“Graffiti Archaeology” by Curtis and Rodenbeck

  • ©Cassidy J. Curtis and Eric Rodenbeck




    Graffiti Archaeology



    Graffiti is to the city what colored leaves are to the forest. The changing art on the walls reflects the passing of time and conveys information about the city’s inhabitants, their lives, and culture. On some walls, the artwork can change daily, as different artists compete and collaborate on the public canvas.

    Graffiti Archaeology (http://grafarc.org) is a website devoted to the study of how these graffiti-covered walls change. We document this process using a chronomontage: a multi-layered collage of photographs taken at one location over several months or years. Visitors can explore a wall’s history by traveling in time, watching layers of artwork appear and be painted over. Like other graffiti sites, grafarc.org mirrors the real public space of city walls in the virtual public space of the internet. Unlike other sites, however, we seek to preserve and enhance a sense of physical place in both space and time.

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