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.