Thursday, November 2, 2006

Halifax gets seriouser about graffiti

Regular readers and visitors to the BigAssSuperGallery have noticed my fascination and disgust with graffiti. It catches my eye wherever I go in this city. I've been especially bothered by a couple of taggers who've been prolific and destructive lately. Someone named "SAME" has been hitting homes and residences with huge spraypaint tags. And some artless twit going by the handle of "Jem" has been haphazardly spraying her tag through much of the north end -- and not even staying consistent with the stylization of her nom de crap. I keep seeing FYPT, ENDER and BOS tags all over the place, too.

Now, HRM (the Halifax Regional Municipality) has launched a web site to help residents realize the seriousness of the problem, and offer solutions. The city invites people to call 911 when spotting graffiti in progress. It stresses the three Rs -- record, report, and remove. That is, take a picture of it (done), tell the authorities, and clean up the mess so these miscreants can't get the satisfaction of having their colleagues spot their handiwork around the city.

The site also gives tips for the media, including:

  • Avoid showing graffiti as it only gives more fame to the person who did it. If graffiti must be shown, only use one small unrecognizable area, or ensure the background of graffiti be slightly out-of-focus to distort any tags. It can also be photographed at an angle that makes it illegible.
  • Please report not only on the problem, but the positive steps being taken.
  • Never mention vandals by their tag names in stories.
  • Never use negative phrases to describe graffiti writers. This will further alienate them from the community and entrench them deeper into the graffiti subculture.
  • Do not refer to the graffiti writer as an "artist".

Let's get this mess cleaned up and kept under control, if it can't be outright eliminated. If talentless hoodlums want to pretend they're famous and important by scribbling nonsense in a public space -- let them put down the markers and spraypaint, and start a blog.

10 comments:

  1. Didn't your article just do everything the goverment said not to do?

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  2. D'oh! You're right ... I forgot to call them artists.

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  3. As a lovely old lady used to say: there has to be a job for even those with no talent.

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  4. It's too bad these people can't read. They'd be able to tell how we feel if they could.

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  5. how can you say that graffiti no an art and takes no talent. i'd like to see you try to come up with something besides sitting on your fat ass all day working on this bullshit site that noone gives a shit about. and just for your information alot of writers you mentioned are famous i dont know what you think being famous is but im pretty sure if people on the other side of canada know your artwork your pretty fucking famous

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  6. I think "anonymous" there just proved my point. If you're going to label yourself a "writer", you ought to be able to ... y'know ... *write*. Blasting the side of a building with four monochromatic spraypainted letters, two feet high, does not make you a writer. It makes you a criminal.

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  7. and who made you the man to say whats art and whats not huh? does it say anywere that theres spusifics for art.

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  8. and who made you the man to say whats art and whats not huh? does it say anywere that theres spusifics for art.

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  9. "anywere"? "spusifics"?

    The Criminal Code of Canada lays out the _specifics_ for what constitutes a crime. Whether it's high art, low art, lousy art or brilliant art, if it's put up against the wishes of the property owner, it's a crime.

    There's no case for spraypainting "SAME" or "JEM" or even "ART" or "LOVE" across the front of a restored historic building. Just none. It can't be justified.

    As for "spusifics" -- the _specifics_ for writing in English are easy to find. Consider looking them up if you expect to persuade anyone that criminal vandalism benefits anyone but the criminal.

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  10. lololol whata a bunch of geeks, im a 16year running "WRITER" and have more talent than u and 4 of your family members put together, job wise i clear 60000 a year...and in 16 years our oh so reliable and overweight cops havent been able to touch me once... i have writen or your shit in the past i gaurentee it... i will again i promise.. and the fact u hate it and curse me gives me a warm soothing feeling inside> lol. graffiti is a crime period no matter what it looks like and its only ment to benifit the criminal and piss u off... there is no justification for you oblivious citizens> hate us please hate us. if we write across a building and it offends you good,, ill write on everything i see and u cant stop me ever and neither can our joke police force.. were ruthless little bastids eh... we could come to your house and write on your house car and even your cat and dog... HATE ME>>>> hahahhahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhhahhahahahahhhahahahahahahahahahahahahahhhhahh u cant stop us!!!

    ADICTCREW10

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