Graffiti Archaeology is a project devoted to the study of graffiti-covered walls as they change over time. The core of the project is a timelapse collage, made of photos of graffiti taken at the same location by many different photographers over a span of several years. The photos were taken in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and other cities, over a timespan from the late 1990’s to the present.
Using the grafarc explorer, you can visit some classic graffiti spots, see what they looked like in the past, and explore how they have changed over the years.
Cassidy Curtis, the author, writes in the “about” section of Graffity Archeology:
The photos themselves are gathered from diverse sources, including my own collection, other photographers, and various graffiti sites on the web. As grafarc.org expands to include more cities, the web is becoming ever more important as a resource for the project. The site has attracted the attention of both graffiti artists and photographers, and a vital online community is beginning to form around it (http://flickr.com/groups/grafarc). This community has become essential for weaving together disparate threads of visual information into a nuanced, structured historical record.
Find out more:
see Graffity Archeology and play with it
This website is not strictly speaking an interactive documentary as it has no narrative – if not the implicit narrative of the passing time and its traces on graffiti walls. A little like Photosynth (and the 44th President Inauguration project) this visualisation tool allows us to see the different levels of complexity of a single moment in time, but they work of different latitudes: Photosynth allows the visualisation of a single moment (or a single object) by showing its multiple points of views (a series of photos reconstructs an object in 3D – or allows us to jump from one point of view to the other), while grafarc explorer allows us to go back in time and see the history of an object (or place).
If Photosynth is vertical (millions of points of views of one moment), Grafarc Explorer is horizontal (millions of one moments in time).
Would it not be great to mix the two? Imagine a documentary that could both dissect the moment and explore its history… fascinating, no?
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008