Friday, February 26, 2010

Vandalism or Art? Another look at Graffiti

It's not uncommon to see graffiti spray painted upon the walls of buildings--especially in cities. Generally graffiti is frowned upon in society--but not for the reasons you'd expect. Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with the concept of tagging on walls to begin with, nor does it have to do with the content. Sure people generally spray paint curse words and graphic images--yet I bet somebody could paint an accurate replica of the Mona Lisa on one of those buildings and it would still be looked upon as negatively.The main reason graffiti is looked down upon is because it steps out of the code--that is to say it strays from a particular logical system that is operating throughout our society--a sort of limited algorhythm to be exact. Thus to the overall logic of society, and the logic social order, graffiti is seen as a "gross" disruptive display. Yet at the same time graffiti can be looked upon as a way of stepping out of this logic system. If one is unsatisfied with their system, instead of trying to merely change it through the system itself, one would be far more successful if he or she were to step outside of the system altogether--hence why we have graffiti. It is a way of challenging our system--by doing something outside of the system--not from within it. In other words, we can't challenge the game by playing it but rather by making a new game to play instead.

While not exactly,"graffiti" this picture of a monster made out of traffic cones has caused a major dispute over whether its artist should be arrested for vandalism. While the monster is definately awesome, the main concern is that the artist stole and chopped up some traffic cones in order to create the monster.

Here's a link to the full story

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