Friday, April 25, 2014

Failed Management Plans

The Melbourne City Council's Graffiti Management Plan has been working really well. So much has changed. And of course it needed to because they conducted research and "community consultation": "which revealed that most people do not like graffiti ‘tagging’ (person writing their graffiti name or ‘tag’ on a wall with marker or paint). However, many people appreciate ‘street art’ such as larger, more artistic pieces, or murals placed in appropriate locations with the required permission.".  

For decades bright ideas for the management of the public blight that is graffiti have tried and failed world over. For sure, there is a cultural bleaching going on. But it is due to 1: the mainstreaming of graffiti and 2: the gentrification of previously undesired inner suburbs. Orange oil and policy have not assisted this bleaching at all.  

When Yarra Council began re-shaping it's own management plans  in 2012  Images To Live By aptly raised concerns for the area's vitality. I liked one comment by a reader that the reason "aesthetic cleanliness" is an issue for some people is that it "challenges their idea of ownership".  

There is bloody good reason to fear the desire for management, cultural uniformity and nice stuff. If you want a great opinion on the slow death of graffiti in New York, the birthplace of the old school, I encourage you to read the Vice article KOMP-LAINTDEPT.WHY. I HATE. GRAFFITI. 

Assuming, as I hope, that graffiti never dies, if there ever is actual consultation with artists and locals (in any graffiti hub in the world) I would like to think that it would reveal "that when conservatives from suburbia visit the cool places they like looking at mediocre reflections of their limited notions of art".

Do we need to get vocal about the constant desire of those with no clue to white wash anything that is diverse and interesting? Personally I don't think we should keep telling these morons that the ones doing the nice stuff also tag, and do the illegal stuff, and some of the commissioned work is actually really shit, trite, unimaginative and unrepresentative of the who is shaping this avant-garde street zeitgeist. It is getting boring.

Besides, luckily, at least for now, it seems to me that the taggers are just giving the haters the Bird anyway.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Headlights Shining in the Dark Night I Drive On

I was unfriended on Facebook last week (the actual me not the Flasher persona). Seriously. Harsh. However I got to thinking. You see I was unfriended for "making no effort". The next evening, walking to The Meatball and Wine Bar (awesome - go), I recounted all this to a buddy who replied "but you don't even make an effort with people you like!".

And it wasn't as though I didn't or don't like this person who unfriended me, quite the contrary.  It was just that our acquaintance had moved from inner to outer circle. I had thought that was what Facebook was good for. A handy method of staying in touch with all the people you are genuinely interested in but have no time or inclination to physically see. Am I wrong? I suspect to many of you I sound more than a little Aspy.

Don't get me wrong, I do get it that some people like to spend time with all the people that they like. I just happen to like a lot of people and simultaneously not like to socialise too much. Pathological as this may sound, there are days, weeks even, that I look at my phone and think "please no one ring me".  

So that night at Meatballs, with someone who has known me since day dot, we laughed at why anyone would expect me to actually make an effort.  I won't. Not because I am slack, or a bastard but because I find the whole idea daunting and overwhelming. I have about 20 favourite people in my life and think very highly of the Facebook others. The thought of ever "making an effort" to see them fills me with social phobia and brings to mind Karl Pilkington. To quote him:

"I won't be socializing. I don't do that. I'm just not that sort of person. I'm old in my age now, I've got enough friends". - Karl Pilkington

I feel quite at ease writing this because I know that friends of mine I seldom see know me so well that they too probably read the opening paragraph and laughed.  It is not personal, honestly. My true friends know that I like being close from a distance. They know that I think they rock, but they also know that I probably won't call them. So with this in mind, today I decided to feel okay about making "no effort" because fuck it, we are who we are, headlights shining in the dark night and all. 

Today I have done a little unfriending of my own. I decided to cull people that I would avert my gaze from in a crowd. I went from 347 to 260. None of these were bad people I just didn't need to know them and they didn't need to know me. I am pretty stoked. It is totally liberating to unfriend and I highly recommend it. I have also discovered that I actually know 260 really awesome people.  And no, I probably wont call them. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Diggin' my #igswag #FitzroyArtNoLonger

It can be hard to keep going. The longer the time between drinks, you know the score. But then when you hit it again it all rushes back.
So there I was today marvelling at #SF whom I have spoken of many times before and maintain is a genius. I will find him and I will interview him. And I urge you all to see him for who he is. A social commentator and a master of lines.
And so the title of this blog? You will need to check this out on my Instagram page. Aparently some dude in the states is diggin my swag. And then there is the chick of a thousand selfies. what does this mean for me ????