|What is Citynoise?..... Today's posts..... This month..... Recent Comments..... Contact..... RSS Feed.... Post your own Citynoise.....|
browse by city
Art Museum Visit
browse by author
hot sixy girl bf photo
A Proposition to Graffiti Writers
Browsing articles in London, UK - [previous] :: [next]
The ‘man on the street’ often sees graffiti as illegible or unreadable. He therefore assumes that the reasons for doing graffiti are equally indistinct and obscure and shows no respect for graff as an art form, or any other component of culture. This, I’m sure, is something that gets on the tits of many writers who believe that these ignorant individuals have no right to speak pejoratively about something they don’t understand.
I reckon there are two ways in which we could conjure some respect from these people, the first will almost certainly lead to graff becoming ‘soft’ and without style, but the second may have genuine promise. So what are these methods of which I speak?
Well the first would be to somehow get all writers to make their work very legible and clear. This would allow passers by to appreciate what they are seeing a tad more and maybe start to ask questions like “why write that particular name?” “what made that person start doing graffiti” and maybe start to ‘see’ graff, rather than catching glimpses here and there and ignoring it.
Of course if this happened, there would be no freedom of expression for writers, in the way they make their mark, and style and flow would disappear.
The second might be slightly better. Have you ever heard of ‘shorthand’? If you haven’t, its a sort of condensed form of English, often used by secretaries when they need to make quick notes, take dictation, take the minutes in a meeting etc. It features characters that are much simpler than those used in ordinary written English with very few straight lines, hence making it quicker to write. Each symbol in shorthand often represents a couple of words, even a phrase, so a paragraph of shorthand is more like an essay, when written out in full. I don’t know a lot more than that apart from how it looks, stylish and with tons of flow. (I’m sure you can find pictures on Google)
If the English speaking graff community were to adopt this as their graffiti language, thus making their work completely illegible no matter how ‘straight’ the letters, it would give graff an added level of mystery and exclusivity. Also, if the fact that graffiti writers used their own language became common knowledge I’m sure people would respect and admire that.
The same principles would apply to any alphabet, its just down to us to decide which one best fits our individual style.
There are some problems with this idea too, I think. It would be hard for most writers to convert to ‘shorthand graff’ because of the ratio of characters between the two forms. For example you might want to start writing your name, ‘king,’ in shorthand, but when you do the translation it turns out that ‘king’ is only represented by one hyphen-like character, such as (~). Another problem is that you’d either have to learn shorthand or get hold of a text book on it, which would be a mission that most people wouldn’t bother to carry out.
A final problem is that a lot of writers aim to make their work as visible to the public as possible, not just to other writers, so changing to shorthand would mean they lose most of their audience.
However, if a small pocket of writers adopted the idea and pushed it to its limits, the creation of a new style phenomenon entirely different from today’s graffiti could occur. In just a few years the long established graffiti ‘look’ would be displaced with a revolutionary, visually superior aesthetic.
An article from Repine Magazine, Free Online UK Graffiti Magazine
This article has been viewed 13796 times in the last 4 years
Repine Graffiti Magazine: 2nd Jan 2009 - 12:04 GMT
Please don't take this entirely seriously. It's just a few thoughts
adam: 2nd Jan 2009 - 16:31 GMT
I met a truck owner recently who's entire truck was covered over night while parked in his suburban home. He was really upset because he couldn't afford to paint over the graffiti and knew the law was pretty helpless to help him. Worse of all, the artist sucked. Some graffiti is great. A lot of it is done at the expense of small business owners and done in poor peoples neighborhoods. I'd like to see a proposition of morals in the graffiti scene but thats a long shot.
repine: 3rd Jan 2009 - 14:59 GMT
I have a rule that I stick to, no private property, but I know there's a lot of variation with regard to what people will and wont write on within the graffiti community.
What do you mean by a proposition of morals?
ABER: 3rd Jan 2009 - 20:05 GMT
Its wack cause it tries too hard. its like on some fake intellectual shit. ha ha ha ha
Nobody: 3rd Jan 2009 - 20:13 GMT
id be more concerned about bankers and politicians adopting a "proposition or morals" before i would concern myself with writers doing it, ha.
but it does raise a point... graf is just like anything else. there are good and bad apples. just like politicians and bankers. some are talented and wonderful and redeeming... real credits to the human race, while others... damage, connive, destroy, trick and take advantage. its just basic human nature at work here; its sort of unfair to single out writers for something that every person of every variety does; its especially unfair in this context (and with a classic friend-of-a-friend story). as for what the details "suburban" and "poor peoples neighborhoods" are intended to imply... ill leave those well enough alone. sorry, i guess im sort of feeling a bit argumentative today... the fact that i just got back from a day of community service for painting on an abandoned warehouse may or may not have anything to do with that, however ;)
repine: 4th Jan 2009 - 11:21 GMT
That community service sounds unfair.
