Historical Item

100,000-Year-Old Paint Shop Discovered

In African Cave, Signs of an Ancient Paint Factory

Original Article appears HERE

Digging deeper in a South African cave that had already yielded surprises from the Middle Stone Age, archaeologists have uncovered a 100,000-year-old workshop holding the tools and ingredients with which early modern humans apparently mixed some of the first known paint.

These cave artisans had stones for pounding and grinding colorful dirt enriched with a kind of iron oxide to a powder, known as ocher. This was blended with the binding fat of mammal-bone marrow and a dash of charcoal. Traces of ocher were left on the tools, and samples of the reddish compound were collected in large abalone shells, where the paint was liquefied, stirred and scooped out with a bone spatula.

In the workshop remains, archaeologists said they were seeing the earliest example yet of how emergent Homo sapiens processed ocher, one of the species’ first pigments in wide use, its red color apparently rich in symbolic significance. The early humans may have applied the concoction to their skin for protection or simply decoration, experts suggested. Perhaps it was their way of making social and artistic statements on their bodies or their artifacts.

6 Sep :: Street Cultures (Berlin)

Empowerment and Intercultural Dialogue
Exhibition and Interactive Programs
Empowerment und interkulturelle Brücken
Ausstellungund Interaktive Programme

6.September - 17. September 2011
Part of the cultural program of the Asia-Pacific Weeks Berlin / Teil des Kulturprogramms der Asien-Pazifik Wochen Berlin
STREET CULTURES like skateboarding, breakdancing and street art have the fascinating potential to bring people of different backgrounds together, bridging the gap between their social and cultural differences, and thus creating an opportunity for exchange and cooperation. Hip Hop, skateboarding, and BMX are no longer only part of western culture, but have become global phenomena that are growing especially quickly in Asia. As a result, the number of projects and initiatives that use street cultures as a tool in international development work is growing steadily.

Many of the people that are involved with these activities have recognized that sport and creative programs can be connected to "Empowerment" and education in a very sensible way. This includes initiatives like "Back to School" programs that focus on traditional forms of education, as well as more experimental forms of education that are largely creative arts based and focus on socially inclined topics, i.e. local communities are being empowered about topics like environment, health, diet, and racism.

The networks of these various street cultures work in an informal way to overcome language and cultural barriers, as these activities have their own language and culture. For example, skateboarders speak to each other in a certain way about the sport that is universal, a kickflip is always a kickflip, and street art has its own codes and symbols. Consequently, heritage, religion, skin color, or social status are pushed into the background. Through street cultures intercultural bridges are being built, which can be used to reduce prejudice and promote conflict resolution.

The event introduces projects from Cambodia, Afghanistan, China and India, that are using new and innovative methods in the field of social development, with their own strategies and models.

The exhibition will be accompanied by films, workshops, skype-conferences, fundraising events and a music program under the umbrella of the Berlin Music Week.

Hugo Kaagman Sees/Makes Dutch Punk Stencils in 1977

In 1977 I squatted a house in the centre of Amsterdam with ten other people. We started a punk fanzine inspired by the British fanzine Sniffing Glue. To get a response we began to write and spray on the walls. At the end of 1977 there was a protest manifestation at the opening of the new metro that was running beside our squatted house. There I saw the first stencil sprayed, a protest text: “Metro = Geldriool” [metro = sewer], in fat, stencil-bold font. ‘Spraying freehand was frustrating most of the time, because I couldn’t get the effect I wanted. So, a few months later I cut my first stencils: one of Johnny Rotten and one of Bob Marley. Our fanzine was a photocopy magazine, the same time I blew up the images with Xerox to cut them out and spray around. In 1978 we started a shop called Gallery ANUS to sell our magazines and that of others. - "Street Knowledge" (pp. 140-141) by King Adz

Graffiti y Grafica Politica de Oaxaca

Me es muy grato comunicarles que después de tanto tiempo y de un enorme trabajo de investigación. Me he titulado y terminado mi trabajo de tesis, la cual tiene como tema central el graffiti y esténcil en la ciudad de Oaxaca.

I am pleased to announce that after all this time and an enormous amount of research. I qualified and finished my thesis, which has as its central theme and stencil graffiti in the city of Oaxaca.




