The latest issue of Rhizomes focusing on graffiti offers a number of essays that take up the question of space. Of particular interest is Tracey Bowen’s “Graffiti as Spatializing Practice and Performance.”
Graffiti writing/making is a performance of marking various points of contact between individuals and the world, whether they are a celebration of existence or a declaration of resistance. As many theorists suggest, graffiti is not just about an optical experience, but rather one that is inherently haptic and physical. This essay examines two particular spaces of graffiti performance. Both spaces are physically experienced as urban places: Graffiti Alley in Toronto and Lilac Alley in San Francisco. The investigation of these two spaces focuses on understanding our reading practices of alternative and marginal urban texts as embodied spatialized experiences.