Friday, July 8, 2011

Graffitational Bull


original thing in full.

Clicky to Embiggen


  1. "Romanes eunt domus": Graffitti/Context .

    A re-curring word, or phrase, is not only simple and redundent repetition, rather, such repetition also involves a process of re-contextualisation, whereby each instance of the text will take on different meaning dependent on it's being (re)situated in differing contexts.

    Graffitti tags demonstrate this semantic interplay in at least two levels, textual and physical(not that the two are mutually exclusive).

    The first level, textual recontextualization, occurs through the accretion of numerical instance of the phrase. Each (re)posting of a text will result in(con-)textual interplay, each single instance of a text will always be informed and inform each other instance of the text; each new instance of text brings new meaning.

    On the other level, that of physical context, each instance of text is situated in a singular location, or, physical context. Each instance of (re)posting will instigate new contexts, new semantic relation, as the text relates with the physical location and physical objects situated about it.

    Also, the semantic qualities of a text or not always their most important quality. Each instance of text, even the text seen here on screen, will also necessitate aesthetic qualities.

    The aesthetic quality of a text can serve to improve or inhibit its reading, exhibiting or encoding its semantic qualities. Encoding a text does not render its semantic meaning as disfunctional, rather it allows for its dissemintaion among a more exclusive audience, those with the capacity to decipher.

    This aesthetic encoding of the text can serve to concentrate and strengthen the singlarity of each instance of text. If the semantic meaning of a text is not immediately apparent then each witness to the text must relate to it's aesthetic physicality, it relates not to sense but sensibility. Sensibility may just be the crux of the issue here, afterall why should graffitti make sense?

    Perhaps it is a mistake to view graffitti as a platform for indiviualist expression, afterall, there is an obvious subscription to accepted graffitti fashions by many, if not most, instances of graffiti.

    Graffitti has no reason, it is the word of the mob writ large in dayglow spray 'The Crowd: Yes, we are all different!'. To harangue graffitti to purpose can only result in limiting it tonfashion or propaganda, its best off as it is nonsense.

    Now, write it out a hundred times. And if it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.

  2. Cheers for the comment, and that's certainly one point of view: I'm more of it the 'if has no meaning- then it doesn't mean anything' school.

    Even though illegible and incomprehensible marks ( Or seemingly incomprehensible marks )allow " dissemination among a more exclusive audience, those with the capacity to decipher ," that doesn't make these marks invisible to everyone else.

    Writing stuff everywhere for all to see and only a few to interpret is like openly whispering and pointing at the guests. —It's rude. I don't like it when people are rude to me for no reason.

    When all I see are ugly and depressing meaningless marks, I cry 'cowardice': propaganda would at least be a point of view.

    Bloody Romans.

  3. Sic infit

    'I'm more of it the 'if has no meaning- then it doesn't mean anything' school.'

    Well, then we suckle on the teat of a mutual alma mater, but, the better cud to chew upon is this, if something is meaningless does that also make it worthless?

    A fireworks display, it aint nothing, it don't mean a thing, can delight thousands. A sandcastle, it aint nothing, it dont mean a thing, can be a whole world to a child.

    Res ipsa loquitur.

    'Writing stuff everywhere for all to see and only a few to interpret is like openly whispering and pointing at the guests. —It's rude. I don't like it when people are rude to me for no reason.'

    If someone was to write something in Irish or Polish, or english for that matter, and i did not understand what was written, are they being rude?

    I would answer no. No more than arabic script or cyrillic are rude. Limiting yes, rude no. It is what it is and it makes sense to those that can read it.

    Verbum sap.

    Is writing something unintelligable really like 'pointing and whispering'?

    Again i say nay.

    Pointing is an indicative and intelligable act, its 'body language' if you will, it is not encoded and makes a certain sense when witnessed. Unintelligable graffitti is not the same then as it makes no sense at all to the viewer.

    A better analogy would be someone not trained in sign language witnessing a converstaion in sign language. The conversation would be carried on in plain sight, intelligable to those taking part in the exchange, but simply choreography of movement to those who cannot read the signs.

    Surdo oppedere.

    If we continue to unramble your analogy, as graffitti is most often displayed in public spaces, then who exactly are the hosts and who are the guests?

    The act of graffitti does not, as far as i can tell, lay effective claim, or denote ownership or of a space, a tag does not privatize a public space, it can only exist in that space.

    Res nullius

    Also, those who create the graffitti are rarely to be found in situ,and seldom are people actually invited to see the graffitti, no hosts, no guests.

    Verba volant, scripta manent

    Sign language in the street, how rude.

    'When all I see are ugly and depressing meaningless marks, I cry 'cowardice''

    Now random outbursts and howlings of 'cowardice' in the street, thats not rude at all.

  4. Thanks again for the time and education.

    I guess I feel that tags do privatise a public space, as a matter of fact I have always thought that that was their only function, that they were a territorial marking device that attracts other territorial markers to the same spot and makes the area that bit less pleasant for everyone else. Like dogs pissing on a particular lamp-post.

    'Verba volant, scripta manent'[ words fly, writings remain' ] you say ( I admit I had to look this, and all the other latinisms, up on the web; I'm quite the boor as you may have guessed)

    And I agree 'scripta manent' it doesn't go away and that's the problem.

    Unlike pretty fireworks, sandcastles or a sign language conversation, tags take no time to create and tags are permanent, ( or as permanent as litter is in places that are not cleaned).

    Fireworks and sandcastles take a human investment of time and they are nice things to see: they don't make a place look ugly, ill-maintained, neglected and uncared for. The thing of it is, were I to desire comprehension of sign language I can learn sign language, ( the same goes for polish ) but if there isn't anything there, except a stylised nick-name, then there doesn't seem like there would ever be any point in trying to make sense out of it.

    Visual pollution comes in many forms, and although an advertiser's insidious imagery may have the cumulative effect of making me feel inadequate ( either so they can sell me the 'solution' or just as a knock on effect of showing me beautiful successful people with idealised lifestyles) still, in one sense, I can forgive an advertiser before I can forgive a tagger,- the ad-folk may be shameless huxters but at least whatever they place in front of my eyes means something other than ' I WAS HERE- SMELL MY WEE!' and when these ad-folk dream up their shite, they are ad-folk. At work. For the company, it's not an expression of themselves.

    I cry 'cowardice' at taggery because every time I notice another one I see a wasted opportunity. A political treatise is not necessary or expected, but at least if you only draw something you open yourself to an audience & criticism.

    Artistically, a tagger comes across to me like a heckler at some comedy show shouting something vague from safe darkness of the back of the room with all their mates around them.

    There's no balls to this form of expression, and no real risk. Again I cry 'cowardice' ( albeit at quite low volume so's not to be ruder than I can help ).

    Thank you very much for your intelligent comments by the way: rational opposition is a much treasured quantity in the country of Darronia ( even if we don't speak latin here), I'm sorry I can only offer my subjective blathering analogies in return.

  5. Why would anyone comment in Latin on an English-language blog? What next -- Swedish? Serbo-Croat? Hebrew?

  6. Well, if not readily comprehensible, then least it's decipherable, ( and it helps 'posh-up' the oul' blog a bit).