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boxcarwilly

philosophy.

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recently i have been reading philosophy/exsistentialism crazy stuff i dunno... just wondering if anyone is reading deep (ie, jung, kierkegaard, sartre etc)

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cant say ive read any of them although im somewhat familiar with jung. more-so as filtered through people who studied him but still.... im always down for the discussion...

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Ive been reading Nietzche and Freud. Great stuff. Huxley is good too. I see Orwell as a modern philosopher. His books are spectacular. Ive also been taking a great interest in classical music. I dunno. a big step for me i guess

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i was basically wanting to spark a semi-existentialist discussion on how we as writers are in terms of soul and being, within a habitat like the us and what if like certain projects that have been done if we placed graffiti outside of the urban in forests caves etc. so ill throw out a little of what i am thinking and see what i get in return.

i am reading a lot of kierkegaard (k.) these days and i may be off the mark by saying he is similar to a graffiti artist who like myself is disgusted with the hierarchy of graffiti, he is a Christian fed up with the Churches. so the basic love is there the love for Christ in K. is similar to my love for graffiti, but where the disgust and breakdown comes is in the political motives of most painters, graffiti by nature is a very existential form of expression, bam here i am i exist i am here and i am being i am doing, but within that also lies a animal like reference to territoriality, i am here this is mine you arent get away, or even when pushed to an individual extreme this is MY style, read phantom clown interview about the fact that letters are not anyones just expansions on the laws of lettering, so this touches on a dilemma that i am in, wanting to not only do graffiti but not have any restrictions, thus losing letter form and abstracting a movement or a texture or the mood of a certain letter, without being called an art fag, but that is a progression of being, a dead letter is an example of being i am here i am in your face, but a style is a little more defined, it is something that not only says i am here but this is me as well. but what happens when the convention is broken down and the style is not a style anymore it is a concept existing only in execution rather then overwriting the letterforms for sake of legibility and identification does the writer cease to exist, is he no longer because his feelings are either letter forms stamped into his subconscious by influence or is he being solely based on ups, so is a break from conventional forms and styles and absorbing mood without form a progression or a regression, admittedly graffiti is letter form but does it stop being graffiti because the letters dont exist while a color scheme or a mood and textural reference to what that letter means to the writer?

as for graffiti in non urban environments i think personally the existence of someone there claiming a home for an piece of art is a good enough reason to climb rocks for paintings sake, but it has to fit. into the placement category, it has to enhance not detract, a sign or a painting needs to fit with its surroundings assume the mood of the place rather then be misplaced, well even that can work i know some landscape artists that were working with things like that transporting desert sand to concrete jungles and vice versa but when letters are placed is it better to blend and be there as a natural state or go against and be on its own with the growth of its area.

 

probably a babble and dont know if i even understand what i wrote.

but any elaboration or even questions would be cool. this is what happens when youve been writing for a while and you go a little nuts because you in addition to still painting are trying to find yourself as a being. sorry if you read this and didnt get anything out of it and i wasted your time.

 

jobe.existential?

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Im actually more into authors such as Noam Chomsky, Max Stirner and Murray Bookchin. but ill elaborate on what you said:

 

 

but what happens when the convention of a piece is broken down and the style is not a style anymore, the opposite is seen as the normal people wondering: "Why dont these people get jobs" Though when it is not opposing they wonder why it happens.

 

as for graffiti in non urban environments i think personally the existence of someone there claiming a home for an piece of art is a good enough reason to climb rocks for paintings sake, but it has to fit. into the placement category, it has to enhance not detract, a sign or a painting needs to fit with its surroundings assume the mood of the place rather then be misplaced, well even that can work i know some landscape artists that were working with things like that transporting desert sand to concrete jungles and vice versa but when letters are placed is it better to blend and be there as a natural state or go against and be on its own with the growth of its area.

