

Reuters: Banksy’s “Exit” to premiere at Sundance

(Thanks Bill)

The street art of Dalata

dalata alfred hitchcock graffiti portrait

dalata street art

Dalata’s Flickr

(via Wooster Collective)

5 yrs of graffiti, animated in 3D

Serge Gainsbourg – animation des graffitis sur 5 ans du mur rue de Verneuil from Arnaud Jourdain on Vimeo.

(via Nice Produce via Pink Tentacle))

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