Department of Rhetoric and Writing

The University of Texas at Austin

street art

What is graffiti and who does it belong to?

A photograph of Shepherd Fairey's inaugural designs on the HOPE Outdoor Gallery in Austin.

Image Credit: Geoff Hargadon

This week on viz. we'll be exploring graffiti culture in Austin and beyond, beginning with an interactive graffiti map that we'll use to begin archiving graffiti in and around the community in which we live.  Please visit and contribute!

In this post, I'd like to introduce some issues central to reading graffiti as both a performative and political act.  I take as my primary examples the HOPE Outdoor Gallery on 11th St. and Baylor in Austin's Clarksville neighborhood and graffiti from inside a now-demolished bicycle shop that once operated in West Campus.  Using these examples, I'd like to explore definitions of graffiti and raise questions of property and ownership in public spaces.  Join our interactive mapping project and follow our posts this week as we take a closer look at Austin graffiti.

Read more about What is graffiti and who does it belong to?

Subscribe to RSS - street art