History of Graffiti


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presentation on graffiti by the University of Alabama. From this original source. No copyright infringement intended. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uofaweb.ualberta.ca%2Fcrsc%2Fpdfs%2FGraffiti-Public_version%28FINAL%29-Compressed_images.ppt&ei=drxGT8DkBIXrtgeApKSdDg&usg=AFQjCNFFFVQYhHc7o0WA3nuSFVY4LPj0Bg

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History of Graffiti

  1. 1. What is graffiti? A definition: <ul><li>Words or drawings, especially humorous, rude or political, on walls, doors, etc. in public places. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  2. 2. Graffiti A slideshow exploring what it is and issues surrounding it. Prepared by Ondine Park for City-Region Studies Centre, University of Alberta Presentation created and lifted from: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uofaweb.ualberta.ca%2Fcrsc%2Fpdfs%2FGraffiti-Public_version%28FINAL%29-Compressed_images.ppt&ei=drxGT8DkBIXrtgeApKSdDg&usg=AFQjCNFFFVQYhHc7o0WA3nuSFVY4LPj0Bg
  3. 3. Graffiti <ul><li>What is it? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the issues? </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  4. 4. What is graffiti? Origins <ul><li>The word “graffiti” was first used in English in 1851 to refer to ancient wall inscriptions found in the ruins of Pompeii. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  5. 5. What is graffiti? Other early examples <ul><li>There are examples of graffiti in the ruins of ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Syrians, Arabians, Vikings, Mayans, First Nations, and many other cultures, even going back 40,000 years … </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre … to the wall markings of the Lascaux caves in France
  6. 6. What is graffiti? Other early examples <ul><li>Mayan markings, in Guatemala </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><li>Viking graffiti left in Hagia Sophia, Turkey </li></ul><ul><li>Safaitic writing, in Middle East) </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is graffiti? Other early examples <ul><li>From Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  8. 8. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>In 1877, the term “graffiti” was extended to include recently made crude drawings and scribbling. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  9. 9. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>There are many histories of “modern” graffiti </li></ul><ul><li>But many people see the immediate precursors in the various dynamic social changes of 1960s US urban life. In particular: </li></ul><ul><li>Political activism and protest (e.g. hippies) </li></ul><ul><li>(Re-)emergence of gangs (i.e. their territorial markers) </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  10. 10. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>In the late 1960s, “tagging” began to emerge in the streets of Philadelphia. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  11. 11. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>Tag </li></ul><ul><li>the writer's logo, his/her stylized personal signature. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  12. 12. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>Influential early New York tags </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  13. 13. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>1970s-1980s: </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti as both a form and a culture blossomed in New York. </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti writers began by tagging subways. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  14. 14. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>The tags began to proliferate on subways as writers tried to get their tags across the city. </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti writers who had not met each other communicated and competed through the developing graffiti form. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  15. 15. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>This evolution in graffiti was driven, in part, by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>competition for recognition of writing skills in the developing graffiti community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the social, economic and political context. </li></ul></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  16. 16. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>Graffiti writers strove to create ever more unique, more elaborate, and larger scale pieces. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  17. 17. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>Graffiti became a key element in the expression of emerging sub-cultural music scenes, including rap/hip hop and punk. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  18. 18. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>Authorities began cracking down on graffiti and graffiti writers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. consistent removal of any and all tags. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This led to increasing territorialism and even violence over available spaces. </li></ul><ul><li>Gradually, only the very ‘hard core’ continued writing. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  19. 19. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>At the same time, the ‘legitimate’ art world started taking notice of this street art and the skills involved. </li></ul><ul><li>Art galleries began showing graffiti exhibits. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Famously, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring </li></ul></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  20. 