The Battle of Los Angeles Part II: Graffiti, the Self and the Reappropriation of Semiotic Space
A while back we posted Brett Biermann's paper Battle of LA. While he is still working on the final draft, this second version is clearer and more concise. Mr Biermann's investigations support many of the ideas we live by here at PublicAdCampaign, and to have them laid bare is a pleasure to witness. Brett has been kind enough to share his work with us before it is finished and we in turn are passing this information on to you. Please take the time to read Brett's paper and if you have any serious comments or questions, feel free to write me and I will put you in touch with him directly.
While I could review this paper's contents in this post, quoting interesting passages and giving you a taste of what I find interesting, I would rather concerned parties take the time to read it for themselves. If my glowing endorsement is not enough, maybe this quick description of the papers contents might persuade potentially interested parties to dig further. Enjoy!
In the Battle of LA, Mr Biermann compares commercial outdoor advertising to typical unauthorized urban markmaking, and in doing so shows how each is a form of felony vandalism in Los Angeles. Despite this truth, the lack of enforcement of corporate graffiti and continued persecution of more widely understood markmaking like graffiti, illuminates an underlying tendency by our governments to condone certain forms of public speech as they push a corpo-political regime identified with pro consumerist tendencies and identities. Public space, and outdoor advertisings preeminence in that space, is used to construct this consumerist identity, and promotes a hegemonic society where our shared morality and communal interests are subjugated by the needs of a capitalist regime. While this may be problematic on many levels, Brett proposes that this imposed identity, and the resulting disassociation, can be easily reversed through the reapropriation of outdoor advertising or the very tools used by the corpo-politcal machine to construct the consumer citizen. Through this act of reapropriation, ones place within the larger corpo-political environment becomes clear, freeing one from the system of control and creating individuals with agency outside of their roles as costumer citizens.
Download the full paper [Here]