Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is knitted graffiti and yarn bombing graffiti for white people?

This first came up at the moment we first got official press in TimeOut Chicago. On the same day (or at least week) that we got a write-up, the Tribune had a front page article detailing how fines for graffiti were going up and now were involving the parents of offenders.

On one page, graffiti was condemned. On another, a white girl was getting interviewed about hers. 

We were thrilled about the press but the coincidence engraved the hypocrisy into our organization.


CrochetBlogger said...

What an interesting question. So curious what caused you to ask it!!

Kristin Anderson Barrick said...

I'm a grand daughter of a lawyer so questioning (especially my own work or actions) constantly happens. That's where "artistic littering" came from.

P.D. Crumbaker said...

This is an interesting perspective. I'm a personal fan of graffiti. Perhaps I would feel differently if I were a business owner. What would it feel like to walk out of your house in the morning and find a graffiti writer had been at play? Would I feel trespassed upon, or enraged, or add a photo to my graffiti file? I suspect, being somewhat of a hermit, that I would resort to #1--not the enraged part, but the "trespassed upon" part.

Kristin Anderson Barrick said...

I think what I'm questioning is what the reaction would be if it was a crappy beginner tag (not gang but just amateur tag)compared to seeing a beginner knitted tag (iffy color combo, bad craftsmanship, home ec nightmare).

And same question if there was something great w/ spray paint and yarn.

P.D. Crumbaker said...

Hmm...A hierarchy, then, within the micro-fiber militia? It's interesting how seemingly freeform endeavors result in a forming up of the ranks. I'm genuinely curious, by the way.

Is it fiber vs. paint that causes the different treatment by the media? White versus black/person of color? Feminine vs. masculine? Threatening (seemingly)/vs. seemingly non-threatening?

Kristin Anderson Barrick said...

Not a hierarchy within the Militia. We have mixed opinions of the term "yarn bombing" and the connection people make of knitted graffiti to ACTUAL graffiti.

The release of ownership of a knit or crocheted piece is interesting considering that some get taken down the same night never to appear again.

The media certainly takes a different opinion of "yarn bombing" than spray, stencil or sticker graffiti. We're a puff piece. Graffiti is only covered in relation to law enforcement and gangs. Or then get co-opted for commercials.

Graffiti itself emerged from challenge. People risk their lives (no positive or negative judgement there) to put up a tag or large scale piece.

Art erupts from challenge. Where is our challenge?

And I do think there is a white/black thing going on... it's a discussion I've never seen on yarn bombing blogs (not that I'm up on everyone out there).

We're interested to hear other opinions on it.