20. What is graffiti? A modern timeline <ul><li>Since 1980s </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti artists moved out of subways onto ‘street canvases’ </li></ul><ul><li>There has been increasing appreciation of graffiti as an art-form </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti has an increasing presence in commercial media </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  21. 21. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>While some graffiti writers are glad to see that their work and skills are being appreciated </li></ul><ul><li>Many feel that commercial work is a betrayal of graffiti’s roots. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  22. 22. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>Graffiti is constantly evolving: </li></ul><ul><li>Adapting to new environments, social contexts and material available. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  23. 23. What is graffiti? Modern <ul><li>Contemporary graffiti includes a huge variety of different types of materials and styles. Including… </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  24. 24. What is graffiti? Modern: Types of graffiti <ul><li>Applying marks directly onto a surface </li></ul><ul><li>Commonly used material: spray paint, paint, marker, chalk, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Can be done freehand or using pre-made stencils. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  25. 25. <ul><li>Applying pre-made pieces to surfaces using adhesive </li></ul>What is graffiti? Modern: Types of graffiti City-Region Studies Centre
  26. 26. What is graffiti? Modern: Types of graffiti <ul><li>Examples include: </li></ul><ul><li>3D, Sculptures </li></ul><ul><li>Installations </li></ul><ul><li>Using light </li></ul><ul><li>Video projection </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed media </li></ul><ul><li>Other new media </li></ul><ul><li>Using materials in new ways (e.g. fabrics, knitting, living plants) </li></ul><ul><li>Even erasing to make mark </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre Experimental and Street Art
  27. 27. A different history <ul><li>Some graffiti writers link graffiti writing to the illuminated letters of medieval manuscripts. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  28. 28. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Why is it considered a problem? </li></ul><ul><li>What kind of problem is it? </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  29. 29. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Graffiti is sometimes seen as a sign, an indication of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>social break down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impoverishment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But, sometimes graffiti is understood to be more menacing than just a sign pointing to problems. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  30. 30. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Some see graffiti as a threat -- something that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>actively contributes to increasing disorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>marks gang (or otherwise dangerous) territory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>increases risk and vulnerability </li></ul></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  31. 31. Issues Is graffiti a problem? City-Region Studies Centre <ul><li>Most extremely, graffiti writing is seen as a crime and graffiti writers and tools are seen as criminal. </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, graffiti is understood to be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>vandalism (destruction of private property) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>illegal individual expression versus the rights of individuals, the public, business, or property </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>deviant, anti-social, seditious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a criminal offense to be punished </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Why might it not be considered a “problem”? </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><li>Graffiti can give insight into problems of a city and the joys of a city. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of targeting graffiti, some feel authorities should try to tackle the real underlying issues that merely find expression in graffiti. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Graffiti as art </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti can be understood as </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><ul><li>legitimate (and legitimated) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>artistic expression, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>artistic practice, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and artistic work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that demonstrate skill, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>aesthetic considerations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and artistic integrity </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Issues Is graffiti a problem? <ul><li>Graffiti asks questions about real social, economic, political and cultural problems – even when it’s not directly “political”. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. graffiti tends to proliferate in poor neighbourhoods – why are these neighbourhoods poor? </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><li>Graffiti gives, finds, or takes a space for a ‘real’ public voice to speak, unfiltered by corporate media. </li></ul><ul><li>It can illustrate the discontent or joy of often marginalised, oppressed, or silenced voices and literally inscribe them into the public realm </li></ul>