 

Lets dicuss a little graffiti association. When I generally think of graffit a mental picture from the book 1984 comes into my immediate mind. I quickly envision a site of towering building, in a scummy type area (Even though in 1984, it was church)

I look at the area, next to the impoverished area, where the proles live. That gives you that sense your in a slum, or ghetto area. So your at that point where you your just about full of taking all the little hints that youre entering a 'bad neighborhood' And then you see the the straw that broke the camels back. Graffiti, Its there, vibrant as ever in contrasting bolors like yellow, black and white..Its big, It has style but you can only make out some of the letters. Its on the vacant side of a industrial, or commercial type establishment. That sticks in your mind the minute before you enter the impoverished area. That last thing that was the first indicator that told you, where you really are.

It isnt always a bad area, in more times then any its a major city, but when that happens the graffiti strikes you more as a surprise, which is also good.

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i dont exactly have time to read the larger posts.. right now i am reading socrates cafe its good so far.. but.. i havent had time to really get into it.

 

------------------

yes.. yes i am.

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i've only read Nietzche so far, to me i believe graff IS an urban artform, i believe, that for a piece of art to fit into an area that isn't urban it would have to be something else besides letters, letters wouldn't work, mayben they would, but you'd have to pull it off, which would be hard.

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jobe,

 

You have made alot of interesting points about the philosophy related to graffiti. I have definitely thought about the same topics and devised similar proposals. I wish we couldve hung out during my short stay a few years ago. I definitely realize the existentialism that goes along with graffiti. Seeing your own tag is proof that you are alive and a mark for where you have been. Yes, It is also obvious about the marking of territory, but what i find interesting is the concept of freights. Making a mark with the idea that it is going to move without you having to travel. Its fucking brilliant and yet so simple. Graffiti artists are amazing because they are so much more aware of thier surroundings and who is interacting with them then the "civilians" in the graffiti network. I find it amazing that people can just disregard these markings as if they are not even there, and not have the ability to look at it as an artform and not necissarily as vandalism. I dont think graffiti looks threatening at a glance but its probably because i am used to it. I associate certain tags with the person that i know who did them. If the person is cool then i find it sort of comforting. Like im not alone in society. That is how it is like 1984. The majority of the society that is exposed to graffiti through media and conditioned beliefs will never think twice about what it really means to the people who do it. We are the ones who have broken free and youre damn right that its better to keep it anonymous, because of the damn idiots running this society. I think in other countries, like Germany and such, graffiti is looked upon as something more and it is progressing at a sort of light speed. Its like Japanimation compared to American cartoons. The artists in japan are respected like doctors and are therefore willing to put much more care into thier artwork. Noone realizes just how long it takes to make an episode of scooby-doo. Frankly i dont think most americans really care and that is why we will remain stagnant in certain aspects. especially graffiti which is negatively looked upon. We are truly a subculture.

 

there.

 

peace

 

Drop

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Originally posted by dropone:

. I find it amazing that people can just disregard these markings as if they are not even there, and not have the ability to look at it as an artform and not necissarily as vandalism. I dont think graffiti looks threatening at a glance but its probably because i am used to it. I associate certain tags with the person that i know who did them. If the person is cool then i find it sort of comforting. Like im not alone in society. That is how it is like 1984. The majority of the society that is exposed to graffiti through media and conditioned beliefs will never think twice about what it really means to the people who do it. We are the ones who have broken free and youre damn right that its better to keep it anonymous, because of the damn idiots running this society. I think in other countries, like Germany and such, graffiti is looked upon as something more and it is progressing at a sort of light speed. Its like Japanimation compared to American cartoons. The artists in japan are respected like doctors and are therefore willing to put much more care into thier artwork. Noone realizes just how long it takes to make an episode of scooby-doo. Frankly i dont think most americans really care and that is why we will remain stagnant in certain aspects. especially graffiti which is negatively looked upon. We are truly a subculture.

 

there.

 

peace

 

Drop

 

oh most definatly. weather or not it is based on a positive element of urban life or not the fact is that graffiti has gained a social, psychological, and even economical scene all its own, and if it were encouraged would evolve immensly, especially in a culture like america with celeberties being treated as god-like dieties.

