Performing graffiti and street art

Many graffiti writers consider the act of graffiti to be a performance. If graffiti is a performance and more than just something static to be looked at after the fact, then it seems only natural that there would be videos showing graffiti being made/performed. While tapes of graffiti writers circulated underground for years and there were things like the Videograff series of tapes in the 1990’s, it is now common for graffiti writers to be filmed in action and have their activities uploaded to the web. Sometimes, these videos are short documentaries like Will Robson-Scott’s Crack and Shine series, but the really interesting videos are those that are artworks/graffiti in and of themselves. Kidult, Nug, Pike, and KATSU are probably the writers best known for taking videos of graffiti beyond documentation for a niche audience to self-contained works with a wide appeal outside of the graffiti community. In these videos, the physical byproducts of the performances (paint on a surface) might be considered secondary to the performances themselves. Two things differentiate this category from the performances of a group like Improv Everywhere: 1. These performances are often not meant to be witnessed except through documentation, so the ideal viewer of these videos is the online viewer; and 2. The performances by Improv Everywhere leave no trace, but these performances generally do leave a trace. For many of these performances, that trace may also be a buffable offense, but not always.

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