Sunday, January 24, 2010
[[This is a late entry to the 2008 call for mural proposals for Eastern Avenue in Baltimore]]
This project rewrites the creation of a neighborhood mural as an urban game, blurring the lines between graffiti, public art, and community interaction.
When the mural is added to or modified (1), the artist is awarded points. The changes are detected by a webcam (2), and the image is uploaded to the online archive (3). The handheld devices of the other players are notified (4), and given information about the location, color, and configuration of the pixels (5) to update. The first players to get to the mural and make the updates are awarded more points in the game.
[[based on a photo by Napalm Filled Tires on flickr]]
"There has always been one rule in the game that never falters, dont go over your history no matter how old or wack. I cant imagine going over a Vinny throw up just because, it is a known known here in NYC in which we try to adhere to, let the buff or time erase it, not to say toys dont kill shit but established writers know better." - MARE 139, South Bronx
[[Banksy vs. Robbo image credits: (1), (2), (3), (4)]]
The project outsources the production of the mural to the local graffiti and street artists in a combination of social network, internet archive, and street game. The mural is the constantly changing result of the interactions between the artists involved. The ephemerality of this kind of urban artwork is foregrounded, and the tendency toward competition between different artists and different styles is systematized and neutralized by the gamelike aspects. This is a mural that can never be vandalized.
Traditionally, the only neutral way that the wall can be refreshed is with a new coat of paint laid down by the property owner or law enforcement: "the buff". This project takes the elements of graffiti and street art that are usually deployed as deterrants: surveilance and concealment, and redeploys them as newly integrated components of a larger system, blurring the line between rivalry and collaboration.
[[for more on Banksy vs. Robbo, see Gaia's writeup here]]