Jeremy Novy - Queer Street Art

A Movement Defaced: Queer Street Art Fights for Legitimacy
By Jonathan Curiel
published: June 15, 2011
Jonathan Curiel on A Movement Defaced: Queer Street Art Fights for Legitmacy

Cover photo by Michael Cuffe/Warholian.

Inside his art studio in San Francisco's Bayview District, Jeremy Novy surrounds himself with the stencilwork that has burnished his reputation as a street artist of note. Of course, the koi are there. Even people who don't know his name know his aquatic vertebrates — colorful creatures that can be found on sidewalks across San Francisco, most prominently at Market and Laguna streets, where scores of the fish swirl outside the Orbit Room. In Novy's studio, though, the animals are crowded out by representations of people. Men, mostly. Queer men like the drag queen with the yellow beehive and bright red panties, and the young wrestlers grabbing each other's flesh. Then there's the stencil of a big pink erect phallus.

"That's my cock," Novy says matter-of-factly.

Coyote Mentions Early 1967 Stencils in San Francisco

[During the January 14, 1967 Human Be-In] "paisley banners and flags stenciled with marijuana leaves fluttered in the balmy winds that seemed to be blessing fifty thousand people assembled before a single stage crowded with celebrities and Haight Independent Proprieters (HIPs)." p. 75

photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/hragvartanian/

"One morning [before the Summer of 1967] San Francisco awoke to discover that walls, freeway columns, and fences had been plastered with five-foot-high posters of two enigmatic Chinese men in pajamas, lounging on a street corner in the relaxed and at home posture of hipsters everywhere. Over their heads was the Chinese ideogram for revolution, and under their feet were the cryptic words "1% Free." The poster was designed by Peter Berg, executed with stencils by artist Mike McKibbon (drawn from a turn-of-the-century photo of tong hit men found in a library book), and a group of us [San Francisco Diggers] had spent a long night pasting them up in every neighborhood in the city." p. 81

- Peter Coyote, "Sleeping Where I Fall" (1998)

Robert Fisk Notes 2003 Stencil in Iraq

This is an excerpt from journalist Robert Fisk's book "The Great War For Civilasation," a well-researched, graphically-described history of the Middle East from WWI to the mid-2000s:

I remember an American search operation in Baghdad just after Saddam's capture [13 Dec., 2003], all door-kicking and screaming and fuck-this and fuck-that and, just a few metres away, finding a message newly spray-painted on a wall. Not by hand but with a stencil, in poor English perhaps, but there were dozens of identical messages stencilled onto the walls for the occupiers. "American Soldiers," it said. "Run away to you home before you will be a body in [a] black bag, then be dropped in a river or valley."  - p. 1006

Hong Kong Graffiti Challenges Chinese Artist's Arrest

Hong Kong Graffiti Challenges Chinese Artist's Arrest

by Louisa Lim

May 4, 2011 (from NPR)

Hong Kong police are investigating criminal damage charges against artist Tangerine for graffiti of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, which could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Hong Kong police are investigating criminal damage charges against artist Tangerine for graffiti of detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, which could carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Given his real-life circumstances — summarily disappeared at the hands of the Chinese authorities with no charges yet laid — the furrowed forehead and hooded, tired eyes of the image now seem a representation of suffering. Underneath his face is one simple question, "Who's afraid of Ai Weiwei?"

This graffiti, appearing all over Hong Kong, has become a political statement, more than a month after the world-famous artist was detained by the authorities at Beijing airport. The campaign could yet lead to a jail term for the young graffiti artist responsible. And that fact has led to fears about the erosion of Hong Kong's distinct freedoms, which are a legacy of its colonial past under the British.

MOCA LA... Art in the Streets

"Art in the Streets" Brings Fire to MOCA

Posted: 04/14/11 09:49 PM ET

The show is an audacious multi-platform and colorful endeavor; part history lesson and part theme park bringing about 50 years of graffiti and street art history, it's influences and influencers, under one roof. Then there is the stuff outside. Engaging and educational, "Art in the Streets" makes sure visitors have the opportunity to learn how certain tributaries lead to this one river of swirling urban goo, mapping connections between cultural movements, communities and relationships
within it. When it does this, the museum system effectively differentiates its value apart from a mere gallery show.


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