Interview with IRL, anti-tech graffiti artist
22 Feb 2015 Renzo (for the Wildernist)
I’d been seeing anti-tech graffiti around my town [Chapel Hill, NC] for the better part of a decade. Over the course of months it would appear in bursts, then slowly fade as the authorities cleaned it. Some places, images, or slogans only seemed to appear once, while others were clearly contested territories where cleaning and painting happened regularly. For years I wondered who the vigilantes that made my walks and bike rides so much more exciting could be. In a funny synchronicity, I finally met “IRL” through a mutual friend the same week another friend of mine started an anti-technology journal. We wandered for an hour all over town, behind warehouses, down train tracks, and beneath bridges discussing this very particular subset of graffiti. Some edits have been made for clarity. — Renzo
Renzo: So, you're an anti-technology graffiti writer. What's that mean?
IRL: I'm a graffiti writer who believes that technological society is the greatest threat to human freedom and that's reflected in my art or vandalism or whatever you wanna call it.
Renzo: What kind of graffiti do you do?
IRL: I play with everything I can. Tagging, scrawling, stenciling, stickers, billboard defacement, wheatpaste posters. It really depends on the image or message and the surface or neighborhood.