Sunday, November 27, 2011

reverse grafitti - cleaning up the urban landscape

Is it art? or is it a crime? does it improve the neighborhood? or does it deteriorate the neighborhood? Cleaning graffiti raises many questions, it provokes us to think about who is responsible to keep our neighborhood clean; ourselves, us that live there, do we have a civic responsibility that goes beyond the front-door? Or should the government be held responsible? after all we pay our taxes? In the end the ethical question is; should somebody that cleans the street, even if it's partial, and they leave a statement behind, should they be sentenced or not? after all, they where cleaning. Apparently we still miss legislation in this area.

Meanwhile marketeers have picked up this new area of advertising. There are already verious advertisement agencies that specialize in tagging our pavements using stencils and high pressure cleaners. Is that ok? even if they apparently ask the government for permission, I think it's questionable,  after all, these tags are way bigger than the traditional stickers and they are more permanent and intrusive than flyers. even though you have to admit that it does wear out after time...
Reverse Graffiti, Range Rover Nieuwegein

Something much more witty is this advertisement by the cleaners at Cartesiusweg, (apologies for poor picture quality) they have depicted different cleaners in Russian Avangardistic style, the cleaners are demanding respect and recognition for housekeeping work. It's ironic that it is right on the walls right next to the dumpster station.
schoonmakers graffiti Cartesiusweg

Reverse graffiti can also be used by yourself to brighten up your own pavement, to add a touch of homeliness to the urban landscape. This is a picture of a carpet that can be applied to your front pavement. Makes the neighborhood cozier I would say, invites you to create a homely living room outside and to sit down and have a chat with the neighborhood.
reverse graffiti - pavement carpet

Inducing warmth and conviviality to your local community by a little maybe illegal intervention, I really don't hope this kind of action will be punished any-time soon in the future

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