  35. 35. Issues Public approaches to handling graffiti <ul><li>Repression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Suppression (erasure) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegalisation (e.g. of the act) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expression </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graffiti as community building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graffiti as expressing community identity </li></ul></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  36. 36. Issues Public approaches to handling graffiti <ul><li>The “Graffiti Art Programming Inc.” in Winnipeg </li></ul><ul><li>uses art as a tool for community, social, economic and individual growth. </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><li>They work for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the promotion of youth art as its own genre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing a place where young artists can take creative risks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>neighborhood beautification and community development through public art </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fostering a sense of creative cooperation and self healing </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. Issues Public approaches to handling graffiti <ul><li>“ Spread the Paint”, Vancouver’s graffiti management program, works together with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>business and property owners; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>community groups and residents; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>graffiti artists </li></ul></ul>City-Region Studies Centre <ul><ul><li>A mural program provides sanctioned spaces for graffiti writers to display their work. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Property owners can donate a wall for the mural program. The City facilitates the process and provides the supplies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The City offers repair kits or financial assistance to property owners for graffiti removal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Community Paint Outs’ encourage community groups, businesses and residents to team up and improve the physical appearance of their neighbourhood. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. City-Region Studies Centre
  39. 39. Image Credits <ul><li>All images listed in order of appearance on slide (first to last or clockwise from top left). Images from Flickr and wikimedia are attributed to contributor's username. </li></ul><ul><li>Images may have been edited for presentation purposes. Where they exist, copyrights remain with original holders. </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 2. (1) Ondine Park; (2) raptortheangel http://www.flickr.com/photos/raptortheangel/35500986/; (3) contessak http://flickr.com/photos/tree-tangled/3760617425/; (4) peterjohnchen http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterjohnchen/2616726869/; (5) MTO http://www.fatcap.com/artist/mto.html; (6) Andre http://www.fatcap.com/artist/andre.html; (7) Edina Tokodi http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/05/23/eco-art-mosstika-gathers-more-moss/; (8) Invader http://www.fatcap.com/artist/space-invaders.html ;(9) Orticanoodles http://www.fatcap.com/artist/orticanoodles.html; (10) OH http://www.fatcap.com/article/oh-interview.html; (11) Jef Aerosol http://www.fatcap.com/artist/jef-aerosol.html; (12) Os Gemeos http://www.fatcap.com/artist/os-gemeos.html </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 3. Definition from Cambridge Dictionaries Online </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 4. Adapted from Online Etymology Dictionary © 2001 Douglas Harper; see also other histories listed in References. (1) http://arthistorymadness.blogspot.com/2007/10/graffiti-from-pompeii.html; (2) Vincent Ramos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graffiti_politique_de_Pompei.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 5. (1) MatthiasKabel http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Reproduction_cave_of_Altamira_01.jpg; (2) HTO http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lascaux,_replica_05.JPG </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  40. 40. Image credits (cont’d) <ul><li>Slide 6. (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hagia-sofia-viking.jpg; (2) Barbara McKenzie http://mayaruins.com/tikal/graffiti.html; (3) Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, University of Oxford http://www.csad.ox.ac.uk/csad/Newsletters/Newsletter6/Newsletter6b.html </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 7. (both) Royal Alberta Museum http://www.royalalbertamuseum.ca/human/archaeo/faq/rockart.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 8. Adapted from Online Etymology Dictionary © 2001 Douglas Harper </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 10. (1) http://freshlyeducatedmen.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/hip-hop-graffiti-part-1-of-2/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 11. A dapted from The Words: A Graffiti Glossary www.graffiti.org. (1) Martha Cooper http://www.studionemo.com/2008/12/martha-coopers-tag-town/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 12. (both) Subway Outlaws http://www.subwayoutlaws.com/history/history.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 16. Midnite Run http://sunsite.icm.edu.pl/graffiti/midniterun/flix/ny/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 19. Keith Haring http://ahappyplace.wordpress.com/2009/03/10/keith-haring-guaranteed-to-send-you-to-a-happy-place/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 21. (1) Fat Cap http://www.fatcap.com/article/43.html; (2) http://blog.sellsiusrealestate.com/business/guerilla-marketing-with-graffiti-style-ads/2006/09/08/; (3) http://sarahleey.