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Graffiti Research Lab

The two founders of the Graffiti Research Lab are Evan Roth and James Powderly, although others have contributed since. Roth's background is in coding, web design and architecture with a focus on graffiti. His projects, while getting his MFA from Parsons School of Design, revolved around this and included using motion-tracking techniques to capture graffiti writers' arm movements and then turning this into digital projections, as well as photographing many graffiti tags to develop typographic charts based on them. Powderly followed a Master's in Interaction Telecommunications at NYU with work in aerospace robotics and NASA-financed Mars Missions. They came together at the Eyebeam OpenLab, an art gallery group which focuses on exploring new media and technology for artists. From there they formed GRL.

I was attracted to GRL because of their use of technology to draw on a grand scale and the communal vision throughout their work, through involving the crowd with music and participation, as well as leaving their work open source. Their innovations with technology and applications are fascinating.

Train bombing - http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=46#video
This work involves many, many of the GRL's "throwies" (LED, mini-magnet and battery). The accessibility of the item and the complete involvement are themes throughout their work.
Barcelona - http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=99#video
Here we can see their further work toward a creation of a temporary community, surrounding the exploration of their images and surrounded by music and people.

GRL is similar to Banksy, but mostly in their common perspectives on the imperfect world around them and their shared graffiti culture. But I really enjoy the stark contrasts they represent as well, as GRL paves the way through groundbreaking graffiti that brings together a community where Banksy sneaks his way into traditional styles of media. Although they certainly both have immense building-side works.

Banksy - http://www.banksy.co.uk/outdoors/images/landscapes/nyc/letthemeatcrack.jpg
GRL - http://graffitiresearchlab.com/rotterdam/omer.jpg

For myself, my understanding of graffiti has been redefined, but also the ability for human grouping and community this presents fascinates me. I guess I've been a kind of slump in terms of expressing my work to groups, and I really like their style of going about it. Engaging and entertaining the audience.