Cataloging Street Art Wendy Cullings, Tamara Kemp and Julia Martin LIS 653-03 Dr. Pattuelli
How do you describe this?
What’s a good MARC “500” notes field for this? Multi-colored writing in spray paint on wall with drip effects?
Cataloging Street Art in Institutions Faceted Classification System for Graffiti Art Styles
Graffiti art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art
A typical label would be written like this: Subway Door Michael Tracy aka Tracy 168 American, born 1958 Spray paint on metal door, two-sided 74x20 1/2 in (1880 x 52.1 cm)
1999.57.21a-b Gift of Carrol Janus and Conrad Janus
Of 50+ graffiti entries:
classification is not assigned (40)
classification is listed as 'Painting' (17)
Not all categories are complete in TMS
When untitled the fake title is either type or place as in Untitled Collage or Untitled Bronx
pseudonyms are always given if the artist has one
Graffiti Art Styles: a classification system and theoretical analysis by Lisa Gottlieb, 2008 “ This book describes the development of a faceted classification system for graffiti art styles designed to enable non-experts to identify the style of a graffiti art piece by distinguishing certain visual characteristics.”
Based on Panofsky’s theories of Iconography
Working Model – tested by 30 catalogers
14 styles, 13 facets with 41 foci
Styles, facets and foci developed with help of 11 experts (both practitioners and art historians)
functionality follows the model of 2 classification systems: ICONCLASS and Karen Markey’s thematic catalog for Northern European artworks
Notation (Code) Textual Correlate (Meaning) 25H1123 rock-formations 41A12 castle 47D31 windmill 73C7455 'house built upon a rock; house built upon sand' « doctrine of Christ on love, etc. (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49)
Faceted Classification System for Graffiti Art Styles
Style Notation Style Name
A2B3H2I3L3M2 TFP (The Fantastic Partners crew)
A3C2D2E1F3G2H2M1 CTK (Crime Time Kings)
B3D2E1F3G2H1I2J1K1L2M1 Los Angeles Cholo-based
C2D2H3I2J2K2 Swedish Train
D2E1H2I3J2L5M1 Neo Classic American Freight
D2F3G2H3K1L2M1 East Coast Piecing Style
Facets and Foci
A2. Partially Legible
B. Number of Colors
B1. 2 colors
B2. At least 3 colors
B3. At least 5 colors
D2. 2-D with 3-D effects
D3. Relief Effect
E. Letter Outlines
E1. Hard only
F. Linearity F1. Curved only F2. Straight only F3. Curved and straight G . Letter Strokes G1. Uniform G2. Varied H. Negative Space H1. Exaggerated H2. Standard H3. Limited I. Letter Overlap I1. None I2. Minimal I3. Standard I4. Interlocking I5. Intertwined J . Use of Arrows J1. Integral J2. Not integral K. Letter Shape Consistency K1. Consistent K2. Inconsistent L. Fill Effects L1. Directional highlights L2. Fades L3. Fill shapes L4. Scrub fills L5. Shines L6. None M. Fill Consistency M1. Consistent M2. Inconsistent
Dortmund - E1G1M1
E1 = Hard Only Letter Outlines
G1 = Uniform Letter Strokes
M1 = Consistent Fill
TFP (The Fantastic Partners crew) - A2B3H2I3L3M2
A2 = Partially Legible
B3 = At least 5 colors
H2 = Standard Negative Space
I3 = Standard Letter Overlap
L3 = Fill shapes
M2 = Inconsistent Fill
The Vandal Squad Cataloging Graffiti as Vandalism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNyQKXCooSQ
Online Booking System Arrest Worksheet
Not intended to catalog
Not intended for art
Artist description (Perp.)
Patterns of behavior
Location of Offense/Arrest Info
Side of Bldg./Subway car
Id # of subway car
Is bldg property of nyc board of ed.?
Numbers of Associates
On Duty/In uniform
Eye color/Hair Color/Hair length/Citizenry
Used Subway System/Time entered
Statement made by perp during commission of offense
Method of flight
Description of art
Further description of details
Might outline how the graffiti was discovered
Might give timeline of interaction with artist
to release or not to release
Photos taken against the artists will/without permission
Art in public places
Graffiti as rebellion
Cataloging Street Art on The World Wide Web
Street Art on the Web=Vast
There are MANY sites that claim to be the best collections of Street Art photos on the web
A lot of these sites are fairly useless in terms of cataloging, they simply house photos with no explanation, address, or even date indicating when the photo was taken
An example of this is www.graffitiphotoposts.org
Other photo archives are more helpful as far as cataloging is concerned
Artcrimes.com is a collaboratively run site where artists and civilians can submit photos of graffiti that they have taken.
The “About Us” section of the site indicates that only the information that is known for sure about provenance is included.
A photo archive tends to have very high quality images
Images are collected from all over the world
Their system usually gives the visitor the name of the artist
No context is given for the image
Although the general location is given, no specific address is provided, meaning that someone who sees the image on the web would have no idea how to revisit it
No date is provided for the image or art.
Street Art and graffiti are often very time sensitive, dates are very important
Street Art Blogs
There are MANY blogs that attempt to catalog and contextualize Street Art on the web
As with most things on the internet, there are good examples of this, and very, very bad examples of this.
