The writing’s on the wall: Graffiti Archaeology

Posted by Ian on Nov 28, 2008 in blog | One Comment

For the last 10 years or so, Graffiti Archaeology has been observing and documenting the waxes and wanes of the palimpsestic surfaces around our cities. Arguably less archaeology and more documentation, the project has succeeded in rendering a staggering amount of evidence and documentation of the changes and development of surface and street art from around the world. Of particular interest is the battle between the state and the artist. As the state paints over many works in the name of urban beautification, the artists subsequently reactive these new ‘blank’ surfaces in what becomes something of an orchestrated dance – the state routinely paying for the provision of new ‘blank canvases’.
Graffiti Archaeology is a project devoted to the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The core of the project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of graffiti taken at the same location by many different photographers over a span of several years. The photos were taken in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cities, over a timespan from the late 1990’s to the present.

Using the grafarc explorer, you can visit some classic graffiti spots, see what they looked like in the past, and explore how they have changed over the years.

You can also explore the Grafarc Flickr photo pool and discussion board – currently boasting 47,171 images.
For example – notice the palimpsestic changing of this wall over time.
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1 Comment

  1. Colleen
    20 December 2008

    Here’s an interesting short piece on Krink–I always wondered who started the drippy tag trend:

    You probably already know Sven Ouzman, right?


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