It is interesting to note that there were no notions of private property in the garden of Eden. After the fall humans started private property through law. The law designating ownership is quite fascinating because the idea of ownership ultimately comes from God. God though isn’t necessarily seen as an owner but more as a creator but the idea of ownership could really be an expression of the divine. Why humans think they own things is the necessity of clans or groups or of a state to occupy space for necessities such as shelter, hunting or farming. Why would God then need to own anything? Everything is at Gods disposal as it was for humans prior to the fall though to a lesser degree. What I mean though by ownership in a divine sense is that a creation is seen as owned by its creator, of course until it is sold and then we apply copyright as well as moral rights to a creation but not for God, does God though ultimately own Earth and the heavens? Maybe we need property lawyers rather than ministers to answer these questions. Really though human law doesn’t stretch much farther than Earth, at least for now.
This whole article though is going somewhere and that is back to private property. Most peoples pet peeve is tagging and that is the disregard of private and public property distinctions to put an identifiable mark or name on a surface to create a recognisable entity. The idea of this disregard in the ghettoes of New York in the late sixties was a place where people did not necessarily own anything. Property was simply not theirs, but essentially they branded and took back swathes of what they ultimately didn’t own. Criminal occupation of property is nothing new but it is interesting to see what people will do when they are disenfranchised. The occupation of Indigenous lands through colonisation is another case where people with too much take even more and apply law, so as we can see there really are extremes. Ultimately though ideas of creation to some extent entail ownership and you can take terra nullius as a case of false creation or an application of informed ignorance. The laws that were already governing the societies were disregarded as they were quite different and really people will make up any old story and see what they can get away with. Ultimately the foundation of Australia is legal from one side of the equation.
So where is this going part two? Well disregarding public and private property isn’t necessarily ok if you are not really disenfranchised especially if it has become a marketable phenomenon. Trying to ghettoise everything isn’t necessarily the way to go especially in Australia where the only ghettoes are probably the reserves in remote communities. When companies are sponsoring graffiti artists I think this can’t go anywhere good, not that I want to keep it real but ultimately I started graffiti because I could identify with the stories of people improving their lots in life through taking charge of their own destinies. In a way you could say that people riding the wave of this new kind of graffiti is the same thing but it can only be ruled by numbers. Graffiti was always a numbers game but the numbers will be financial and that is where it will eventually go wrong. The positive thing that we can all walk away with though is the acceptance of graffiti in a limited way. I see no reason to tag anything because I am not fighting against anything and I am not disenfranchised in any way. When I was younger I was angry and so I tagged nearly every day but at that time I didn’t own anything much or see any other way to focus my anger. It seems private property is here to stay but I can’t see any reason to tag unless you have little else and if you are doing it because you are sponsored by spray can companies it just seems strange. We really do live in interesting times.