 

what do you think the difference is (psychologically) between "us" and "them"? is it merely that we write our names on shit and draw on walls? or is it to fullfill a deeper yearning of a widely recognizable(sp), or famous, personal identity in the urban mega-villages, where there are 2 million other bleak empty stares?

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I think graff can be made to fit wherever..from forests, alleys, trains, cars,,anywhere.It must be adapted to the sitiuation.Like a cholo influenced tag in suburban areas doesn't click in my eyes as being it's own entitiy.I think it is possible to make graff appear as if it were alive..and suppposed to be there.Adaptation is part of what can seperate a writer from the masses.Writers usually can acclimate to almost all environments.A painted cave in the middle of the woods is good..but it must take into consideration what it is you are doing.You don't want to do a white fill with black shadow,,it throws off the vibe of the arrea and shouts of capitalism and our disregard for our roots as humans.But if you were to use grays, greens and browns...now you are talking.I also think that graff has power..it can wake someone out of their slumber like state, and force them to deal with the direct reality at hand....NOW!~ Writing itself...as in lettering...is an ancient art form dating as far back as we know.Scribes were some of the most noble people in society and were used to document holy issues, and the life and times of the people.We are only contiung the tradition.Sure we have a bit of a warped sense of it since we tend to only push our names, but we are also practicing elborate contraptions and designs in our letters.Graff takes on a life of it's own as soon as it is wriiten.We as writers have a chance at power..real power.We could be a unified political movement if we wanted to.We could change anything we wanted to.We have entire units of law enforcement dedicated to riiding society of our words and voices.We could overthrow and influence anything we want.Instead, we push a name, a crew and a statement from time to time.Imagine a force of writers going out each nite with an agenda..a political or social agenda..to get power back to us.,.,.the people..say to boot a mayor..or whatever..We would reek havok in one nite alone.We are some of the best advertisers in the planet..Like in some foreign countries, political groups will take credit for a certain political sabotage act by having someone declare it on the walls for all to see.When this occurs here in the US..I don't know, but hopefully we as writers will wake up one day and seize the actual power we have at our fingertips..literally.

Peace

Sailor Jack

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uhoh this is opening up more cans of worms than i expected, i personally was more concerned with the style factor, like the breakdown of letter form in relation to a writers personality, but now that we have hit on the existentialism of freights ill see what i can babble about, trains are out of their environment if considered urban, desert yards, steel mill towns etc, so there is graffiti taken out of its original element and put on the move, i think the majority of train painters have a different mentality than a street bomber, compare a earsnot mindset with a nims mind set both paint or have painted alot, but one is more interested in the then (i may be talking out my ass) while the street bomber is into the now. a train has to run for a while before all the intended audience catches it out, while if you live in an urban area you wake up and can notice the change in the environment. especially if it is big and wooly it takes over its landscape, while a train confines itself to a certain proportion even whole cars. there is a limit, but the streets the limit is you. i dont know i have a tendency to bable and come out stream of consciousness so it never makes any sense.

as for the psychology of an urban environment in terms of people that is a whole other book to write. i can be simple and say most are sheep for example if confronted with a painter at least in my city while painting they will look on, there arent many heroes in Boston. what i have realized is that people dont notice their surroundings unless they are a writer, even cops will roll by and not even look one way because they dont expect. they dont expect you to be a subvert to be in a dark alley to be in a train yard but when they do see it if they arent a cop they dont know how to react, the common misconception of a writer is that they are in a gang or will kill you which may or may not be true and assumptive as people may be that is a danger situation and usually leave it alone. i dont know the pschology of personality of an urban social structure is broken down easily into the sheep and the deviants so that can be brought on for a while.

 

as for sailor jacks post on the political aspect of graff that isnt what i was aiming for i think due to the fact that writers come from so many different backgrounds that a unity would never come the only thing we can agree on is ultra flat black smells hella good everything else is a debate.

 

i am just a little upset that more people dont give a shit about the philosophy of their lifestyle and that anal sex and jumex oj are more important.

