Seize the Context
Conversing with an ex-writer, I noted the following complaint: Is graffiti
merely an act of individuals trying to define themselves or is there a
message being communicated? Is graffiti the greatest non-message humanity
has to offer? Is graffiti a gesture worth celebrating?
When we hear the claim that the medium is the message we must acknowledge
the medium as nothing more than the context; the framing. My ability to
determine or rather interpret truth is shaped by the context in which I
The cause of graffiti offers an interesting dilemma in that the context not
only subsumes the message but simultaneously beguiles it. Determining what
something isn't often clues us in on what something is.
If we accept graffiti as a vehicle of invention, we should keep in mind that
when we cast gazes at masterworks we aren't staring at the icing on a cake
but the summation of experience.
What is happening is not unlike an improvisation on a theme. The ability
for the graffiti writer to provide challenging and demanding variations of
themes demonstrates the writer's command of the context. This is how we
should judge our heroes.
If graffiti walks on the tightrope the aforementioned questions pose, then
one must consider graffiti gigantic for its refusal to be trivialized.
There is always more to matter than our perceptions allow. Obtrusions upon
the scenery are required lest liberties become vacant.
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