chapter  5
36 Pages

Marks

The marking of space and the battle for space has become paramount, as artwork within the public domain, however executed or finished, has collided with the privatization of space. The critical debate around the making of marks on, between, around and within built space has moved from questions concerning the morality and motivation of the act, to a discourse around the demarcation, control and ownership of space. The predominant characteristic of a visual culture is the predatory regime of inscription. As a human characteristic, inscription clearly has its roots firmly grounded in pre-history, however painted narratives found in caves bear little relation to a seemingly futile culture of grafting a sign with no meaning onto any available urban surface. In this respect graffiti can be directly compared to branding, not to cave painting, and subsequently bound within a post-modern context.