Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Visual Noise Or Layers Of Meaning?

I suspect the answer is "both".

I took these pics last weekend, while wandering the back lanes of Newtown. I think tagging is a particularly noxious form of visual noise, especially in the disrespectful way that taggers delight in defacing otherwise pristine objects. A ruined sculpture in a park near me is a perfect example.

However, tags and other forms of grafitti obviously have a language of their own. Meanings, varying from "I was here" to "Fuck you" probably. Layered like this they become almost runic, archane, indeciferable almost but still with meaning to those in the know.

Ugly to my eyes, but I guess I'm only one beholder.


thombeau said...

You're right when you say "both". It's all a matter of perspective.

Great pics, though!

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks matey!

I think it's interesting to look at both sides of the coin, I mean in one sense tagging is only about meaning. It's not artistic in intent as much as it is about giving a mesage to others.

Kenyo said...

When I lived in Los Angeles I took photos of the same walls over and over as they were covered with different graffiti every month or so. I have put some of these up on Flickr.

In many cases the work was so well done that no one ever dared to tag over it.

I live far away now and there is no decent graffiti here at all. Just tags and throwies.

Jodie Sorrell said...

What's a throwie, Kenyo?

I had a very similar entry lined up for my blog, but now it's been done...I'll save it for later.

Ur-spo said...

it looks dirty and bad.

IRV said...

I've always been a big fan of graffiti. That said, some is better than others.

John C said...

Germaine Greer on graffiti, a great piece of polemic: