urban space

Graffiti that Annotates (Cat_piss.jpg)

Graffiti that Annotates (Cat_piss.jpg)This image was uploaded with the post Graffiti that Annotates.

Graffiti that Annotates

"Where Do We Grow From Here?"

My favorite genre of graffiti is work that comments on its immediate surroundings. In east Austin, this type of graffiti tends to refer to the seemingly unending gentrification of neighborhoods further and further out. Remember the fancy convenience stores I mentioned last time? Ones where you can buy $6 ice cream sandwiches? The image above is a defunct gas station that appears to have been purchased recently, so I think we can all imagine what's coming next. This graffiti artistin their own, special, nostalgia-soaked waywants to encourage visitors to the area to be critical of this expansion. See also: the time Hillside Farmacy's sign was edited to read "Hipster Farmacy." 

Love For The Ruins?

Ruined schools in Detroit

Image Credit:  Vice Magazine

I couldn’t resist covering this piece that Tim brought to my attention.  NPR did a segment covering the evolving phenomenon of “ruin porn” by interviewing a writer, Thomas Morton, who wrote an attack on this phenomenon for Vice Magazine.  Morton argues against these images because he says they mislead audiences about the actual economic state of Detroit.

The Wire and Cities That Matter

The cast of HBO's The WireI just finished reading an article in The New Yorker about HBO's The Wire, a gritty drama set in the city of Baltimore. Each season the show focuses on a different aspect of the city, beginning with drug dealers on the streets and gradually moving outwards to include the labor unions at the docks, the politicans, and in its fifth and final season, the news and those who cover it. More often than not, the shows paints an image of the city that is grim and hopeless.

One Way to See the State

one way sign

I live on a one way street so I’ve always viewed the “One Way” signs in my neighborhood as good information for motorists and visitors. They are excellent reminders to people that cars should only face east on Washington Street. But this altered image (actually from one block over on Madison Street, where cars travel west) reminds us that street signs are not merely about expressing information about traffic patterns; they are also the banal markers that inform us about the presence of the state’s authority.

Recent comments