The Post-Urban Landscape
Earlier this month, the Atlanta Police Department issued warrants for the arrest of local graffiti artists and taggers. The discussion on the message board from this http://clatl.com/freshloaf/archives/2011/10/04/apd-issues-arrest-warrants-for-graffiti-artists-including-vomet-enzo-perve Creative Loafing article articulates the divergent opinions Atlantans have regarding graffiti. While some applaud the practice of tagging and support the artists in their creative endeavors, others support the APD’s actions to rid the city of the annoyance of poor graffiti. The main point of contention appears to be how “awful” some of the tags are, or how the taggers disrespect other street art, like Vomet’s defacing of a Living Walls project. Living in a larger city, people seem to understand that graffiti will always exists, no matter how tough the APD becomes. The walls of the city become canvases for graffiti artists and taggers and unless we install some crazy anti-graffiti system like the one in Demolition Man, we will have to adjust to living with graffiti and tags.
One byproduct of graffiti art and tags has been the aggressive approach to buffing the walls of Atlanta. Whether by local business owners or by the city’s Anti-Graffiti Task Force, these whitewashed walls leave their own mark upon the city. Most often, the entire wall will not be painted over, but only the portions where deviant paint has infected the surface. The patterns left by buffing produce scars upon the walls, which in turn are usually painted again by taggers or graffiti artists. This cyclical relationship between buffers and graffiti artists plays out on surfaces of Atlanta’s walls and begins to define the landscape of the city. No where is safe from either graffiti artists and in turn the buffers.