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February 22, 2008

Planet Earth

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February 16, 2008

Is Graffiti a Social-Design Issue?

Blog Prompt 2:
Find a social-design issue - here in the twin cities, document it, become an advocate for it.

Is Graffiti a Social-Design Issue?
What is graffiti?
Graffiti is an art form; it is genuine art. Graffiti can be anything from simple scratch marks to elaborate wall paintings.
“There are two different types of graffiti: Gang-Related Graffiti and Artistic Graffiti. Both are considered as vandalism, though the second type could be legal as long as the person doing it has the authorization of the owner of the property to do it. Gang-related graffiti is always considered vandalism and is used by gangs to mark their territories and send messages to rival gangs. Artistic graffiti usually includes lots of colors, strong designs and images. Gang-related graffiti is a series of words and symbols done in just one color over a wall with spray paint.� Marco Rernandez Landoni
Gangs can use graffiti to promote criminal activities, violence, can devalue property, and it cost property owners who have to pay someone to clean it off, or to remove it themselves. Not all graffiti is created to promote gangs and violence. Many people use graffiti as a way to promote their views, express their emotions, interact with their environment, and communicate with the public. Some businesses hire graffiti artists to transform their empty walls to something pleasing to look at. The Walker Art center has sponsored graffiti artists to speak and exhibit their works.
Rather than spending time on dialing with graffiti the law officials should deposit that time dialing with gangs; if they will put the end to graffiti it will not help to end or decrease crimes or gang related activities. The use of graffiti by criminals does not make graffiti a crime related activity; the gangs can use lots of things that we all use but it does not make it bad just because the criminals use it too.
To prevent graffiti the Minneapolis police department has a Graffiti Task Force. Free graffiti removal solvents can be picked up at Minneapolis fire stations. The city has “adoption programs� which help to keep bus stops, trash receptacles etc. graffiti free. On Minneapolis’ website you can find information on how to prevent, remove, and report graffiti.
In Twin Cities graffiti is considered a problem. In the eyes of most law officials graffiti is a crime and punishable with a misdemeanor and in some cases a felony charge. Still, many people argue that it is not.
So, is graffiti is a form art or vandalism? I think it must be taken in context. I question what’s the difference between covering buildings with ads and covering the part of a building with graffiti.
The origins of graffiti go back to the beginnings of human, societal living. Graffiti has been found on uncovered, ancient, Egyptian monuments, and graffiti even was preserved on walls in Pompeii. Graffiti art is not a spontaneous activity like tagging in the form of fancy scribble; it involves a great deal of imagination, planning, and effort.
Graffitists intend their work to be apprehended as art that can communicate feelings and ideas to the audience and beautifies the community by appearing on areas that normally would be eyesores, such as a wall in a vacant lot or an abandoned building. Graffiti make the city a brighter and more attractive place to be. The exhortation that graffiti should be on a visible private or public space in order to be in its optimal context is not so much to glorify any illegalities but rather, to highlight the idea that graffiti is meant to be completely accessible to the public for immediate appreciation.
Graffiti is a form of self expression, and is a right protected by the first amendment. Since legal billboards exist the graffiti should be allowed.








February 15, 2008

The Energy of the City

Blog #1
Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy (and our discussions today), document and investigate, through text and image - this idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city.

The Impact of Energy Flow on Transformation through the City
Energy flow and transformation through the city are very connected, by time, growth and change. The urban city environment is an excellent example of energy flow. People affect the environment, and it is changing or transforming. The transformation happens because of energy flow. There are many systems of flow such as information flow, traffic, ideas, industries, and others. Andy Goldsworthy talks about the impact of sheep on the landscape. In places of Scotland where sheep grazed for some time there are no trees. I think people impact the cities similarly. In some ways people are as brutal as sheep. In cities, there are not much natural life left, as animal life, plant life, nor clean air and water. Some people use the land and its resources thinking only about their profit. Depositing of toxic gasses into the air causes air pollution and dumping waste into the water endangers water quality and causes extinction of water creatures. It is a circle; people affect the environment, the environment affect people. The energy flow is always there, runs in a circle, affecting and transforming its surrounding.