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Opencity
Q writes -

From March 1st – April 7th, the Graffiti Research Lab is declaring NYC an OPEN CITY. All the streets and walls have been turned over to the bombers, pranksters and protesters. As a triumph for the GRL’s foreign conquests, and for all the anonymous public works made by servants of the street at home and abroad, Eyebeam is presenting an exhibition and series of free screenings and workshops that reveal the tools and tactics of graffiti writers, artists, protesters, pranksters and hackers who are reclaiming our cities by any means necessary.

Presented by Eyebeam, Open City: Tools for Public Action is an exhibition documenting the ingenuity of graffiti writers, artists, protesters, pranksters and hackers reclaiming the public realm. By presenting the artifacts and tools of the artists, the exhibition offers a deeper look at the means and motivations of urban action and creativity. Open City hopes to inspire its audience to make their own tools for public action. To encourage community participation, a series of screenings, presentations and workshops exploring tool building, tactics and approaches to communication by any means necessary will occur at Eyebeam throughout the month-long exhibition. Among the means and materials presented will be: paint, tape, stencils, digital projection, large-scale public pranks, hacking urban infrastructure, homemade markers and ink recipes, lasers, etch, the internet, social engineering and activist robots.

Graffiti Research Lab » OPEN CITY – Link.

Discuss in the comments!

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. BrK says:

    Yeah, sure. GRL barely has the wherewithal to declare what they’ll have for breakfast, much less anything that pertains to NY as a city.

    How about if GRL declares that their members will actually get jobs and become a productive part of society.

  2. philliptorrone says:

    brk, i knew i could count on your for starting this discussion off!

  3. BrK says:

    I’m nothing if not reliable :)

  4. aplumb says:

    I thought November 9th, 2009 was the scheduled date. Isn’t that what the billboards are all about.?.

  5. jswilson64 says:

    Awesome! “…large-scale public pranks, hacking urban infrastructure, … social engineering …”

    All in one of the most “gun-shy” cities in the world! I can’t wait to see the news reports of Terrorism, Hoax Devices, and so on. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if well-meaning citizens don’t react with violence out of fear.

  6. Canarack says:

    change it to boston!

  7. Oracle1729 says:

    Can’t homeland securty just execute the sub-human trash at GRL? After the Boston thing it would be a pretty tame response.

    I’m about to cancel my make and craft subscriptions I’m disgusted to have anything to do with a publication that supports these freaks and posts article after article of their garbage.

  8. philliptorrone says:

    Oracle1729 – i cover it on the blog, it’s an event with tech, it’s art, it’s culture, it’s subversive – it’s worth discussing. other people seem to be able to rationally discuss this.

  9. fred789 says:

    i think that the grl is a good thing they don’t harm anyone i think thats theres just a lot of resistance from people who have had the word graffiti burnt into there head as a bad thing, and i understand that people are resistant to somthing that is so new and diffrent and sorta out side the comfort zone for them.

  10. Shadyman says:

    Activist robots??? FTW!

  11. Oracle1729 says:

    Phil, it’s not art, and it’s not culture. It’s a bunch of anti-social wastes of oxygen defacing public and private property. The only rational way it should be discussed is in how to stop it.

    You talk about the makers bill of rights, makers also have social responsibility that goes hand in hand with it. If your idea of “Make” includes defacement, I don’t think you have any right to include yourself in the maker community, and you certainly shouldn’t be representing us.

    There is enough negative attitude towards makers, as highlighted by the boston incident. As a spokesperson for the community, you should be speaking out against the GRL scum, not giving them more support.

  12. philliptorrone says:

    oracle, i don’t think anyone can say what’s art – if one person thinks it’s art (and with GRL, many do) then well, it’s art.

    the art community considers what GRL and the artists listed in the link artists (check them out).

    the L.A.S.E.R tag project was covered all over the web, no seems to be calling for them to be killed besides you?

    this is a blog, with comments for folks to discuss. as far as i’m concerned we all thoughtful things to say and do – as long as their constructive we’ll keep posting things that challenge the way we think of things.

    i don’t know where or why you think defacement is in the maker bill of rights.

    as far as speaking out against GRL – i post this for people to discuss, you’re calling them wastes of oxygen and saying they should be executed.

    i don’t think you’re going to get any support for your arguments calling for the death of people.

  13. Oracle1729 says:

    Marking other people’s property is vandalism, not art by any definition. If they do it with permission or to their own property that would be fine. That is a pretty major distinction. Is it okay to spraypaint swastikas on synagoges (or laser tag them on) if i call it art? Would you be happy if I went to your house and laser tagged “Make is shit” across it?

    I didn’t say defacement was in the maker bill of rights. I said you claim rights, and with rights come responsibility. In this society I have the right not to be punched in the face. I have the responsibility not to punch others in the face.