 

jobe.

 

[This message has been edited by boxcarwilly (edited 04-16-2001).]

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writers have always noticed their environments more than your average person..... most people tend to block almost everything out because they are numb from all advertising blanketng the cities. alot of writers are trying to make people take more notice of their environments and that you can have many more visual stimuli other than a McDonalds or Nike ad.

 

i love seeing art on walls and in doorways, it lets you know that there is something else out there other than “buy, buy, buy”, but the masses believe only those huge corporations that can shell out the loot can put their tag, (woops, i mean ad) all over the city. but it's wrong for us to do it?....the only people that can have a voice are businesses with tons and tons of money?...i dont fuckin think so!

 

graffiti is a little reminder to the rest of the world that we dont need to accept all of the ads and shit as the only thing allowed on the streets. it's ok to have a highway lined for miles with billboards for cigarettes and beer, neon signs, trucks and buses all covered with ads, and forget election time when every dirty-ass politician has more stickers and flyers running than we do, and everything else, but we can't have our art anywhere? why? because it wasnt a designated to some spot decided by some suits in city-hall? they can cover the city with all their ugly-ass shit, but we cant put some real fuckin art anywhere?....even under bridges and tunnels? cmon now.

 

people need to wake up and yell a big hearty FUCK YOU to all that bull-shit.

 

im rambling. i just get all worked up sometimes.

sorry this post doesn’t make too much sence, im a little retarded.

 

my two cents.

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Originally posted by Sailor Jack:

We as writers have a chance at power..real power.We could be a unified political movement if we wanted to.We could change anything we wanted to.We have entire units of law enforcement dedicated to riiding society of our words and voices.We could overthrow and influence anything we want.Instead, we push a name, a crew and a statement from time to time.Imagine a force of writers going out each nite with an agenda..a political or social agenda..to get power back to us.,.,.the people..say to boot a mayor..or whatever..We would reek havok in one nite alone.We are some of the best advertisers in the planet..Like in some foreign countries, political groups will take credit for a certain political sabotage act by having someone declare it on the walls for all to see.When this occurs here in the US..I don't know, but hopefully we as writers will wake up one day and seize the actual power we have at our fingertips..literally.

Peace

Sailor Jack

 

I think even if alot of the responses , even if off topic, are very important. alot of writers today dont even realize what they are unintentionally doing. What sailor jack says here is very true. It reminds me of the movie Turk 182. If you havent seen it you should.

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Guest dBUSH

Pardon me but isn't philosophy a bunch of idealistic crap? Ive read some Sartre and others and they write well, but I really doubt that isnt the way the world works- not the society we (USA) live in anyways. Ive bought into the existentialist ideology for a little while and it kinda helps in do or die split second judgements (bombing) but it really does nothing for me to keep my real world obligations in order. And yes, these are two entirely different things. I am in the process of merging the two- not an easy task. You people talk of graffiti as the only life you lead, and if that is the case I dont know whether to be jealous or pity you.

Here is a question to ponder: Is a legal piece to be considered an existentialist act, or does it simply reflect the philosophy's influence in our particular movement. Does the legality of what we do even matter in this sense, or is it still a mark that says 'I was here' ie 'I exsist(ed). I think that judgements are made when bombing that almost never come into play when doing a legal piece, and vice versa.

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i dont know if id consider graffiti as the only life i lead, but it is a huge part of my life which tends to influence every facet of my existence. i think legal walls versus illegal painting is a part of a cultural ideaology, and depending on what you want to risk that is what you get. if you do legals without having a back up to your illegal existence i personally think you have failed a major part of the movement, ideaology whatever you want to call it. if you strictly bomb i dont think the limit is there like a strictly legal painter. existing as a writer here i am i am everywhere i am in your face entails a portion of illegality.

graffiti is idealistic, unless broken from the norm, like i tried to open this up about, there is guidelines to lettering and handstyles and those guidelines apply to graffiti as a whole, and what i want to hear about is what if only a certain part of those guidelines are foollowed like the letter loses everything except only a couple facets of its original form, when you think of a j what texture does it have , not shape texture, what color do you see it as... is that regress or progress?

graff is ideological within each individual writer thus making it philosophical within your definition dbush.

