Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Graffiti Under Attack!: Big brother is spending

I just read a disturbing article about the expensive GPS technology being used to track graffiti and locate graffiti vandals. With so many problems facing humanity - global warming, terrorism, and genocide to name a few - is this seriously our priority?

While graffiti can be intrusive, it should be nowhere near the top of our governments' monetary priorities. Here in Boston, our under-staffed police can't seem to stem the rising unsolved murder rate, yet we still have a division in charge of seeking out, arresting and prosecuting local graffiti artists.

Graffiti is, in essence, a form of rebellion. At its worst, it's just vandalism with no rhyme or reason other than to ruin something, but at its best it is public art and a creative outlet. It's also, in essence, advertising. It's all about visibility and brand building.

But thanks to the media, graffiti is always associated with destruction of property instead of the art form it can be. The actual term for a graffiti artist, a "writer," has for the most part been replaced by criminal.

The stark reality is that police have much higher priorities to attend to than graffiti. The powers that be should think about where they want to spend our tax dollars, and they should be focused on issues much larger than supposedly misled "vandals". As a taxpayer, I welcome public art, commissioned or not. I would much rather my money be going to national health-care, social security, national security and contingents for a greener and cleaner globe.

1 comment:

jon allen said...

It is an information war and a creative war for the mind, and the government does not want any form of expression that is not with in their control grid. They are full of contradictions, and that is being kind. When Shepard Fairy was acting in his unofficial capacity as Obama's propaganda czar, he received a personal letter from the president thanking him for his efforts and in the the presidents own words, that 'cult of personality' campaign was encouraged to put flyers and stickers on government property like mail boxes- that's vandalism.