please empty your brain below

I notice that the graffiti tag across the gabions is a very familiar eyesore which is repeatedly sprayed across dozens of properties in this part of London, I often wonder just how these simple minded people would react if anyone were to spray a meaningless tag onto a piece of property that they own.

fishislandskin: "I often wonder just how these simple minded people would react if anyone were to spray a meaningless tag onto a piece of property that they own" seems to make the assumption that the people in question own (or see any prospect of ever owning) a piece of property.
Quite so Betterbee.
fishislandskin: I spent a year on the Underground's Graffiti Task Force in the 90s... Graffiti vandals (they are not 'artists') often template works on their own bedroom walls before graduating to public spaces. Some graffitists' homes the BTP visited had walls plastered with their intended public displays.

The sociology is complex, but the outcome is their satisfaction - a large number were happy to be caught because it gave a purpose, an identity to their lives, otherwise frustrated by the promises of things affluent society offers but in reality they will never have or not while they're young enough to enjoy them.

Underground graffiti and associated damage in the mid-90s was costing a minimum of £11m a year to clean up and/or replace, apart from lost fares revenue when trains couldn't run or signals couldn't work as track-side cabinets had been attacked. Vulnerable people saw the graffed environment as threatening and stayed away in measurable numbers.

Vandals were often above-average intelligent and sometimes genuinely creative but without affluence prospects; they were often middle class in the age range 15-25 at first. Those parameters expanded to younger and older as the decade progressed.

Some worked in gangs, concentrating on 'pieces', the larger images, while the rest were soloists or twos, doing their 'tags'. I've seen video of a gang of three graf' vandals spray 50 sq ft of a train side in just under 8 minutes!

In Australia and northern England (and presumably USA and Europe), cross-country graffing trips were organised - Queensland gangs would use long-distance coaches to Sydney and Melbourne for spraying adventures; here, Newcastle gangs would go over to Liverpool and Manchester! Graffitists were overwhelmingly male, but women were starting to join in.

Could go on about this for hours - one of the most fascinating work experiences I ever had!
Joel that is truly fascinating ... maybe DG could commission a special article on the subject
Joel - that really is interesting. Did they understand that tagging in particular creates an unwelcoming atmosphere?
I have always suspected that public disapproval is one of the things taggers are seeking. Of course it is a nuisance and an expense to the community, but maybe best dealt with in as low key a way as possible.
I have always thought that if caught graffiti vandals should be sprayed all over their persons with the tools of their trade
I often wondered why they didnt end up with 10 year Purchase or Possession bans on art supplies suitable for their crimes backed up by prison terms for breaking the banning orders. I realise it's supposed to be a victimless crime but it actually has victims, the owners of the property being defaced plus the cleanup costs. Which should be recovered from the taggers assets or future assets.
It's like the Daily Mail on here today :(
Please tell me - what are gabions?
Betterbee: "seems to make the assumption that the people in question own (or see any prospect of ever owning) a piece of property". I would assume that they own the clothes that they wear on a daily basis and would be more than happy to spray some paint onto those or perhaps the mobile phone they cant live without 24 hours a day, that would look great with my little tag right across the screen.
I guess I'm unusual here in that I quite like good 'street art' in appropriate settings. Unfortunately though, most of what I see is just mindless shit.
Caz/Will - I have spent ages trying to condense a year's work into a few readable paragraphs. This is an integrated issue crossing Society [there still is such a thing], property maintainers, affluence, law enforcement and more still. The vandals' motives are not simply explainable. Please excuse the delay in replying and that there's not much in this reply.

I spent a lot of my year on the Graffiti Task Force (just three of us and nil resource - that tells you a lot) trying to make someone accept it was their problem, even a tiny bit... The big issue is that it IS someone's problem but 'not mine'.

I may still have my daily Journal of that twelve months - last time I re-read it, the content was too depressing (and then current) to read on.

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