It’s been a bumpy ride, but the winding road down #RedLineDC is nearly over. And what a ride it has been! Today we had the pleasure of being featured in The Express, a Washington Post publication that’s often read on the very Red line ride we’ve been focusing our energy on all these years. Director/producer Saaret Yoseph shared her behind-these-scenes experiences, motivations for creating the project as well as the major themes addressed in the documentary. It’s an honor for Red Line D.C. to be featured in the paper and we’re proud to consider ourselves a part of the many visual and communal elements of your commute! If you missed the write-up in print, you can find it online, right here. Take a look!
From Theory to Practice
We’re back with another sampling from the #RedLineDC video vault. This time with an excerpt from last year’s interview with art historian and culture theorist Martin Irvine, the founding professor of Georgetown University’s Communication, Culture & Technology program.
We asked Professor Irvine about the academic concepts evident in graffiti subculture. What’s the big idea behind the writings on the wall? Why has the tradition of graffiti returned to the Red line, again and again? Irvine weighs in on the lure of metro graffiti and explains why we need to give these everyday aesthetics a closer look. See for yourself and share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Have You Missed Us?
Lately, you may have noticed the absence of Red Line D.C. online. But there’s a reason behind our disappearing act. While our blog updates and Twitter timeline have been neglected, we’ve been holed up in the editing room and huddled around tables planning events.
In anticipation of the documentary’s summer release, we’ve amped up the momentum of post-production. By day, we pore through footage, edit and arrange a storyline about the aesthetics and experience of the Red line; by night, we ride the route ourselves and see first-hand how much of that story continues to unfold.
With that said, if you’ve been jonesing for a helping of Red line D.C., we’ve got the cure. In the weeks leading up to the release, we’ll do our best to share snippets like this one from the cutting room floor. Here, interviewee Cory Stowers, a former Red line writer and local business owner, shares an anecdote about graffiti and the late, great go-go legend Chuck Brown. Check it out …
Show & Tell: Two Takes on Offline Graffiti
For Red Line D.C., last night was another opportunity to take the topic of graffiti off the Line and into the city. We occupied U street corridor for the evening to interview two different, but well-informed sources: local graffiti writer Asad “ULTRA” Walker and cross-cultural artist Saul Williams.
We met Walker in an alley at 14th and U st, NW, where we talked about his history with D.C. graffiti and watched him produce a legal piece on the back of a local business.
Afterwards, we set off for Black Cat (1811 14th St, NW), where Williams was scheduled to perform later that evening. As an actor, poet and musician, Williams has a knack for blending styles and experimenting with his artistry. In a recent video produced by la Blogotheque, he is seen exploring the catacombs beneath Paris, jamming out with layers of graffiti and history around him. The underground excursion made us curious about Williams’ stance on graffiti. Check out what he had to say:
First Post Since …
The new year has made us nostalgic. Looking back on old footage from the first days of Red Line D.C., we came across an excerpt-worthy interview that had to be shared. Robin Marcus, a writing professor at George Washington University, sat down with us in the summer of 2010 to sift through Flickr photos of red line graffiti and riff on its significance. It was an experiment of sorts. One of many we’ve conducted by taking the topic of graffiti beyond the red line and in new directions. This time, a mild-mannered academic was asked to eyeball the work of red line writer JU from the convenience of her computer screen. Since the project’s onset, our goal has always been to spark a larger dialogue about shared city aesthetics; to inspire metro riders with a renewed sense of attachment to their city, its public spaces and all that they see. In this video, Professor Marcus does well to remind us of that. Taking an open-minded look at JU’s “Big Booty” piece, she emphasizes the ability of artistic expression to connect us and our disparate ideas to a broader human consciousness. See what Professor Marcus had to say, then go back to our excerpt of JU’s interview to hear what he had to say for himself.
Word on the Street: Red Line Riders Speak Out!
This site is in need of some fresh multimedia! A little audio inspiration is exactly what we need to pickup momentum on discussion about red line aesthetics and history. Straight from the Red Line D.C. vault and submitted for your approval, a quickie interview with a willing red line commuter named Ellen. As we work with WordPress (and on our ever-growing technical skills), we’ll do our best to share more of these conversational gems with you. Hopefully, this recorded fodder will inspire you to share your own experiences on the red line. Hear what one commuter has to say and sound off with your own opinion at email@example.com or down below in the comments section.
Word on the Street: Good vs. Bad Graffiti
As promised, here’s an excerpted interview filmed on-the-fly at a recent mural-painting site in the Edgewood neighborhood of Northeast D.C., right across from the Rhode Island Ave. metro station. Taking a break from his early evening bike ride, local resident Michael Henderson stopped to admire the newest public artwork on the Metro-Branch Trail. Here, he shares his thoughts on art, expression and what the two can do for our quality of life. Take a listen and let us know if you agree/disagree.
Interview: Identity, Art and Action (on Camera)
The Red Line D.C., as seen … in Ethiopia! This week, director and producer Saaret Yoseph filmed an interview with Kalli Ejigu of Ethiopian satellite show “The Benchmark.” Saaret talked about her interests in getting down — and out of the dark — with graffiti, what motivates her metro obsession and why a collaborative community art project hits so close to home. Check out an excerpt from the interview here.