  14. philliptorrone says:

    i’m not sure what this has to do with what you said — “executing” the “wastes of oxygen” – what society is that OK in?

    the L.A.S.E.R tag project is a bunch of photons, how is that defacement?

    if you read about the L.A.S.E.R GRL project, they were asking to visit, asked to do this project for the GRL rotterdam tour.

    aside from that – people seem to love the L.A.S.E.R tag project, comments from all over say things like
    “this is the greatest show of digital art i have ever seen. – cb”

    http://muonics.net/blog/index.php?postid=15

    maybe some people like it, maybe art isn’t what you or i define it as…

  15. Oracle1729 says:

    This posting we’re commenting on is saying GRL is encouraging penople to deface new york, calling it an open city to commit this crime in.

    Notice that I didn’t comment on the rotterdam tour.

    Come on, answer my question, how is marking someone elses property with anything the owner doesn’t want acceptable? Where do you draw the line or is tagging a temple with hate messages okay too? How about putting those Mohammad cartoons on a mosque? You seem to be evading talking about this particiular blog post Phil. Why?

  16. philliptorrone says:

    oracle, the big picture on the blog post is the L.A.S.E.R tag project, GRL did it.

    i don’t see anything anywhere that has GRL putting mohammad cartoons on mosques (do you have a url?). if you have a specific examples/proof, please provide it.

    i’m a little concerned we have posts here where you want to execute people – that’s awful. but besides that – i don’t mind discussing this, it’s why it was posted. if one were avoiding it, you wouldn’t see any comments.

  17. Oracle1729 says:

    You posted days ago about the Laser tag project. The big picture is this post is advocacting blatent vandalism in new york. Not only from GRL but asking for widespread vandalism to happen.

    Who said GRL does put mohammad cartoons on mosques? I thought you were a better speaker than this Phil, you seem to be twisting my words so you can argue what you want rather than what I’m saying. That was an extreme I’m asking where your line is.

    If you have specfici examples/proof that property owners in new york want their propery to be laser tagged or otherwise vandalized without permission, please post it. I see nobody saying “oooh, I hope I get vandalized that week”. Do you come home everyday hoping to find sprarypaint across your home?

  18. ladyada says:

    please RTFA: “Open City” is the name of a show being held at EYEBEAM, a new-media/electronic-art gallery in New York City. (which I was a resident at last year)

    Its an _art show_ curated by _a gallery_

    Its not outside, its not tagging anything, its not defacing any property: in fact, the participants are being invited to show up and display some of their (art) work.

  19. philliptorrone says:

    the big picture in the blog post is at the most, photons reflecting off a building.

    you keep saying things that haven’t happened like the mohammad on mosques statement, and/or suggesting that homeland security execute people – so i’m not exactly certain what your goal is.

    i am absolutely going to go to the GRL show and check it out – i’ll take photos, talk to people and post it here – just like i do with everything else i possibly can.

    if you have issues with GRL, tell them – their contact info is there – i’m pretty sure they’re likely to answer without calling for your death :)

  20. Nohbudy says:

    I do not see what you are getting so worked up about. The worst that GRL of Make has Advertised was tossing LED throwies at someone’s steel siding.
    Yes it can be argued as defacement, even if it is very temporarily. However would you not agree, that it brings more smiles than frowns?
    You also bring in the idea that they are actualy doing this with the intent to hurt others (comics on mosques, or make sucks on Phillips house.) I had not seen them use their Graffiti with the intent to anger.
    Look at the LED throwies on the train. Do you see an unhappy train conductor? Do you see an uhappy crowd?
    http://graffitiresearchlab.com/?page_id=46#video

  21. willyboyishere says:

    When I first saw this I thought it must be some kind of a conceptual thing where PaintPro or some other supplied-with-the-computer type of graphic program capable of ‘graffiti’ could be turned loose on supplied photographs of NYC Landmarks, skyscrapers, apartment complexes,etc. That would accomplish the same thing, would be easier, and CERTAINLY funnier.
    Nothing funny, or “significant” , no matter what Norman Mailer thinks or once thought, about defacing other people’s property with the visual equivalent of gangsta rap. ONLY non-property owners would even THINK of doing graffiti.

  22. chadvavra says:

    from Wikipedia for “Open City”:
    “The attacking armies of the opposing military will then be expected not to bomb or otherwise attack the city, but simply to march in.”

    So I would expect a lack of graffiti for a week, not a uncontrollable surge of it, unless both sides are as alarmist as Oracle1729.

  23. MrPrometheus says:

    Here is a link to a city inviting people to “vandalize” it’s buildings. http://www.switchedonlondon.co.uk/index.htm

  24. charliex says:

    If orcacle cancels his/her make sub i’d be happy to order a second.

    Thank goodness the definition of art is left in the hands of others much more level headed.

  25. Fredex says:

    Is this the kind of fun and games GRL has in mind for New York?

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/22/church.foul.language.ap/index.html

  26. philliptorrone says:

    fredex, where does GRL say anything about churches and CD players? it’s unfair to suggest they had anything to do with that.

    it’s more than ok to criticize them, but at least stick to what they’re doing – not something completely different.