Letting it go

Can’t believe I used to do graffiti with egg heads like the guy who recently defaced my aerosol artwork in Malabar. It is pretty typical and I don’t have anything to do with him or the old crew PSK which has been defunct for decades. I moved on in 1993, I kept the name alive only to celebrate the times in the late 80s when the crew was creative and pushing boundaries. All of the unfortunate types who came through it and left only to do crime was a testament to its failure to rise into a positive force. My own agenda was to lift it up for those precious years of creativity but it is nothing now because it never really reached those heights again. Maybe only in 2004 when some mural work was done in the crews name did it show any sign of hope or greatness. Then it just fizzled imploding in negativity. The core guys were vandals and they got associated with hateful types who had come through graffiti but lost sight of the positive agenda and turned to serious crimes and petty crimes. It was PIC that when abandoned left the door open for appropriation and negative types.

The crew was negative and I would never lay all the blame on the crew for the worst blow ins because they had their own agendas fueled by hate. But when you have negative vandalism that borders on nihilism you will inevitably attract the worst people. For PSK it was just association with PIC that lay the ground work for the finger of blame from the media with hate crimes. They will never live that down even if the crew was more positive and focused on creativity. Like I said I simply tried to add a positive agenda to the crew because it had creative potential. The only others who write it want to be vandals and all it does is tarnish the name further. For that I only need go back to my leaving the crew in 1993 and even though I tried to find a positive voice and recreate a future based on a creative past nobody can resurrect it for any benefit.

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weekend

Well popped out 4 canvas works recently, they will be photographed professionally sometime next week. I also bought a Chromecast for my 2007 model TV which I had been using Raspicast on a Pi for a while. Chromecast is really good, it is nice to have control of it through apps on my phone. So far I have used Youtube, Google Music, Google photos, NBA app and Crunchyroll to watch content. Mainly I like to have music videos playing through a mix. The Raspicast is really good but I can use it on any screen as it is using SSH to send videos to play so it is still in service on a computer screen but Chromecast is a lot more flexible and for the past two days I have been using it to relax.

There are the main apps like Netflix and Stan available as well as a few others. It probably isn’t as huge as Apple TV but I really don’t use Apple products having most of my devices on Linux or Android.

Grey city

Read an article on graffiti in Saó Paolo and was pointed in the direction of the documentary “Grey city” by the author of the article. I will have to see this documentary. The city itself has a population of 11 million people and is massive. The city itself seems quite oppressive just due its immensity so that has spawned a very active graffiti community. It helps put Os Gemeos in perspective with their huge colourful murals. I never quite understood their work until I read the article which by the way quotes the documentary in parts. They have to make giant work just for it to be noticed at all. The huge mass of city seems to swallow everything in its path quite literally and people have to find a voice to humanise the sprawling city.

In Australia we don’t have the same issue though Sydney and other cities stretch for an hour in every direction due to sprawl but it is a sprawl of smaller houses occasionally followed by buildings here and there. Australia is really a place with potential to grow. Graffiti though follows certain rail and road corridors and is more centred on individuals tagging. Graffiti in Sydney is only starting to grow as a bigger organised movement in certain municipalities that may have an influx of tags. Even using the term ‘graffiti’ has been replaced with ‘street art’ as graffiti lost face due to it being a part of youth gangs in past decades.

This fosters illegal tagging due to the separation of aerosol culture into acceptable and unacceptable camps which says more about Sydney cities brown washing of graffiti over decades of applications. There were funds available to redirect graffiti into more mainstream application but it wasn’t seen as successful and funding dried up due to conservative political cut backs and conservative ideologies. The funding and art produced during those years was fundamentally successful in getting graffiti out in the community but has been overshadowed by street art and its accessibility to those outside of Hip Hop culture.

In some ways the focus on Hip Hop in these funded programs over the years helped foster youth to find a positive voice but now generally graffiti in Sydney has become more focused on being an advocate of the clean train movement. With youth looking for new heroes who are seen as outlaws. This stretches back to Australian outlaws like Ned Kelly but with no real social oppression faced by Irish descendants in Australia like Kelly. Instead it feeds into fashionable trends in getting up. The Hip Hop element though has been finding a voice in music and art leading to the interesting show “It’s our thing” recently in Blacktown with performances by established rap group ‘Def Wish Cast’. Graffiti can still find a voice and it does in a positive way in Sydney, but you need something to contrast it with as well.