How-To: Looptaggr spraypaints messages over and over

Craft & Design
How-To: Looptaggr spraypaints messages over and over


The latest from art pranksters Ariel Schlesinger and Aram Bartholl in Germany is Looptaggr, a simple fixture for a spraypaint can that spins a stencil in front of the nozzle, effectively printing the same message over and over in a line. Photo tutorial included.



52 thoughts on “How-To: Looptaggr spraypaints messages over and over

  1. Dexter says:

    people spraying on other peoples property.

  2. Tim Lewallen says:

    Hurray for vandalism!

    C’mon Make, you’re better than this.

  3. Two Replies says:

    Funny how he puts plastic over his hand to protect it and his coat (ie HIS personal property) from the paint…

  4. ironcladmvtm says:

    people calm down! cool idea.
    I like that its a “hello world” infinite loop!
    the walls he did this on must be owned by the people above…

  5. says:

    … To let us know that this clever idea we’re reading about can be used to commit crimes.

    Thank God they’re here!

    1. Two Replies says:

      … To sarcastically let everyone know how they’re looking down upon other thread participants.

      Thank God that they’re such better people than everyone else!
      Lawdy, what would we do without their obviously superior opinions and grasp of the obvious!

  6. noise_is_life says:

    Nice idea.

  7. autoankauf says:

    Oh … this is´nt correct. Ariel Schlesinger is no German, but an Israeli. He has grown up in Israel, and has studied in Jerusalem in the academy of art and design and in NY in the School of Visual Arts. In Germany he lives only at the moment, however, his right place of residence is Tel Aviv.

    1. Becky Stern says:


  8. tonyv says:

    Unless he owns the building, he is just a vandal. I can’t believe MAKE would cover a %$#@-head like this!

  9. noise_is_life says:

    Considering how much this upset people, I suppose there’s slim chance of Make blog writing up my DIY kitten grinder.

    1. ironcladmvtm says:

      Perfect Comment.

  10. craig says:

    Remember that American 10 years ago in Singapore that was lashed with a cane before being deported for spray painting cars? This moron proudly attaches his name and photos online to his criminal activity. Let’s hope there’s caining in Germany also. Or at least a property owner with an abusive temper.

  11. jasony says:

    I’ll be around sometime next month to sprayvpaint “this is not vandalism” all over the side of the Make offices.

    Educational, Makerish, and ironic all at once!

    1. Becky Stern says:

      Not all of us work from the office each day, I for one love the graffiti here in NYC!

      1. volkemon says:

        Glad you enjoy the ‘art’ of graffiti, but here small buisnesses get FINED for not painting over the ‘art’ that these ‘artists’ leave, as some has been linked to gang territory activity.

        Now if there was *any* other use suggested for this invention besides defacing property, I might be a little more understanding of why it is in MAKE.

        1. Becky Stern says:

          You could totally rig this up with spray chalk and your bike, leaving a nonpermament message on the road, where nobody gets fined for not painting over it. The mechanism is fun and makery, that’s why I posted it.

          1. volkemon says:

            Hmm… I agree that one could MAKE a device that would do your spray chalk idea, but I really dont agree that it is applicable to this post. (Also…I have not researched it, but I would imagine that adding non-approved markings to lanes of traffic is also illegal, as the lines and markings applied to pavement are done so for safety and guidance of the motoring public. Adding your own ‘artwork’ might not be a wise, safe, or legal idea. Even should you not choose to use an automobile, please respect others’ right to do so safely. FWIW)

            Tagging things you dont own is vandalism, pure and simple. The device just reduces the exposure time of the criminal, and expands the damage they can do in that time.

            And please, dont get me wrong. I am NOT for the ‘Nanny State’ that guards us from every possible danger. I am a Darwin Award fan :) I do MANY things that would be considered unwise/dangerous/’a waste of time’ by others, things I consider fun. I can even respect that a ‘cross in a jar of urine’ is art, as the items defaced (or augmented)are the possesions of the artist.

            But defacing other’s property, and/or broadcasting new and efficient methods to do it is not correct, IMO. Obviously, your opinion is different (“The mechanism is fun and makery..”) and I respect that.

            THANK YOU for allowing a conservative point of view to be expressed. Still a happy subscriber, and look forward to the next issue. :)

          2. volkemon says:

            Scroll down to “Tim Lewallen” (couple posts down, if this posts where I think it will ).

            It states what I felt, and does so almost perfectly.

            But to be fair, I have no knowledge as to the ownership of the wall pictured with the artists work on it. That may very well be permissible activity. I also recognize that other aspiring…artists… may not be wall owners, and would most likely paint at will ;)

            @Becky- THANKS for informing me of the product ‘Spray Chalk’ ! I had no idea such a thing existed. Not earth changing :) but something I can use in my decorating. I have 1200 lights on a VW microbus, but was hesitant to spray paint it. NOW it is a different story.

            COMMENTS RULE!!

          3. alwaysbeenamaker says:

            I really appreciate your ideas, how you expressed them, and your “tone” in your post here – I come from a different (?maybe opposite? I don’t know) point of view: I am (and always have been) an artist; I am not a conservative (but my family of origin IS); I am the mother of a son (now almost 19) who has been arrested several times for graffiti/vandalism. I have had to think (and feel) deeply about art, vandalism, anonymity, ownership, property rights, the law, and the public good. My whole family has had to experience the legal and logistical consequences (such as probation, no overnights away from home, and having to get permission from his probation officer to even go outside of the county we live in, to name just a few) of my son’s multiple arrests (all while he was still a minor, fortunately; however, it will still take lawyers and $$$ to permanently seal those records).

