We all tend to think of Graffiti as obscure drawings, texts and symbols that are drawn or sprayed by anonymous artists and sometimes tricksters who prefer to convey social messages in a manner that may not be acceptable to everyone.
While on a shallow level Graffiti writing seems to be just an anonymous person’s task, it is in fact as vibrant a subculture as hacking is. Both hacking and Graffiti writing are frowned upon by authorities for various reasons, and sometimes appreciated too.
What you may find surprising is that Graffiti writers usually leave behind ‘tags’ which are stylized signatures left behind Graffiti writers who wish to remain anonymous but also be recognized for their messages. These tags are in fact motion tracked by many new softwares including GA 3D. Evan Roth has used these .gml files (Graffiti Markup Language) to create sculptures that are more than postmodern in nature.
It is like bringing together codes of Graffiti writers’ tags, and sculpture making, and the art of Graffiti making itself. Evan Roth has unveiled the GA: Sculptures, which is a sculpture art project made in Open Frameworks. These obscure and weird looking sculptures are in fact physical manifestations of the .gml files (Graffiti Markup Language) that is captured using the Graffiti Analysis. The .gml file is creates a 3D geometry which is again exported as a 3D representation of the original tag, left by the Graffiti writer.
Blender, Maya and 3DS Max are used to create a .stl file with the data that is represented and this 3D data is used to create a physical sculpture. Art couldn’t get more obscure and anonymous than this! Imagine an anonymous Graffiti writer’s signature (called ‘tag’) being converted into a .gml file using the Graffiti Markup Language, and then, the resulting file is represented in 3D using certain programming skills, and that 3D data is used to create a sculpture.
These weird Graffiti tag sculptures by Evan Roth were done in collaboration with an anonymous Viennese graffiti writer. The sculptures were exhibited at the Street and Studio exhibition at the Kunsthalle Wein, located in the Austrian capital of Vienna. It may go above our heads, but in my opinion these sculptures speak a lot about the unconscious human need to be elusive and hidden, and yet be known in ways that creates an aura of mystery around.