Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Artist's Canvas

How is social media interacting with and affecting the evolution of street art? It would be easier to consider how street artists interact with social media.  This question is harder.  My answer is that social media changes the intention.  It changes, or can change, the purpose of the action.  I won't bore you with a dialogue about "what is street art" or the even less interesting debate about "graffiti versus street art".  But I will give you a series of vignettes that might spark your own train of thought.  

Part One: I was walking the trail one brisk morning when a poster of a photo caught my eye. 

I noticed it because I love anything on an abandoned piece of furniture.  Flash back to my piece with Nufevah all over a sideboard, and other furniture enhancements.  The poster had a blog address.  I made a note to look it up.  The blog referenced to a notion of the street as an artist's canvas.  It linked me to a photographer's page.   I am advertising him today.  

Part Two:  I was walking the trail on any given day.  Using my incredible powers of detective genius I stumbled across a new crop of work, sighed/smiled/said 'yay', took a photo, uploaded it to facebook where legions of fans 'liked' it.  Okay that's the dream sequence recollection.  But the part about seeing the art, saying yay, and posting it is true.   I raced home (dream sequence the Parkour), uploaded it to Flickr and Picasa, and ruminated for a day before blogging about it.  The artist themselves "favourited" the photograph on Flickr, "Liked" it on Facebook, and tagged themselves so friends could see.  They commented on my blog with a post to their blog.

Part Three: It was 1980 something.  There was no Internet.  I was the "disaffected youth".  With a black texta and feint smell of dope I scrawled on a concrete wall "Get Grugged" and drew a simple image of Grugg.  In 1985 photographer Rennie Ellis wrote a book called Australian Graffiti, and there was Grugg. Years away from its creation and miles from my intention.  I am now promoting Rennie's blog.  Blogs were not even a glint in the Internet's eye when Rennie wrote the book. 

Post Script: I do know the artist who did that, but I am definitely too young to be said artist!