Monday, June 08, 2009

SF Public Works on Graffiti

Of course they won't let me embed this video, but in a very modern move, SF Public Works has put out a little infomercial thing on graffiti. The video made SFist so horrified that they wanted to go out and tag. I, too, found it a little disturbing, but the video has a few points. First, the propaganda piece ends with a sweet (though not entirely credible) little note that we have to think outside of the box for solutions for creative outlets for "people who feel the need to write their names all over things." We certainly do. And one woman from Chinatown speaks very eloquently about wanting to dialogue with "taggers" about why they do what they do, as she feels disrespected. Her voiceover accompanies very disturbing pictures of some of the awesome Chinatown murals that have been defaced, along with storefronts, signs, and historical (and hard to clean) tiles that were tagged. As she points out in the video, this is disruptive to the local economy and the local culture; "these are not blank walls." I was a lot more impressed by this woman's gusto and points than the white dude talking about the brand new condos that were just built and the retaining walls by the parking lot having been bombed. That really just didn't go very far with me. I have always been an advocate of appropriate use of street art- it is beyond lame to deface a mural (street art!) and really, to tag a local business or their sign? Of course San Francisco is going to hate you.

So, without further ado, I leave you to make your own- now hopelessly biased- opinions.

SF Public Works hates graffiti