Trespass: Uncommissioned Public Art

Updates from and letters to the editor

May 2010

It’s much easier to fight for a vision when there are others who share it. Now that Trespass is ready for print and will be coming off presses in China next month, and then freighted around the world to warehouses for distribution, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the process. First I have to say that it’s wonderful that Taschen’s sales team is excited about the title as they are on the front lines now to get it into stores for you — which is significant as it took nearly a year for the publisher to commit to the title when we started*. So, with regard to our intentions, I feel we have already achieved something in communicating our ideas. One of those goals was certainly to bring the material to new audiences that may not have given a second thought to graffiti and Street Art, and perhaps even dismissed it as child’s play. We knew that there was a historical precedent for Trespass, which we weren’t seeing put together in a comprehensive way in other books on the subject, which would be difficult in any case with the differences in medium, internal divisions like graffiti’s beatings vs the success of Street Art — and because these public expressions are very much connected to local communities. What grounded us, besides our belief that it was necessary to connect the dots and bridge the various drives informing the movement, was the research, risks, and the conversations we invested in to keep the discourse active and as open as we could. I am most happy that with patience and craft, the creative direction wasn’t compromised. There are a lot of really beautiful ideas in Trespass. And I believe that change, regardless of the inevitable resistance to it, happens first in people’s minds. I also believe that “uncommissioned public art” reflects a change in society, rather than being top-down, is influenced better from ground-up, and it is the work of so many individuals that pave the way.

*Full story to come.

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