Heather's Hybrid

Informal Communication

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© 2009 Pasta&Vinegar

I decided for my paper to write about informal communication in a city because I find graffiti to be one of the most interesting forms of communication. I chose to work with graffiti in public settings such as sidewalks, restroom walls, and building walls. I also thought it would be important to discuss the different types of mediums chosen for graffiti.
When I first thought of graffiti, I immediately thought of spray paint, but after researching and looking around the city I felt that it was just one fragment of informal communication. In restroom walls, many choose permanent markers, pens, nail polish. These mediums are chosen for their permanence. There is also the use of chalk on sidewalks to explain directions or details unto why that particular location is unique or chosen. I also wanted to look at subject matter.

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© 2009 Pasta&Vinegar
After researching graffiti, I found that it's purpose was to write about oneself or about someone. In bathroom walls, I felt that it was more about jokes, love, or about someone else. The one that I felt most unpredictable was chalk art. Since it is not permanent I felt like it was more used for a statement or direction used only for that day. Sometimes it was to commemorate a day in which something tragic happened or to celebrate something like women's rights. Chalk art/communication was more varied and inconsistent.
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© 2003 Don Spicehandler

When graffiti and photos or media are mixed to broadcast where it is, or what it looks like it becomes a hybrid space because it has turned into a digital media. This digital media can be used in a variety of different ways. One may want to send a picture so another via phone message, others may want to better understand the different types of tags or markings.

Although all graffiti is considered a problem to authority figures, I feel that graffiti is more than just art. I feel as though it is a communication between different people who may not know one another. It is completely anonymous a majority of the time and I feel that this is what makes graffiti so interesting and mystifying. I also feel that this can portray and image of what happens to people on a different level. With chalk graffiti you can see different subject matters that maybe you wouldn't see in a newspaper or flyer. You can see exactly where and how something happened to someone. For example, the death of someone because of a bombing raid in a city. These reach out to people in a different sort of way and make them walk around the area and study what is written or drawn.

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© 2009 GammaBlog

I feel that when graffiti is taken down or destroyed because of city officials it ruins the originality of the area. Graffiti can change daily through other sorts of possibilities but to “deface” graffiti by covering it up is denying the originality of an area. Graffiti is a way to express oneself that has the possibility to change ones perspective of a certain matter. Even bathroom graffiti is an art form in my eyes because it changes the dynamic of the area and is a compilation of different peoples' thoughts and ideas. Graffiti is an art form that creates itself from a variety of people and that is what makes it communication. It is urban communication in the most unique way.

Heather Cross

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