Some good blogs: The Scenic Sidewalk ( www.thescenicsidewalk.wordpress.com ), Vandalog ( www.blog.vandalog.com ), Streetsy ( www.streetsy.com ), The Wooster Collective (www.woostercollective.com)
The Best Blog
By far, the best and most well-known blog for Street Art is the Wooster Collective
Although attempts to talk to them directly failed, their classification system is apparent from their website
Their archive is searchable by date, reaching back to January 2003, or category: 3D, activism, advertising, animation, art, artists in the media, best of 2005, billboard liberations, books, calls for entry, cardboard, catchin’ up with, chalk, city guides, collecting, craftism, crafts, crap, creative database, crimes, crowd art, culture jamming, diggin’, divider, education, environmental, essentials, event reports, events, Amsterdam,
… Atlanta, Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Chicago, Dublin, Eindhoven, Ghent, Leipzig, London, Los Angeles, Lyon, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Paris, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, San Jose, Sao Paolo, Seattle, Shanghai, Sidney, Tokyo, Vancouver, Wasington, Fashion, Fences, Film, Five Tips, Fun, Galleries, Games, Geek Graffiti, Give Em’ Props!, Graffiti, Graffiti Projects, History, Holiday, How To…, Illustration, Interviews, Issues, Legal, Magazines, Maps, Marketing, Masthead, Mobile, Murals, Museums, Painting, Performance, Photography, Podcast, Politics, Print, Products, Projections, Roundtable, Sculpture, Site Announcements, Special Editions, Stencils, Stickers, Strange and Bizarre, Street Signs, Street Stencils, Technology, Terminology, Toys, Train Monikers, Trains, Travelogues, Travels, Tributes, Video, Vintage, Vitals, Walls, Websites, Wheatepastes, Wooster in the Media, Wooster on Paper, Wooster on Spring, Writings.
As you can see from this ridiculous list of categories, the Wooster Collective cataloging system has many problems.
How it works: Someone uploads a blog entry, usually with photos, at the bottom of the entry the time of posting appears as well as the category it has been placed in. The date appears at the top.
Their system presents several issues: While it is not the best way to catalog, they at least have a system, many other blogs list nothing other date and maybe location of the work. Also from the diverse list of categories, it is obvious that a traditional cataloging system would not be the answer for Street Art.
The Best Street Art Website.
The best site on the web to catalog street art is www.streetartlocator.com
Streetartlocator uses an interactive map to pinpoint the location of Street Art worldwide
The site also classifies things by category and assigns a color to each different category
The categories are: Graffiti, Gallery, Painting, Stickers, Stencil, Sculpture, and Installation
Clicking on the tags on the map brings up a photo of the Street Art as well as the relevant information (artist, location, medium, etc.)
Users generate the content by logging on, uploading photos, and filling in pertinent information about their street art or images of street art
The site is also fully searchable by either location or description and title
There is also a blog with artist interviews and street art events
The site is unique in that it covers all aspects of the street art world, from graffiti to galleries
Like everything on the internet, pictures and catalogs of Street Art are only as good as the people who maintain them
If pictures are incorrectly labeled or attributed, there is no one to check the facts
Online archives are as impermanent as the Street Art itself
The solution to this problem is still unknown
Archive. (date unknown). Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Graffiti Photos website: http://graffiti.photoposts.org/index.php?x=browse&pagenum=1
Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall. (1994-2009). Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Art Crimes: The Writing on the Wall website: http://www.artcrimes.com/index.html
Bark, Sandra. (2009). The Scenic Sidewalk. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from The Scenic Sidewalk: A Catalog of Street Art website: http://thescenicsidewalk.wordpress.com/
Dobkin, Jake. (2009). Streetsy. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Streetsy: Daily Street Art Photography website: http://streetsy.com/
Gallagher, Brian Thomas (2006, February 24) Spray My Name, Spray My Name, This American Life Podcast Retrieved at: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1121
Gottlieb, L. (2008). Graffiti Art Styles : a classification system and theoretical analysis. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland.
“ Handselecta” (contributor) (2007, February 15) ”Vandal Squad”, (Audio) Spray My Name, Spray MY Name , This American Life Podcast Retrieved at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNyQKXCooSQ
Home. (2009). Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Street Art Locator website: http://www.streetartlocator.com/index.php .
IRDG. (2008). Iconclass Illustrated Libertas Edition. Retrieved May 4, 2009 from Web site: http://www.iconclass.nl/libertas/ic?style=index.xsl
Keough, B. (2002). Documenting diversity: developing special collections of underdocumented groups. Library Collections, Acquisitions, & Technical Services 26, 241-251. Retrieved through WilsonWeb database.
Martin, Christopher (Public Defender) personal communication. April 30, 2009
Masilamani, R. (2008). Documenting Illegal Art: Collaborative Software, Online Environments and New York City’s 1970s and 1980s Graffiti Art Movement. Art Documentation 27 (2), 4-14. Retrieved through WilsonWeb database.
Rivera, J. (2008). Vandal squad: Inside the New York City Transit Police Department, 1984-2004 . Brooklyn, NY: PowerHouse Books.
RKD. (n.d.). Iconclass Official Homepage. Retrieved May 4, 2009 from Iconclass Web site: http://www.iconclass.nl/index.html
Rushmore, Michael “RJ”. (2009). Blog Home. Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Vandalog website: http://blog.vandalog.com/
Wooster Collective. (2009). Retrieved May 3, 2009, from Wooster Collective website: http://www.woostercollective.com/