anti-graffiti and urban scars

The notion that a graffiti artist allows the space within which it is contained to define the scale and form of their letters is easily identifiable in the practice of many artists. The limits of space and the limits of their bodies are often cited in texts as these are typically art history constructs which allow academics to place graffiti neatly into some skewed western tradition, thus increase its acceptance as an art form as one which may be part of a contemporary discourse. Scouring the early entries od Momo’s blog led to an introduction to Fred Radtke, who seems to have considerable notoriety in the US as a vigilante graffiti remover. Unsanctioned, but tolerated, Radtke will answer calls from the public and paint over graffiti using his trademark grey paint, he is commonly referred to as the Grey Ghost. He is not consistent in his chosen tone of grey and an extended ‘dialogue’ on the same wall over several months between Radtke and his opponents can result in some interesting abstract compositions. The irony that exists here is that Radtke does not distinguish between illegal and legal graffiti and has landed himself with a $20,000 fine after controversially painting over an officially sanctioned ‘artwork’ by UK pretender Banksy. The ‘pieces’ themselves have a minor discourse with urban space, the morals and politics surrounding the activity are impassioned, but incidental to the accidental emergence of anti-art-art.

re_map does not condone the work of Banksy in any way shape or form.

Images are from various Flickr accounts.

Abstract Motion No.1

Abstract Motion No.2

The solution, the problem, neither or both?


the city and the control of space

The authors were invited to present at the international conference, Metropolitan Desires: Cultural Reconfigurations of the European City Space, in Manchester, UK on 8th September. The paper, ‘The City and the Control of Space’, discusses┬áthe relationship between the city and space [public and private]. More specifically, it focuses on how the city and ownership of space is demarcated, enclosed and implied. The roles of governance and security upon civic, urban and personal space call into question the true nature of that which we consider public. Frequently the design of public space is concerned with the control of that space, rather than its appropriation, [de-re-mis]use and legitimate occupation. Increasingly it is the proximity of digital and real space that is testing these realities and challenging the convention of behavioural patterns established incrementally by the accumulation of policy and technological change during the last 20 years. The question of what constitutes community, networked and residual space is of concern here as are devices of appropriation, enclosure, severance, fragmentation, and cultural identification of space.

The foreboding spaces of the city, the product of a confluence of modernist ideals and capitalist systems