Street art as a global phenomenon has gained enormous attention in the last two decades in all areas of culture, such as mass media, popular culture, art markets, cultural institutions, urban policies and creative industries. In everyday life, we likewise find ourselves enmeshed by the street art aesthetic in various formats and forms, including newspaper articles, social media photos, music videos, themed tours, public murals, temporary installations, artworks in galleries, and commodities.
On the other hand, the question of context is at the heart of these presentations, representations and materializations of street art. Is street art that is “taken” from the street – symbolically and materially – to be documented, displayed, preserved and archived, still street art? What happens, then, when street art is relocated to new cultural, social, economic fields, and what forces drive the transition from public space to a controlled, digitalized or private environment? How does street art lose its hapticity in such a translation and transition to new spheres, and thus its ephemerality as a raison d’être of this kind of creativity? How do the non-institutional forms of documenting and publishing street art transform with the use of digital technologies, the revival of retro culture, DIY practices (zines, self-publishing), etc.?
While there is growing general interest and demand for street art, the conference Documenting, Collecting and Archiving Street Art in Theory and Practice aims to specifically interrogate practices of collecting street art in its broadest sense – as the preservation, conservation and accumulation of tangible and intangible things by individuals or institutions (Bell 2017). We invite contributions that address the de- and recontextualization of street art, including – but not limited to – the following areas of interest: institutionalization, conservation, commercialization, commodification, heritagization, preservation, digitization and digitalization of contemporary street art.
The conference is curated by: Sandi Abram, Miha Erjavec, Anja Zver
TUESDAY, 29. 6. 2021
16.00–17.00 / Kino Šiška and online
FORM(AT): APPROACHES TO DOCUMENTING AND PRESERVING GRAFFITI AND STREET ART (Peter Bengtsen)
Unsanctioned expressions like graffiti and street art are ephemeral. This does not mean that they are necessarily short-lived, but rather that they are generally not intended to last and may be altered or removed at any time. However, aspects of such works often live on through different types of documentation. This talk will discuss how we might think about the methods for, as well as the very practice of, documenting – and perhaps preserving – graffiti and street art.
17.00–18.00 / Kino Šiška and online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 1 | Documentary Photographer Martha Cooper in Conversation with Mitja Velikonja
We’ll talk with the iconic photojournalist of the social and cultural margins of American megalopolises, whose splendor and misery, pain and inspiration she has been tirelessly recording, camera in hand, since the 1970s, within the framework of two of her most famous works. First, her pioneering chronicling of the early New York graffiti scene in the first photobook on the topic, titled Subway Art (1984). The second work is the recent documentary film, simply titled Martha: A Picture Story (2019), in which she and her contemporaries speak about her invaluable contribution to understanding the culture of the streets – especially the side streets, the dirty and graffitied alleys.
18.15–20.30 / Kino Šiška and online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 2 | SELF-ARCHIVING PRACTICES – FROM BOOKS TO SOCIAL MEDIA
The Miha Artnak is a Ljubljana artist, activist and entrepreneur, active since 2000. In his satirical images, environmental installations and subversive performances, he also utilises fake news approaches, making his artistic work both interesting and current. The Miha Artnak will present his understanding of the role of self-promotion and the archiving of works and creative processes. From initial photographs to blogs, books and social media, and how design has helped him bring order to chaos.
Good Guy Boris is an entrepreneur, director and visual artist. He is also the creator of The Grifters. His career began with photography in his early teens. He photographed, as he calls it, “the wrong people at the right time.”
Epos 257 is a Czech artist. His art works with the urban environment and iconography of the city of Prague. His inventions frequently focus on contemporary social topics and regularly address issues surrounding public space. Epos 257’s identity remains unknown.
Jasper van Es, a curator and creative producer in the field of urban art, is giving a presentation on the before-and-after images of cleaned street art and graffiti in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The discovery of a massive database of photographs made by cleaning companies in Eindhoven inspired a book and a small exhibition. Between 2007 and 2013, these companies were commissioned to remove unauthorised images from municipal property in the city’s public space. As evidence of their work, they photographed each site twice, before and after cleaning, which resulted in a huge archive of 50,000 images.
