TagStreet Art

Breaking the Banksy: First interview?

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A new Banksy mural ‘One Nation Under CCTV’ painted next to a CCTV camera at a Post Office yard in the West End. (Image: Dailymail.co.uk) A new Banksy mural ‘One Nation Under CCTV’ painted next to a CCTV camera at a Post Office yard in the West End. (Image: Dailymail.co.uk)

Half the world, it seems, has been chasing the British graffiti artist Banksy: Police for his vandalism, art collectors for his works, sprayers for his style, media for the scoop. So far, his cover hasn’t been blown. Now Daily Mail has a first interview, or rather: description of a meeting with the artist.

To post this here may seem slightly off-topic, and I guess it is. I posted it anyways for two reasons:

First, I think it is indeed quite remarkable that it’s even possible to keep your identity as secret as Banksy does, while still producing art in very public spaces, like the one seen above, and the one below. (One of his recurring topics is surveillance of the public space, after all, and what you could call sousveillance, i.e. inverse surveillance.) In our age of transparency and data sharing, of public surveillance and CCTV, this seems like quite an achievement.

Second, it’s a hell of a good graffiti. Not only does it look awesome, the way it plays with different levels of reality, surveillance and meaning is just mindblowing.

Banksy: What are you looking at? (Photo by Flickr user nolifebeforecoffee) Banksy: What are you looking at? (Photo by nolifebeforecoffee)

Some more Banksy art? Check out what Flickr has to offer, sorted by interestingness.

[citation needed] Challenges Ads, Truthiness

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On Michelle‘s new blog, I just stumbled over a very neat art (or rather: protest?) project, all sticker-based. [citation needed] questions the factoid and claims we encounter in everyday life – ads, for example, are full of them.

Wikipedia has a simple way of asking contributers to validate their statements: The ubiquitous [citation needed] tag that inspired this particular flavor of street art.

Notes the artist:

One of my favorite quirks about [Wikipedia] are the little [citation needed] tags that users can place in an article, indicating that a dubious claim needs a reference. One day an idea struck – what statements are more dubious or outright ridiculous than those in advertisements? Thus, an OM project was born. I had 250 8×2 inch stickers printed, which I handed out to friends, who circulated them further. In true wiki fashion, the final placement of the stickers is a collaborative effort, now distributed and anonymous.

[citation needed] photo by flickr user mmechtley, CC licensed (Photo by mmechtley)

So, as Michelle points out, we shouldn’t take this kind of statement for a fact. Instead, we need to double-check the sources to confirm truth, not just truthiness. [citation needed] can help remind us to do so.

Just sayin’.

[citation needed] stickers are up for sale.