One of the strongest facets of this new form of art exhibition is that it can be appreciated and noted on many different levels. For general art-consuming people more familiar with a gallery it’s a ‘festival of street-art’, with no mention of the criminal damage often involved; funnily enough, the first Blitz featured in the ‘What’s Hot’ column of mass-circulation free rag The London Paper!
For the subversive and politically-minded they will probably align with the original motivations behind the Street Blitz events: reclaiming space, feeling an element of freedom in day-to-day life inside big cities - and deciding what we get to look at everyday. It’s as much about self-empowerment and finding your inner artist (everyone is encouraged to have a bash) as wanting to push street-art in general.
For active street-artists, who usually without fail will make some decent documentation of their own work, it’s just another opportunity to get their stuff on the walls, but perhaps also to take part in something new and fresh.
It can be seen as an experiment in making a decentralised festival (ok, a server is centralised, so we’re clearly just using it as a buzz-word alright). It’s about using the ‘net to overcome problems with finding and using space; without having to pay for it or succumb to legal restrictions. The method of mapping used by Blitzers could be applied to other areas too, like a map of CCTV cameras, empty buildings prime for squatting etc.
The broad appeal of Street Blitz means it doesn’t have to be illegal works of art going up – decorating the exterior of your squat, finding a legal wall to decorate, street actions, outdoor cinema – all forms of art fully accessible to the public are welcome. What Street Blitz want to stress is that a large part of the point of street-art is documenting it, before some irksome busybody comes and removes it. This means taking a camera with you, or teaming up with someone who follows behind you taking a set of pics whilst you’re busy legging it.
More info on the brief and also a few tips for those dipping their toes can be found on the website. The map will only be active from the 1st of May, but that day has it’s own special relevance so here’s hoping there won’t be any time wasted in having our say in the visual landscape of London. Next, the world!
READ ON, for the call to arms...
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STREET BLITZ - London
1 – 15 May 2008
2 weeks of creative urban modification
Two weeks to use London as an open gallery. Install your art, modify something currently spoiling your view or do something which changes the perspective on our city. You then mark it onto the map on the Street Blitz website along with text and pictures.
The corporate image factory spends a huge amount of money on billboards, posters, flyers or ‘guerrilla’ marketing campaigns masquerading as street art. They fill your lives with an unrelenting barrage of preposterous ideals, numb values and false icons. No one asks for your permission before they push these images in your face so neither should we seek consent in order to leave our own mark on the city.
DEEDS NOT WORDS
We propose a 2 week blitz of street art in London between 1-15 May 2008. Whether you make murals, stencils, stickers, posters, sculptures, street projections, sign modification/removal/additions, billboard subverting/defacing/destruction etc; whether creative or destructive; whether to convey a message, brighten up a dull spot, rewire some corporate brainwashing tactics; whether to leave your mark, remove a stain, express yourself or simply to show your disgust – it’s all valid and all adds to The Blitz!
During the proposed two weeks we want you to use London as an open gallery. There is a map of the city primed and ready for Blitzers to post their activities, no matter how big or small, onto a map overlay. Install your art or anything which changes the perspective on our city then get online and post it onto the empty map on the Street Blitz website at www.streetblitz.org. You can add a description and any photos of your work. There will also be room for comments on each placemark which can also be used to tell us if the artwork is still there or if the miserly bureaucrats got there first.
Is ours. We wish to encourage Street Blitzes in other cities around the world. We can set up sub-domains, email accounts and maps for these events - you just need to set the dates and promote it locally. The idea is that most people work best to deadlines and it also creates an intense burst of activity which is more readily perceivable and which turns the city into a temporary gallery space.
THIS IS YOUR CITY
Leave your mark!