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2012 Highlights

Sabina Andron

1 May 2012

Sabina Andron

Sabina is an advocate of images who thinks through words. She comes from a background of comparative literature, theatre studies and visual culture, and is currently a PhD candidate in urban visual culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture. She also writes and copywrites as a freelancer, mainly for art and product. 

Abstract: This Is Not Graffiti: A Geosemiotic Look at Hybrid Surface Inscriptions

My proposal is a focus on images in the city, an exercise into urban visual culture based on the observation of urban surfaces. Instead of using the categories of the sanctioned (like street and shop signs or advertising posters) and the unsanctioned (with its aesthetic categories like graffiti and street art), this presentation will look at their intersection, namely the territory of hybrid surface inscriptions.

I focus my readings on several visual examples of such inscriptions, where the boundaries between the sanctioned and unsanctioned start getting blurred and produce a new form of visual and textual expression. I believe this expression characterises our contemporary urban culture, so I am trying to define it and understand its components in relation to space, language and visuality. As these mixed types of interventions have a close connection to their spatial support, I look at them through a place oriented semiotic reading (geosemiotics).

What I propose is a starting point for a reassessment of the way in which we categorise and speak about the visuality of our cities. Based on some visual examples I have collected throughout the years, I will demonstrate the necessity of conceptualising these “hybrid surface inscriptions”, while placing them in the material world through vivid and relevant case studies.