chapter  8
14 Pages

‘All your drains belong to us’

Young people and the non-representational geographies of public art in drain tunnels
WithCandice Boyd

This chapter describes the 'therapeutic-ness' of drain environments, in reference to the range of peripheral practices that it encompasses and the needs of young people in an industrial age. It explains the promise of non-representational theory in geography to create alternative accounts of subterranean graffiti practice – a de-centred account, an example of 'sound writing', and a description of peripheral practices. Taken together, they reveal the complexities of the drain environment, its sonic power, and its potential for thrilling, daring and provocative encounters. The chapter outlines a period of fieldwork in drain tunnels of Melbourne, Australia, which incorporates a poetic account based on a soundscape produced from audio captured in the field. Although drain art is characterised by graffiti, it also incorporates a range of other activities performed in the spirit of urban exploration, psychogeography, and urban play.