I think that I have mentioned the people over at the Graffiti Research Lab before. I came across the Time Magazine article today that talks about how they are part of an exhibit at MoMA. The links in the article have some great images, but their website and youtube clips are also great.
It is always interesting to see how graffiti artist relate to the established channels of art. Most of those that I have come across are hyper aware of there place somewhere outside of the world of “high” art. In the context of this article they mention,
“Doing it in an art museum was never the intent. Some days we think it’s an art project, but other days it seems like an activism project, bringing together hackers and engineers.”
“We talk about graffiti a lot,” Roth says, “People view graffiti differently, some think of graffiti as an end design, but others think of it as an action, and by graffiti going online, you can see the action in progress.”
This makes sense to me. I know graffiti is not going to get through to many people and that it is often perceived as misplaced anger, aggression or rebellion, but the graffiti research lab has always found a way to escape the preconception of what graffiti is while at the same time uses the form, language and tactics of graffiti to produce surprising experiences in the city. It is easy for me to think that this is the high-tech version of graffiti, but the article responds,
“But I can’t find a moment where [graffiti] wasn’t high-tech. If you look back, you had spray cans — this form of technology that was a little too new to be considered an art form — and this billion-dollar transportation system that taggers used to spread their art. It’s not all that different from laser pointers, a new technology, and this immense infrastructure that you find in urban areas
The article makes it seem like this is brand new, but Krysztof Wodiczko has used projections for projects since the 80’s. They might be a little less clandestine, but no less subversive