Urban Surfaces, Graffiti, and the Right to the City

Urban Surfaces, Graffiti, and the Right to the City

 
Edition number: 1
Publisher: Routledge
Date of Publication:
 
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Product details:

ISBN13:9781032016559
ISBN10:1032016558
Binding:Hardback
No. of pages:212 pages
Size:234x156 mm
Weight:550 g
Language:English
Illustrations: 53 Illustrations, color; 53 Halftones, color
791
Category:
Short description:

This landmark book focuses entirely on urban surfaces, on exploring their authorship and management, and their role in struggles for the right to the city.

Long description:

This landmark book focuses on urban surfaces, on exploring their authorship and management, and on their role in struggles for the right to the city.


Graffiti, pristine walls, advertising posters, and municipal signage all compete on city surfaces to establish and imprint their values on our environments. It is the first time that the surfacescapes of our cities are granted the entire attention of a book as material, visual, and legal territories. The book includes a critical history of graffiti and street art as contested surface discourses and argues for surfaces as sites of resistance against private property, neoliberal creativity, and the imposition of urban order. It also proposes a seven-point manual for a semiotics of urban surfaces, laying the ground for a new discipline: surface studies.


Page after page and layer after layer, surfaces become porous and political and emerge as key spatial conditions for rethinking and re-practicing urban dwelling and spatial justice. They become what the author terms the surface commons.


The book will appeal to a wide readership across the disciplines of urban studies, architectural theory and design, graffiti, street art and public art, criminology, semiotics, visual culture, and urban and legal geography. It will also serve as a tool for city scholars, policy makers, artists, and vandals to disrupt existing imaginaries of order, justice, and visibility in cities.



?Sabina Andron invites us to surface ? to come up for air or for light ? in the ways that we think about cities. Andron?s beautifully nuanced account shows us that every surface is an archive bearing the history of its making, use, re-use, subversion or adaptation. In flipping our attention away from isolated signs, texts and images, Andron shows how spatial justice in the public city is a matter of surfaces.?


Alison Young, The University of Melbourne, Australia


?Andron not only provides a unique and revealing account of graffiti and street art, but instigates a whole new way of thinking about architecture and cities. By ?interviewing? walls as paint, signs and scripts, she reveals hidden depths of politics, justice, legislation, contestation and transgression. Anyone interested in the experience of the contemporary city should read this provocative and original book.?


Iain Borden, Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, UK


?In this innovative study, Sabina Andron makes a persuasive case for the fundamental importance of what walls display to senses of publicness in cities. She beautifully evokes the visual richness and diversity of what vertical surfaces carry, as well as offering a distinctive semiotic methodology for interpreting the entangled images and texts visible on urban walls.?


Gillian Rose, University of Oxford, UK


?This is the book that most comprehensively engages our urban surfaces, their materials and inscriptions, drawing us as a public in motion nearer to a pluriversal we cannot do without, enabling us to experience cities in entirely new ways, beyond property and category. Surfacing a vital way for urban scholars from all disciplines to think together.?


AbdouMaliq Simone, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield, UK

Table of Contents:

Introduction: the city of surfaces 1


1 Surface semiotics: a manual for knowing surfaces 9


1. The places of discourse are fundamental to the production of meaning 10


2. Signification takes place in localised aggregates 14


3. Surfaces are thick and alive 20


4. Dirt is a crime 24


5. Order is white 29


6. Visibility generates value 33


7. Text makes space, and the city makes us literate 38


8. Surface betrayals and restitutions 42


9. Conclusion, or six proposals for the significance of signs and surfaces 45


10. Wall interview 48


2 Beyond art and crime: a critical history of graffiti and street art 58


1. Wall writing is a time portal 59


2. Graffiti is only a name 63


3. Every tag is collectively authored 65


4. The writing is not on the wall 69


5. Fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy 72


6. Gallery walls redeem urban walls 78


7. Street art is a different name 82


8. The image is not on the wall 85


9. Authoritarianism comes in beautiful colours 90


10. Urban creativity is a well-oiled machine 96


11. Street art sold my city 101


Conclusion, or six proposals against institutional appropriations 105


3 Law and graffiti: property, crime, and the surface commons 116


1. Law is everywhere; everywhere is law 117


2. Surfaces complicate property regimes 122


3. The right to the city is the right to the surface 126


4. Writing on walls has a long history of regulation 130


5. Graffiti offends against property and order 133


6. Offence is an ambiguous affair 138


7. The majority decides what is proper 141


8. The argument against art 147


Conclusion, or five proposals for a surface commons 149


4 Leake Street London: legal walls and deep surfaces 159


1. Ownership is tedious 161


2. Street art is just the beginning 163


3. Not all legal walls are created equal 166


4. Graffiti knows no boundaries 168


5. 100 Days of Leake Street is not enough 172


6. Tagging is pro-social 174


7. Eat drink shop graffiti 180


Conclusion, or five proposals for learning from Leake Street 186


Conclusion: cultural heritage and the right to the surface city 190


The right to the city is the right to the surface: a manifesto 197


Acknowledgements 199


Index 201