Last month, The Grifters’Good Buy Boris and I sat down with Radio Slik to chat about graffiti and the internet (or, as Boris would call it, the “internetchki”). We all know that internet is changing the way culture is created and consumed. And of course applies to graffiti too. Performance is more important, styles cross borders faster than ever, and social media is essential. Viral Art is all about that shift, but it’s really Boris who is at the cutting edge of it as a practitioner and content creator. Just checkhisInstagram.
Excerpts of our conversations have been turned into a podcast. Have a listen:
Thanks to MU artspace in Eindhoven, the Netherlands and Radio Slik for putting together that podcast. Boris and I were in town together because MU and the EMOVES festival had invited us to town as part of MU’s #VIRALVANDALS exhibition (co-curated by Jasper van Es and Boris). More about that exhibition here.
At first, graffiti writers wrote on walls to get their names up. Then, they wrote on trains because those trains traveled all over the city, and got their names up all over. Soon, they started snapping photos and mailing those photos to friends in other cities, to get their names known there. That evolved into zines and books, and the culture (and certain names) spread even further. All the while, styles of writing evolved to fit those new communication tools. And then the internet came along. #ViralVandals, an exhibition open now at MU artspace in Eindhoven, considers how graffiti writers have responded to the internet, social media, VR, and other new technologies. It’s a familiar question for me, as it was also the inspiration for my book Viral Art.
It’s exciting for me to see curators Jasper van Es & Good Guy Boris thinking about some of the questions that I looked for Viral Art, and to see how they see the scene having evolved in the years since Viral Art was published. Plus, their focus is more on graffiti while mine was on street art. Which is all to say, I’ve been looking forward to seeing #ViralVandals since I first heard about the idea for it, almost a year ago.
The first issue of The Art Street Journal 2010 is out! Inside, amongst other things, you’ll find reviews on some of the best shows from December (like Grifters at Lazarides) and previews of some of the ones we’re most excited about in January (like A Cry For Help at Thinkspace). There are a lot of interviews in this issue, too – Martha Cooper, Mark Jenkins (who’s showing here at Carmichael Gallery with Aakash Nihalani in January) Stephan Doitschinoff and Zezao.
This month’s Unurth page is very cool (I love that this page enables us to fit so many different artists into the paper – it really is hard to include everything you want to cover in sixteen pages and Sebastian does a fantastic job of highlighting the best on the street), plus we’ve finally started the tasj bookshelf page. Each month, this page will feature a selection of the best publications out there (RJ’s The Thousands: Painting Outside, Breaking In makes it in first time, of course, as does Issue 10 of Very Nearly Almost).
As always, tasj is free and we’ll deliver it anywhere in the world. You can get it here.