Pt. II

You ask is writing political? I believe everything is Political. The stress is capital P. I have little interest in local politics. I think that most writers are aware of the political impact of their work but most prefer not to discuss it out of a frustration with small p politics. I guess for most writers, and it holds true for me, that if you wanted to talk about politics you would join a Marxist discussion group and attend an occasional rally rather than conflict regularly and directly with the powers that be. More interesting for me is the politics of everyday life i.e.: you are at a pedestrian crossing, the sign says "DON'T WALK," you look for yourself see no cars and cross. That I believe is an act of anarchy. You assert your own ability to think over that of the State and it usually creates in others the desire to do so themselves. The simple act creates ripples.
I believe the painting work that I do creates political repercussions in a number of subtle and direct ways. It firstly creates new possibilities for usage of public space. It questions the ownership and rights of usage of such space. I draws out the usually submerged power structures necessary to maintain control of a site. It also highlights weaknesses of such power structures. To paraphrase BRIM in the documentary "A history of Hip Hop", a fortified train yard looks like something out of Nazi Germany.


A tag in a public space indicates a break in surveillance; a thoroughly bombed area indicates no surveillance of an area and possibly a subsequent public tension. The aesthetics cannot be removed from the act, though. It works like this: If you see a shitty tag done with little style, it tends to indicate a young kid with little thought behind the action. If you see a well formed tag, you recognize the consideration and technique of the writer, and if you see a well structured and beautifully painted burner you know the writer has total control-- not only of his medium but of the space as well. The action is considered and carried out. You don't need slogans for the message to be understood.

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