Describing graffiti as a "minor terrorism-related act", researchers in the UK have used a technique developed for crime-fighting to tag the identity of Banksy, a highly prolific but secretive street artist. The system could thwart more serious crimes, but its use in outing an anonymous artist shows the potential for abuse.
Tagged With graffiti
Have you always wanted to leave your mark on a wall but were too self-conscious of your non-existent graffiti skills? The SprayPrinter is a clip-on accessory that turns cans of spray paint into handheld dot matrix printers that can perfectly reproduce almost any design.
If you watch calligraphy artist Pokras Lampas up close, it looks like he's just randomly sweeping his broom whichever way he likes it as he dances around the rooftop. But when the drone flies up and takes the overhead aerial view, we get to see the whole design of his rooftop calligraphy and it's pretty bad arse.
More than anything else in our cities, graffiti and its removal creates a dynamic, ongoing visual conversation that plays out across pretty much every urban surface. Over at Medium's Re:Form, Ian Besler investigates the process with Los Angeles's graffiti abatement program, which removed one square mile of graffiti from LA's streets in 2014.
If you're a well-known street artist who wants your legacy to live on through your kids, you're going to want to get them comfortable with graffiti at a young age. Except that handing a three-year-old a can of spray paint or a thick indelible marker is a terrible idea. They need to hone their skills with something considerably less permanent — like this marker-shaped piece of chalk for making graffiti that's only temporary.
Graffiti may be ephemeral, but then there's Google Street View with its all-seeing camera. Inspired by Google's recent to move to let users go back in time in Street View, Brian Foo at the New York Public Library Labs thought he could make us look at street graffiti from a new perspective — through time.
Street art is mutable by definition. But Google Street View, the archiver of all worldly street-borne phenomena from gentrification to wildlife, wants to change that with its Google Street Art Project — an archival website of the world's street art from Buenos Ares to Atlanta.
In late 2012, a vandal approached a painting by Mark Rothko hanging in London's Tate Modern, and scrawled it with graffiti. It took the Tate over nine months of work to successfully restore the painting before it went back on display last week. This video shows the amazing science and craft that went into the job.
Video: Street artist INSA mixes graffiti and animation and calls it GIF-iti. He thinks big and doesn't shirk, producing multiple super sized wall filling works which he digitises and repeatedly overpaints, rendering the results. Street art is by its nature temporal but INSA's work will last forever — or at least until they pull the plug on the web.
Graffiti is an interesting pendulum swing. On the one hand, it can be incredibly beautiful and detailed. On the other, it's mindless tagging that can be a blight on a city. Vandals looking to tag Melbourne's train carriages are finding more and more daring ways of getting the job done, attacking signal points and train infrastructure to execute daring raids.
Nothing builds up your street cred like some strategically placed graffiti. The problem is, unless you're out tagging in the middle of the night, you're at risk of getting caught in the act. And for an artist like Bob Partington, who works in the medium of spray paint and public property, that's a problem — so he created this incognito graffiti briefcase that lets him leave tags without anyone realising it.
Paris-based street artist ABOVE is known for weaving stencil paintings into the surrounding streetscape to create images that border on optical illusions. Travelling the world to make art that comments on social and political issues, ABOVE keeps an eye out for situations where real world and painted image can interact, with results that are playful, head-scratching and haunting.
Remember Bebo? It must have been one of the first social networks you joined, right? All that information up there for you to share with your friends. Like many social networks, it was murdered at the hands of Facebook, but that won't stop the original founder from buying it back and relaunching it, this time, without the male genitalia drawings that made the Whiteboard feature so infamous.
The work of a street artist is perhaps by definition impermanent; you create, it's found out, it's erased, you move on. Or, if you're a young man who goes by the name of DS, you spot the guy who's erasing your work, photograph him and come back later to immortalise him as a stencil in the exact same place.