 

just small thoughts.

jobe

 

[This message has been edited by boxcarwilly (edited 04-16-2001).]

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philosophy is the shit. i havent read any of that other shit you said, ill check it out.

 

when i first thought of reading it i thought it would be on some bullshit, once i started reading, i was deep into that shit.

 

big thumbs up.

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i can definately see the reference to a 1984 type seen, i picture graffiti exactly how it is in its urban conception, boston, nyc, la how i have experienced it first person, i see tags over tags and throws and i know what they went through to handle the spot, but i was talking about what happens when an urban artform (if thats what our minds consider graff) moves to a seriously out of place spot.

as for your style reference bot i dont quite get where you are going with it... me just reading into and out of things too much...

 

jobe.

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........oh man.

 

Jobe, you come off as a kid who got a B+ in intro to philosophy, and is trying to get the local little league coach to apply the socratic method.

 

we are all impressed by your ability to drop important names. however, it seems to stop there.

 

what the fuck?

to over-intellectualize this is pointless.

 

 

basically.....

 

im sure peter pan needed therapy and ritalin, but that would have made for a crappy story.

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jobe, from what i read about "what you are thinking" it seems like you are taking a step into being a "deep" individual. your intellectual wordings and phrasing about letters and styles and how they reflect your thinkings or whatever is over doing it. it seems like you want to sound elite on this little board so people are like "wow, dont dis him, he's mad deep doood!" when in truth its a pile of "hard-to-understand" words and names of philosophers people never heard of usually cuz not many people get into it much. you are learning philosophy, its cool huh? yeah i love it. but, its even better when you already have your own philosophy instead of adopting the thoughts/beliefs of others. be you. follow you. make your own philosophy. you may be posting this stuff because of the way it feels to read about such a unique topic, but that doesnt make you more unique. i read books about malformed little dinosaurs trying to get xmas gifts and getting stabbed in the head with an elephant tusk...but it doesnt mean im gonna post topics about dinosaurs and how they relate to my style and how cops are like an elephant tusk stabbing me and the xmas gift is like the feeling i get after doing a piece. wow...see i made sence even out of the most random thing...its not hard.

 

im not trying to dis you off, but i just didnt like how you were trying to raise yourself up using the ladder of philosophy and tying into graff so people who dont think twice are like "i feel you dun. word man".

 

when i read on satanism and anton lavey, i didnt post about how my graff style resembles the satanic philosophy, because, at least to me, graff is letters. theres some feeling, but it only goes too far...

 

do you see at all what im saying?

 

peace

 

 

 

------------------

???666MAKROS666???

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basically this post for me was a way of finding where others stood, if they just wrote with the excuse of it being fun or if it had some meaning to them other then a selfish fix. i don't try to be deep in fact, the deeper anyone goes into trying to find out who they really are and why there actions are done we find ourselves really shallow its kind of sick.

jobe.

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i could be wrong but....did you ever think that jobe isn't just trying to look inetlligent or deep, and that maybe he really is? he's just trying to discuss what he thinks is important, and i see where he's coming from, of course what he's talking about could be bullshit, but if you look at anything long enough, it's all bullshit, love, life, and even art. and as for making up your own philosophy, that's cool, but then it's just as bullshit as anyone elses philosophy. i say read everyone else's philosophy then make up your own out of what you've researched, this way you're not pulling something out of your ass.

 

and jobe i've been meaning to reply to your inital question but i haven't had the time to sit down, think, and type anything intelligent in response.

 

i think we need more of these types of threads.with serious discussion. we all need to think sometimes..

 

one..

,kese

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bump. cmon noones given me their opinion on my lettering thought.

j.

 

ps never taken philosophy in my life.

 

[This message has been edited by boxcarwilly (edited 04-19-2001).]

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