WEDNESDAY, 30. 6. 2021
15.00–16.00 / online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 3 | THEMATIC TALKS
1) Adris Díaz Fernández, Rodrigo Ledesma Gómez & Ana Cristina García Luna: The Systematization and Classification of the Mural Works Produced by the CALLEGENERA Urban Expressions Festival: A Case Study.
2) Maria Udovydchenko: Street Art and Graffiti Archives in Private and Institutional Collections: Ephemeral Documentation.
3) Gabriele Boero: The Restoration of 1984 Pieces by Delta 2 and Phase 2 in Quattordio, Italy: A Burning Debate.
16.15–18.00 / online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 4 | THEMATIC TALKS
1) Heather Shirey, Todd Lawrence & Paul Lorah: Archiving and Activism in Theory and in Practice: The George Floyd and Anti-Racist Street Art Database
2) Adem Ojulu, Frederica SiMetelkova mestoons & Rachel Weiher: Memorializing a Movement: Making Permanent the Ephemeral
3) Alexander Paulsson: Of Tags and Trains: Graffiti as Edgework in Subterranean Stockholm
4) Panos Leventis: Re/Telling Di/Visions: Creative Urban Practices in the Contested Eastern Mediterranean
5) Enrico Bonadio: Preservation of Street Art and Graffiti under Copyright Law
18.15–19.00 / online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 5 | PANDEMIC PUBLIC SPACE (RJ Rushmore)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, any “rules” for creating, viewing, documenting, and sharing street art and public art went out the window. Constrained to our homes, the internet became more of a public space than ever before. The relationship between physical public space, the internet, documentation, and the art itself is now blurrier than ever. This discussion will cover the blurring of those lines, with a combination of firsthand perspective and highlighting the clever ways other artists and activists responded to an audience suddenly locked down but online.
ČETRTEK 1. 7. 2021
15.00–16.00 / online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 6 | THEMATIC TALKS
1) Konstantinos Avramidis: The Politics of Collecting and Preserving Architecture and Graffiti: Notes on an Atlas of Drawings and Writings
2) Laura Luque Rodrigo & Carmen Moral Ruiz: The Complex Task of Cataloguing Street and Public Art: A Methodology Applied In Works in Jaén (Spain)
3) Ljiljana Radosević: Urban Heritage Hub Case Study: New Life of Street Art in Virtual Reality
16.15–17.00 / Kino Šiška and online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 7 | STREET ART IN THE ART WORLD (Stefano S. Antonelli)
Stefano S. Antonelli is an Italian street art curator and a co-founder of the private Rome-based non-profit organization 999Contemporary, focusing on the study, practice and development of urban contemporary art, art projects in the public space, curating exhibitions, and educational and charity projects. He has curated more than 200 art projects in Italy and abroad. In 2014, he co-curated the Urban Legends exhibition, the first street art exhibition hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome.
17.15–18.50 / Kino Šiška
FORM(AT) | THE MAN WHO STOLE BANKSY (2018)
Slovenian movie premiere
The Man Who Stole Banksy, directed by Marco Proserpio, starts as the story of the Palestinian perspective of the most important street artist in the world and soon turns into the discovery of an extensive secret market of masonry stolen from city streets around the world, of cultures meeting and clashing in the face of an unsustainable political situation, and of the ongoing debate of commercialization versus preservation in street art.
19.00–19.30 / Kino Šiška and online
FORM(AT) | PANEL 8 / THE MAN WHO STOLE BANKSY (2018)
The screening of The Man Who Stole Banksy will be followed by a discussion with curator Stefano S. Antonelli and the director of the film Marco Proserpi, moderated by Good Guy Boris.
More about the program at the Ljubljana Street Art Festival: https://streetartfestival.si/en/
Entry to all events is free.
Organization: Kino Šiška and Inštitut za urbana vprašanja