Style as Superpower

September 29, 2007 on 5:06 pm | In related links | Comments Off on Style as Superpower


There’s always been a strange connection between the graf world and the world of superheroes. Maybe it’s the secret identities, or the way things tend to happen at night. Jonathan Lethem brought out a piece of it in his novel The Fortress of Solitude, which is really worth reading. Now there’s a group of animators approaching the same idea from another angle: a hiphop/anime hero who can absorb energy from graffiti walls, and use the style to fight his enemies. Check out the teaser video: Blokhedz. Arrow fight! Gotta love it.

(via Cartoon Brew)

Call 811

May 14, 2007 on 11:18 pm | In related links | Comments Off on Call 811

Original photo by Jimski

Spraypaint, subway tunnels, and layers of history.

I could be describing Graffiti Archaeology here, but I’m actually talking about something entirely different: an excellent post on the Pruned blog. You know those cryptic fluorescent markings you see on streets and sidewalks all over town? They’re surveyors’ marks, and if you know how to read them, they’re a map to all kinds of subterranean structures. Read on.

(Thanks to nix for this link.)

Kaso’s Regenerative Graffiti

April 9, 2007 on 11:18 am | In related links | Comments Off on Kaso’s Regenerative Graffiti


Italian abstract graffiti artist Kaso has a new project called Regenerative Graffiti. Instead of just going over earlier pieces, he modifies them by adding his own elements:

Regenerative Graffiti is an experimental project, is all about create new shapes of Graffiti from previous Graffiti artworks. This mutant process starts with the idea to keep alive the previous Artist’s soul, otherwise completely deleted and would likes experimenting new figures from recycling and reinterpreting Graffiti.
Regenerative Graffiti regenerates color schemes, new visual patterns and reinvent new composition, makes abstract shapes and reinvents the visual urban landscape over time.

He also credits Graffiti Archaeology as being an inspiration for the project. I can’t wait to see what he does next with it!

Earlier work by Kaso:,

Graffiti type foundry: Handselecta

March 21, 2007 on 11:10 pm | In related links | Comments Off on Graffiti type foundry: Handselecta


When I first designed this site, I spent a bit of time hunting around for fonts to use for the main logo. I considered using a “graffiti” font, but the few that were available were very disappointing. So I’m glad to hear that there’s now a type foundry that’s doing the job right: Handselecta. Their fonts are based on the handstyles of real writers like Giant, Mene One, and Espo, each one a collaboration between the writer and the font designer. Their aim is to bring the diversity of different cities’ characteristic handstyle traditions into the world of type.

PingMag has an excellent interview with Christian Acker, the foundry’s founder, full of choice quotes like this one on the relation between calligraphy and typography:

Type doesn’t replace calligraphy. But then it doesn’t intend to either. Type is a different practice. While calligraphy demands a rigor and practice of form it is also about the freedom of form and handwritten quality. Type design is about finding the ideal of each letterform, so that when letters are repeated they create a rhythm and color distinct and natural to each typeface.

They also have a quality blog, with interesting type-related posts like this one by Mene One about Cholo style influences. Check it out!

William Gibson on graffiti

January 22, 2007 on 11:21 pm | In related links | Comments Off on William Gibson on graffiti


The Candy Factory, November 27, 2005

William Gibson, the original poet of cyberpunk, looks at “the mellowness of weathered, multi-level graffiti” and is reminded of “some endangered species of moss”. I love this comparison, as I’ve always seen graffiti as a kind of living thing with its own ecosystem. The particular graffiti he’s looking at is on the surface of a building known as the Candy Factory, not too far from 11 Spring Street. Above is a photo of the same spot taken just over a year ago.

This isn’t the first time graffiti has figured in Gibson’s world. A reader in the forums pointed out that there’s a description in All Tomorrow’s Parties of an actual living tag made of smart paint, which battles against graffiti-eating bots embedded in the wall itself. How soon before life imitates art?

Full Gibson quote below the fold.

Continue reading William Gibson on graffiti…

Glue Glyph Graf

May 9, 2006 on 10:39 pm | In related links | Comments Off on Glue Glyph Graf

four layers at once

Originally uploaded by otherthings.

Making my usual rounds last weekend, I stumbled on this glue scar left behind by a fallen parking sign. What a moment of zen: four paint layers all talking at once, and even the glue wants in on the conversation.

Within minutes of posting this on Flickr, a kind soul pointed me to the Glue Glyphs group. Goes to show: no matter what kind of freak you are, you’ll find your kin on the internet.

LED “Throwies”

February 15, 2006 on 8:23 am | In related links | Comments Off on LED “Throwies”


Okay, this may be the coolest little hack I’ve ever seen, and simple enough that even a non-engineer like me could do it: LED “Throwies”, brought to us by Make Magazine. They’re basically little LED lights connected to a battery and a magnet, which you can attach to any ferromagnetic surface simply by tossing it at it. Ever wanted to see your name in lights? Now’s your chance! Be sure to check out the excellent video by Resistor and Fi5e.

(via BoingBoing.)

obsess much?

January 24, 2006 on 9:31 pm | In related links | Comments Off on obsess much?

As you can probably tell from looking at this site, I like to take photos of graffiti. A lot. At least once a week. Two or three times if possible. If a weekend goes by and I haven’t visited at least one of my favorite spots, I feel bad about it. It goes like this: “What if something great went up yesterday, but it gets painted over tomorrow? If I don’t get out there right now and take some pictures, it’ll be gone forever. I can’t let that happen!” And so, often against my better interests, I pack the camera in the bag and go. I’ve even considered calling in sick* just to take graffiti pictures.

Some might call this behavior a bit obsessive. I certainly feel that way sometimes. But not anymore. Oh no. For I have seen the work of the true obsessives, and they are mighty. Behold:

The Adaption to my Generation
Roman Opalka
Diego Goldberg’s March of Time
Noah K. Everyday
Alarm Clock Self-Portraits (warning: annoying popup window)

All these projects and many more can be found on AtmG‘s wonderful links page. (Via information aesthetics.)

*(Um, in case my boss is reading this, for the record, that’s never actually happened… though someday it might.)

Update: Ahree Lee has been doing something similar since 2001, and stitched some of her photos together into a pretty seamless video.
Update 2: Dan Hanna has been doing this even longer, and his video involves a dual-camera setup with a 360-degree annual spin! (Thanks to Emre for the link.)

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