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Working Paper No. 09/2011

UCL Anthropology Working Papers Series


Department of Anthropology
University College London
14 Taviton Street, London
WC1H 0BW, U.K.

ISSN 1759-6688
Editorial Board: Sara Randall, Martin Holbraad

Working Paper No. 09/2011
Published online July 10, 2011
© Copyright rests with the authors

COMBATING URBAN DISENGAGEMENT? STICKERS AS A FORM OF STREET ART

ALICE CLOUGH

Dissertation submitted in 2010 for the MA Material and Visual Culture

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ABSTRACT

Stickers form a category of street art that is becoming increasingly popular in modern, industrial urban environments. By exploiting the material properties of stickers, street artists are able to spread their work over large areas with little effort. Sticker designs are shared using the Internet, forming global networks of trade and exchange; they are also collected – an activity also enabled by their material properties – which allows individuals to re-establish meaningful relationships with material forms. A four-week fieldwork period in Berlin provided the opportunity to investigate the inner workings of the street art genre, from the perspective of their role in relation to other forms of visual media like corporate advertising. Sticker art is proven to occupy an unexpected position, incorporating aspects of both anti-capitalist and capitalist methods and ideologies. It also has important implications for the future development of the street art subculture, as it raises issues of popularisation, dislocation, and the subsequent stagnation of street art in Berlin.


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