Graffiti has a complex dissonance, it has a musicality to it. The rhythm is complex and jarring. The genius of it is its social tapestry. An aggressive competitive mindless intellect that creates jarring forms. There is governance against authority and a regime of active addition that threatens to be subtracted. A do and don’t even dare to do it free jazz accompaniment to the general public’s daily life. It looks like a mess yet it is structured around social organisation and the need to subvert physical surfaces for self aggrandizement.
Yet on a whole it doesn’t actually become a selfish act on mass. It loses the many actors in a chorus of dissonance which people can either ignore or see as a background noise to their daily commute. It is the actual mass of graffiti which becomes the noise or sound. It is really both sound and noise. They can’t be separated. The individual act is the note to the piece. At the same time it is neither here nor there. Graffiti tends to concentrate around certain spaces based on a theme of decay, neglect and or dilapidated function. The music of decay. The sound of highlighted neglect becoming a meeting of minds with opposing aims.
Nobody doing graffiti is thinking of their collaboration, yet they are always participating in this communal activity normally in the dead of night. Really what have they got to hide? Especially from themselves? It isn’t to say they are all unaware. They are aware of their activity and they see their communal activity and are always wanting to add more to as many spaces as they see fit for the communal work. It isn’t a coincidence that graffiti artists will paint a massive legal wall that in a photograph looks like a miniature erection that really is a massive erection in real space.
The illegal work thankfully isn’t as obvious or orchestrated. It is unintentional intention. A kind of high art piece of collective genius that only comes about purely through organised chaos.