Graffiti Research Lab on BBtv

Craft & Design Technology

Today’s episode of BBtv has excerpts from Graffiti Research Lab: The Complete First Season. GRL are the controversial artists behind the wildly popular LED Throwies, featured in MAKE Volume 06 and all over blogspace, and the amazing L.A.S.E.R. tagging system.

Graffiti Research Lab, the movie


12 thoughts on “Graffiti Research Lab on BBtv

  1. grobbins says:

    BMW: the official car of running as fast as you effing can from your corporate technology job because you can’t believe what people are designing technologies to do.

    Seriously though, I liked these guys until I saw this video. When they talk about throwies being the gateway drug of graffiti and training the next generation of graffiti artists… leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The problem with graffiti is that 99% of it is boring and destructive. I’d also say ugly but to each his own. Its the worst combination of completely public and completely egalitarian. In other words, I think they’d be better served teaching children how to be better ARTISTS than better vandals.

    And I don’t buy their thesis that graffiti is used as a form of activism. Maybe SOMETIMES, but hardly ever. They didn’t even show an example of this in the video. But they do reveal the real reason people get into graffiti: its “fun,” at everyone else’s expense.

  2. thesamurai1200 says:

    You must be a middle-aged house wife… I mean, what sort of DIY or artsy person gets a bad taste left in their mouth by the discussion of LED throwies as a “gateway drug of graffiti”? That phrase is so popular, you knew INSTANTLY what they meant when they said it.

    Anyway, it is not the GRL’s job to help you decide what is right or wrong. Even if THEY do something illegal, it does not mean you SHOULD go out and do the same. Have some personal responsibility.

    To anyone else: Didn’t the GRL deny having any involvement with the Err LED panel which eventually turned into the Boston bomb scare?

  3. grobbins says:

    Yes, i understood the gateway drug metaphor…perhaps you do not get the “bad taste in my mouth” metaphor? It means it left me feeling a bit uncomfortable because as they were saying this, they showed video of toddlers tagging a school bus, all with an air of being some kind of educational community outreach group. It seemed a bit irresponsible to me. Like they said, in the end all they really care about is website hits.

    As for personal responsibility, that argument isn’t even an argument. I have personal responsibility obviously, as I’m not participating in an of this. But what of GRL’s personal responsibility? They are teaching and encouraging activities which a responsible person, as you say, should never do? At worst, that seems profoundly irresponsible and at best a complete waste of time.

    Gotta go, lots of housewife-type chores to take care of!

  4. habitatforhubris says:

    I gotta agree that the GRL is better seen and not heard. I find their ideas to be kind of interesting, but they sound so full of themselves that I get sick of them so quickly.

    Throwies are fun, sure, but how is that an introduction to graffiti? And why do we need more boring graffiti? Sure, there are some interesting letterforms out there, but the vast majority of it is crap that gets cleaned up and paid for by others. Thanks, guys, for writing your name over and over. Really tweaks my static worldview.

    Want to be creative? Buy a canvas. Can’t afford that? Start working on paper or cardboard or anything else.

  5. Volkemon says:


    You the same person that used to post as samurai1200? If so, please go back to the old meds. These new ones make you so troll like…

    If not, well, ’nuff said!

    The boston scare- the best thing about that was the ‘that’s not a hair question’ interview.

  6. Cybasumo says:

    I just found out about a new website that helps musicians, artists, writers etc. to sell their work online without the need to go through record labels, publishing houses and all that stuff… It’s called – you sign up for free and they give you a free store on their website to sell your work through. They also offer a software widget that you can put on your myspace or facebook (or blog) to help you sell your work directly to your friends. They just started up this week, it’s probably worth checking out…


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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