Every Sunday Morning, a place where various things get thrown out, shot at, cut open, and dissected. Topics of interest: psychological, and medical anthropology, privatization, globalization, excess, language, humor, hip-hop culture, jazz, brain and mind, memory, urban space development, Los Angeles, the Chicago Bulls, UCLA Bruins, FC Barcelona, and mankind.
“The Clean City Law came from a necessity to combat pollution … pollution of water, sound, air, and the visual. We decided that we should start combating pollution with the most conspicuous sector – visual pollution.”
"You couldn’t even realize the architecture of the old buildings, because all the buildings, all the houses were just covered with billboards and logos and propaganda. And there was no criteria.
I wonder how a town with no advertisements functions.
Apparently, it’s amazing...so far. They uncovered a lot of problems the city had that were never realized.
For example, from the article.
"there are some favelas, which are the shantytowns. I wrote a big story in my newspaper today that in a lot of parts of the city we never realized there was a big shantytown."
"Pixadores, as graffiti artists are called in São Paulo, find room for their art alongside city freeways, on the walls of abandoned warehouses, and even atop high-rise apartment buildings. While it's still common for police to prosecute pixadores for illegal graffiti writing, many artists now receive government commissions to display their work in public spaces."
Now the caption above is interesting for a few reasons relevant to LA.
First, they've found room for art along city freeways.
LA did too, but look at what happened to this mural over the course of 23 years.
Read about its fate here and here. The comments are very interesting.
What's interesting here is that apparently the Los Angeles kids mural could have been saved.
"The story that was not told, and the real travesty here, however, was that just a few years ago, the City of L.A. raised a huge amount of money to restore these murals, and paid the artists to do just that, and to APPLY AN ANTI GRAFFITI WAX COATING! As I understand it, all Caltrans had to do was melt off that wax to remove the graffiti, then recoat it for future protection! Not much more time, money or effort would have been required." - Brother of LA Kids Mural Artist, Glenna Boltuch
The quote above brings me to my second point. Sao Paolo seems to embrace its graffiti and murals. LA doesn't do that unless its that one Venice graffiti place or the Arts District.
I wonder...if we didn't look at graffiti as a problem, and perhaps actually weaved the graffiti into the fabric of the city ala Jane Jacobs' school of urbanism, perhaps there wouldn't be a graffiti problem. Perhaps if people other than the motherfucking LAPD, rich corporate and individual developers were heard, there wouldn't be so many unwieldy and random tags.
I guess the movie Crash is sort of useful in this sense...if people weren't so disconnected and impersonal, maybe there wouldn't be as much a need in the first place for a space to graffiti, a space to be seen and heard, a space where you can just 'crash' into so many people at once without actually doing it. Just maybe we'd have the makings of a community.