            I love art. I love doing art. I love it that my son loves art, and loves doing it. I love what I have learned from him about new (to me) and different ways of making art in the world; he has greatly expanded my thinking about this. I love that he has expanded my whole concept and definition of art. But that has also come at a cost: to his “canvases” (owners of properties he defaced), to his family (legal fees, tumultuous relationship, loss of trust), and to himself (I think you get the picture).

            A Very Major Conclusion that I have come to (and it is a corollary of laws about property rights and vandalism, which are primary) is this: DO ART/DO NO HARM/MAKE SOMETHING BETTER. There is a huge range of possibility within this. It can still contain what I call “Nocturnal Anonymous Public Works.” But these must also 1) be impermanent/ephemeral/non-damaging (chalk works are in this category, as are many other things), and 2) not cause danger, harm, or distraction to anyone (this includes not distracting the viewer and thus causing an accident). These are all lessons that our family learned “The Hard Way.”

            Kudos to Alan and to Tim (above) for non-tagging ideas about this hack, and of course to volkemon (to whom I am replying) for his/her wonderfully well-written, open, & respectful dissent about it. I am new here (this is my first post), and so far I really like what I’m seeing about the way that people communicate. How very refreshing!

            p.s. my son jettisoned his anonymity, and is now attending one of the top art schools in this country.

          4. volkemon says:


            I can appreciate the hours/days/years of thought that could distill such a complex arguement into one phrase.

            Now to make up a ‘multi colored spray chalk hand roller stencil’ with the message, and spray it far and wide :)

            The wording is perfect for the blog and (IMO) equal to the “If you can’t open it, you don’t own it” phrase. (My Favorite!)

            The phrase does leave the whole discussion there for what ‘harm’ may be in each case; but leaves the fact that it is art, and an artist thought it made things look better, out of the focus.

            BTW- I (volkemon) am a ‘He’, FWIW, and was a ‘challenging’ teenage boy for my Mom also. I also purged my minor record. On the up-and-up ever since. BEST to you and your son.

          5. alwaysbeenamaker says:

            YOU are an open, wonderful, stand-up guy. I so appreciate your warm reply. It sounds like you have lived, from my son’s perspective, what it is to be a writer. Thank you so much for giving me that info so I would know that you really do understand. I understand the pull, the draw, of that. And yes, hours/days/years of thought went into distilling my words into that phrase.

            I had to get beyond the “parental” (authority figure) hurt and anger, in order to understand (as both mother and artist) and connect with my son. The way I did that was to try to understand him through the kind of art he was doing, and trying to experience what he was “getting” from it. I do understand what that is now. But I had to “go there” myself in order to understand it. That is how I came up with “Rules for Myself,” which is what that phrase is. I had to figure out how far I was willing to go in order to understand. And I learned a lot about my own values in the process. It was worth the time and effort.

            Question (to anyone and everyone): What would we ever do, without kids (and it doesn’t matter whose they are…), who make us BE who we truly ARE, and reveal ourselves to OurSelves?

          6. alwaysbeenamaker says:

            An important question – I had to put myself in situations in which a line might be crossed (by Me; I take full responsibility) in order to understand first, that a “line” even existed, and then, where it actually WAS (for me). I emphasize the word “might” – because I didn’t cross it. But this exercise/practice has helped me to see what a subjective thing that line can be for the DO-er.

            So, I think that to answer questions about harm and to know where the line is, I have to look at whether I am being respectful to the DO-ee (wall, lawn, sink, street, any “ground” or canvas that is owned by not-me). If I think any bad reaction or feeling will result, I don’t do it. That is a choice I make – to leave my tiny little ego out of it, and to go for humor, surprise, and delight instead. Those are SO much more powerful and contagious and positive. The world needs those things. A tiny jewell of a surprise can change a person’s whole day. Then that person changes another person’s day . . .

            Thanks for your BEST; back at ya!

            Ǚ Ÿ Ǖ Ǘ Ṳ Ẅ ȫ

        2. Alan says:

          My first thought on seeing this was “wow, you could use a rig just like that to stencil a pattern around a room.” If you were careful about overspray, you could achieve a nice neo-Victorian look in very little time.

          My second thought was “how about putting powdered chalk in it and using it for specially printed lines on a playing field?” I bet a slightly more sophisticated version would be a hit with groundskeepers.

          Of course, my third thought was “this could be used for vandalism, so I’m sure the commenters will be in full-flame mode.”

          Thanks, Becky and Make, for posting a clever hack even though you knew you’d catch hell for it.

  12. Tim Lewallen says:

    Sure, there are all sorts of legitimate and legal uses for a device like this, but none of those were shown.

    Make has posted other devices that could have both legitimate and illegitimate uses but Make has always shown the proper use for those devices – spud guns, a fully automatic BB gun, various hidden microphone and camera rigs, heck even flamethrowers.

    Make never demonstrated how you could shoot pledging freshmen with a spud gun, shoot out department store windows with a BB gun, spy on and blackmail your neighbors or roast puppies with a flame thrower.

    This same device could have been shown creating repeating patterns for a camouflage blind, flames for a soap box derby car or as you said – stencil a border in a room.

    Instead we get to see a punk vandalizing property belonging to someone else.

  13. vernon marsh says:

    you all make good points. clever is clever, and this devise is clever, too clever not to post I’d say. I don’t like getting my property tagged but I assume Make fans are not vandals and are unlikely to use this for that purpose.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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