fi5e: Graffiti Analysis

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    Graffiti Analysis



    Urban projection, grafitti artist HELL pictured


Artist Statement:

    Graffiti is an important part of urban human communication that is often marginalized. It is a raw form of self expression divorced from regulation, curation, and control, and it is a phenomenon evident in varying cultures from cave paintings to Roman baths to the F train. Despite governments’ best efforts at elimination, graffiti is innately tied to the human condition and will continue to be prevalent in urban centers, constantly adapting to the realities of nature, economics, technology, and law enforcement. Graffiti is an important and, in many cases, a healthy voice in urban environments.

    By melding the technical language of code with the visceral language of written graffiti, I aim to reach the attention of city dwellers who have become numb to the relevance of the writing on the walls. The transformation of written graffiti tags into new and unexpected digitally augmented forms allows them to be looked upon with fresh eyes. Graffiti is often branded as “gang related,” “vandalism,” and “a quality of life offense.” By digitizing the written form and re-present­ing it in an analytical, thoughtful, and expressive way, these stigmas recede into the background, creating an environment where the viewer is free to explore un-tainted form and content. It is my intent that through the language of analysis, viewer’s defenses will be lowered just enough to see a glimpse of the beauty that is written all around them.

Technical Information:

    Graffiti Analysis makes visible the unseen movements of graffiti writers in the creation of a tag. Motion tracking, computer vision technology, and a custom C++ application are used to record and analyze a graffiti writer’s pen movement over time. These gestures are processed to produce algorithmically generated digital projec­tions that appear at night in motion on the surfaces of buildings in New York City.

    Relationships are created between analog and digital graffiti styles, forming a link among traditional graffiti, experimental street art, and new media. Graffiti is re -presented in the language of information analysis, offering a system for greater understanding of a highly coded form of creative expression.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    NYC graffiti writers: HELL, AVONE, JESUS SAVES, KATSU