Good point though, graffiti creates an identity and the individual decides whether that identity is corrupt or not. Although cos your anonymous couldn't you decide to adopt a completely different 'character' from your normal personality.
repine: 4th Jan 2009 - 15:07 GMT
I don't believe graffiti should be called a subculture, as that implies that its members are alike in a number of ways, like those of a particular school of traditional painting. The only thing graff writers have in common with each other is that they wrte graffiti.
Nobody: 5th Jan 2009 - 14:03 GMT
maybe its a difference between london and nyc, but i say subculture. i can spot a writer from two blocks away, hahaha. and in terms of crew and passion, many writers do have a very large shared history in common...
as for name-changes... once someone has put years into developing a style, building rep and getting a name up, its not something you change just like that, heh.
repine: 5th Jan 2009 - 15:38 GMT
Yeah, course, I understand. It's just ideas, an 'honest proposal' not meant to be considered seriously. Our magazine is about putting down our ideas whether they're right, wrong, stupid or factual, anything goes. Free speech, just like graff.
TOX: 4th Apr 2009 - 09:55 GMT
You're either a corrupt writer, who's out for the sole reason of vandalism or to shit people off, or an artist and an explorer rolled into one. What people don't realise is that all writers aren't school kids who sneak out at night with a spray can. some of us appreciate the beauty of the urban landscape and want to add to it. For me, it's the exploration, finding places you never knew were there, as much as the art. I don't do it to piss off the cops or to be a rebel. You gotta lay down the rules, like don't bomb people's property, or shopfronts, etc. I think of it like this, if people want to see my work, come and look for it.
repine: 5th Apr 2009 - 16:13 GMT
Are you really Tox?
If so, respect. It would be great to do an interview with you as you've certainly left you're mark on London.
If you're not, why call yourself that? Just to get your comment viewed in a better light?
anon (18.104.22.168): 22nd Jan 2010 - 13:19 GMT
in my opinion, the authorities should ban all forms of graffiti because it;s really an act of vandalism.........about graffiti is a kind of art, yes it\'s a kind of art, but let me think it over, sometimes it just messes up the walls
muszicluvher: 22nd Jan 2010 - 14:31 GMT
perhaps you are confusing "tagging" with "graffiti art", as so many do, unfortunately.
graff2010: 3rd May 2010 - 15:45 GMT
im an graffiti artist and i agree that you are getting tagging confused with the actual graffiti art....and i understand that sometimes that it messes up the walls but thats life
anon (saraha.jackpot.uk.net): 3rd Dec 2010 - 18:59 GMT
This page is being served with "charset=iso-8859-1"; that's incorrect. It's UTF-8. This is akin to using Lada Adriatic Blue, when the right shade is Vauxhall Lagoon Blue. Please fix it.
DERP: 19th Mar 2011 - 01:23 GMT
The entire point of graffiti is to do whatever the fuck you want, its not "for" anyone, so you may as well do as you please. Outsiders will never understand graffiti, and its probably better that way!
anon (5ac66e25.bb.sky.com): 19th Aug 2011 - 21:58 GMT
fuck all u haters graffiti is an art and is a way to get known be looking out for TEK in london
Chubby EL: 19th Nov 2011 - 14:06 GMT
ye dude i get what u saying here, and i can see the pros and cons, but i read a post further up saying that u may be getting confused between tagging and actual art, and he has a point here, but i think either way tagging or graff art, your handstyle or way in which u write shows off your unique style, and it shows what u like and are about, what i write and its style is hard to write but i shows how i like to work (chubby el, continous writing like running writing and i dont stop pressing the cap down till i finished whole tag) but then thats me and my style i developed myself. seem like so many people these days try to copy other peoples way of writing and i thing it works and looks better if you develop your own way and dont keep to a style of someone else or 'restraints' like you was talking about, we shouldnt have to adapt our style for others to read, they should adapt they way they read, time they take to look and how they judge it, to understand us and our writing. but dude i get where u coming from and i respect u for writing this man. also sorry to be random, but is there a way i can sign up to this site or something so i can recieve notifications or something?
Comment on this article..
Browsing articles in London, UK - [previous] :: [next]
Flesh Trade and Prophecy in the City of Brotherly Love
from the archives
Beat-up Derelict Buildings in My Neighbourhood
A Proposition to Graffiti Writers
concept and content © citynoise.org 2002 - 2012:: designed and maintained by
caveat: entries and comments on citynoise.org represent
the views of their respective authors; this is an open forum, open to
all relevant ideas,
and as such, sees minimal editorial interference. as such, all content
on this site remains property of its creator/author, and is therefore
protected by all applicable copyright laws.