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Comments on arts learning interactive: Tagging the metaphor





Updated: 2014-08-12T10:08:36.445-05:00

 



Well, I think that the "call and response" aspect ...

2008-02-26T09:17:00.000-06:00

Well, I think that the "call and response" aspect of graffiti is an important factor in the frequency of some writers to re-visit favorite sites. In the photography of tagging project I have noticed some tags from writers that span half a decade or more. When I visited LA in the early 90's there were many examples of gang tagging that were only about "call and response", but it was territorial rather than style oriented. Now I see writers critiquing each other. If someone throws up a really bad tag, it will get tagged over or another writer will actually spell out the lack of expertise. I think it's more of a loose competition/collaboration these days rather than marking boundaries and claiming space. It's more about personal recognition than group affiliation. I think that's an important shift in the purpose of much of the tagging I've seen recently. Do gang tags still exist? Yes, but the shift is toward the individual.

How does that relate to ownership? I think that writers "own" their tag in the greatest sense of ownership. Unlike purchased property with one physical form of embodiment and location, such as a car or a house, a tag represents intellectual property that has near infinite forms. The tag can go places the writer never visits, thus extending the writer beyond the physical boundaries in ways that may not be feasible for the writer to enact in person. Unlike the names we are given at birth, or the names our friends or enemies give us, the name a writer gives themselves is very personal property. Nobody can give you the name you give yourself. I think creating that identity and perhaps fighting against the limitations of state, civil or personal identity are key to the dialog among writers. It's a community of self-styled individuals that have conversations in single words.



How does the ownership of the tag of an individual...

2008-02-25T19:48:00.000-06:00

How does the ownership of the tag of an individual relate to the proliferation of tagging in the graffiti sub-culture?

In other words, or maybe in addition… do you consider graffiti/ tagging to be something of a “call and response”?