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/stephen-sprouse-triubte-collection/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 24. (1-3, 5) Ondine Park; (4) peterjohnchen http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterjohnchen/2578100116/in/photostream/; (6) Banksy http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90538; (7) http://www.graffiti.org/war/war_18.html </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  41. 41. Image credits (cont’d) <ul><li>Slide 25. (1, 3-5, 8, 9) Ondine Park; (2) Noah Sussman http://www.flickr.com/photos/thefangmonster/141590736/; (6, 7) peterjohnchen http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterjohnchen/2568434123/; http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterjohnchen/2571110751/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 26. (1) Noah Sussman http://www.flickr.com/photos/thefangmonster/1123146758/; (2) Edina Tokodi http://www.woostercollective.com/2008/11/the_as_to_our_qs_edina_tokodi_aka_mossti.html; (3) Alexandre Orion http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/01/11/reverse-graffiti/; (4) Noah Sussman http://www.flickr.com/photos/thefangmonster/1353101148/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 27. (1) Ministère de la Culture et Communication, France, Enluminures http://www.enluminures.culture.fr ; (2) Schmoo http://www.graffiti.org/la/la_10.html; (3) from The British Library http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Woman_teaching_geometry.jpg </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 28. Jinks http://www.fatcap.com/graffiti/6322-jinks-nantes.html </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 37. (all) City of Vancouver Graffiti Management Program http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/streets/graffiti/ </li></ul><ul><li>Slide 38. Banksy http://www.fatcap.com/graffiti/13622-banksy-london.html </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  42. 42. References <ul><li>On 'What is graffiti?' </li></ul><ul><li>Art Crimes. http://www.graffiti.org </li></ul><ul><li>Black, Shona. 2009. 'What Makes Graffiti Art? Museums Bring Street Artists inside Fine Arts Establishment.' http://specialartgalleryexhibits.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_makes_graffiti_art#ixzz0U8M7jYNvhttp://specialartgalleryexhibits.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_makes_graffiti_art </li></ul><ul><li>Edmonton Alberta Graffiti, Stencils and such! http://www.flickr.com/groups/edmontonstreetart/ (Flickr group pool) </li></ul><ul><li>Fatcap. http://www.fatcap.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Freshly.Educated.Men. 'Hip Hop Graffiti.' http://freshlyeducatedmen.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/hip-hop-graffiti-part-1-of-2/ </li></ul><ul><li>Ganz, Nicholas. 2004. Graffiti World: Street art from five continents, edited by Tristan Manco. NY: Harry N. Abrams Inc. Pub. </li></ul><ul><li>Gavin, Francesca. 2007. Street Renegades: New Underground Art. London: Lawrence King Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti Grapher (from Dr. Ron Eglash, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) http://csdt.rpi.edu/subcult/grafitti/culture/Graffiti_History.html </li></ul><ul><li>Lewisohn, Cedar. 2008. Street Art: The Graffiti Revolution. New York: Abrams. </li></ul><ul><li>New York City Graffiti @ 149 St. http://www.at149st.com/ </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  43. 43. References (cont’d) <ul><li>Parkin, Anna. 2009. 'The Rise of Street Art.' http://runninginheels.co.uk/articles/rise-street-art/ </li></ul><ul><li>Peiter, Sebastian. 2009. Guerilla art; with additional text by Goetz Werner. London: Laurence King Pub. </li></ul><ul><li>Saffer, Angela. 2008. 'Fighting Graffiti: History of The War on Street Wall Art.' </li></ul><ul><li>http://outsider-art.suite101.com/article.cfm/fighting_graffiti </li></ul><ul><li>Streets of Dublin (Infomatique). 'Graffiti: Public art on the streets of Dublin.' http://www.streetsofdublin.com/graffiti/1_ancient_graffiti.html </li></ul><ul><li>Subway Outlaws. http://www.subwayoutlaws.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Urban Art Warfare. http://urbanartwarfare.com/blog </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia. ''Graffiti.' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graffiti </li></ul><ul><li>Wooster Collective. http://www.woostercollective.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=edmonton+graffiti&m=text (Flickr photoset of graffiti in Edmonton) </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre
  44. 44. References (cont’d) <ul><li>On graffiti as an issue </li></ul><ul><li>Alphabet City blog. 2008. '1970's NYC Subway Graffiti.' http://www.alphabetcityblog.com/2008/12/1970s-nyc-subway-graffiti.html </li></ul><ul><li>Callinan, Rachel. 2009. 'Dealing with Graffiti in New South Wales' briefing paper. Parliament of New South Wales (Australia). http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/ResearchBf082002 </li></ul><ul><li>City of Edmonton. Graffiti Management Program. http://www.edmonton.ca/environmental/capital_city_cleanup/graffiti-management-program.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>City of Vancouver. Spread the Paint: Graffiti Management Program. http://vancouver.ca/ENGSVCS/streets/graffiti/ </li></ul><ul><li>Graffiti Art Programming (based in Winnipeg). http://www.graffitigallery.ca/ </li></ul><ul><li>Negley, Erin. 2008. 'Former Philadelphia graffiti artist now arts advocate.' http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=79200 </li></ul><ul><li>Nickle, David. 2008. ' Community: Graffiti crackdown on public structures in place.' Inside Toronto . http://www.insidetoronto.com/article/57382 </li></ul><ul><li>Northampton Borough Council. 'Dealing with Graffiti: What is graffiti?' http://www.northampton.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=168&pageNumber=3 </li></ul><ul><li>Vandal Watch Society (Coquitlam, BC). 'Getting educated about graffiti.' http://www.vandalwatch.citysoup.ca/Graffiti/default.htm </li></ul>City-Region Studies Centre