Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

your video sucks


Taggers are very very thick. They don’t understand why most people hate them. One reason may be that they trash examples of actual street art with their barely literate attention deficit disorder tags. On Young St near Argyle St. The reference is to one of Vandal Spruce‘s videos. It seems like there’s plenty of hate to share around and Spruce in turn has been accused of overwriting others’ work. What goes around comes around…


  1. It seems you are the thick one. You see, uninspired, self indulgent ‘street art’ is bad enough, but to go over people, who have been at it for years and years is too much. You might be surprised to find that these ‘taggers’ also do ‘pieces’ and ‘murals’ and commissioned art, and run workshops, etc.. and possess actual ‘artistic talent’ (as opposed to photoshop skills). There is a code of ethics in the graffiti world in which newbies stick to blank walls and slowly build respect instead of expecting it. Open your eyes, don’t be prejudiced against tagging, try to understand it for what it is. Graffiti is about repeated exposure, the tag is the simplest way to achieve this, so it is but one in a vast repertoire of graffiti forms.

  2. Brutus, I for one am happy to “open my eyes”, but in 35+ years I’ve yet to see tagging that communicates anything other than territoriality, ego, narcissism, or aggression. If you can link to examples that might refute this, I’d be interested to see them.

  3. What Brutus says about repeated exposure is interesting. If tags that are repeated are not art then are the Obey (Andre the) Giant stickers art? They are everywhere in inner city Melbourne at the moment. Is Rone’s Jane Doe paste-up and/or sticker art? Don’t get me wrong; I am a fan of both Rone and Fairey. I don’t think all stencils, paste-ups are art just because of the style. I also don’t think all tags are rubbish just because they are tags and repeated – no different to mass produced past-ups/stencils…except perhaps usually the past-ups/stencils are prettier. What we now call street art has evolved from tagging. People like Shepard Fairey started off as taggers. Although I have never been a huge fan of tagging I still think there needs to be a bit more respect for other people’s work/art. Regardless of whether it is a tag, stencil or paste-up.

    • A tag (a word) communicates nothing. There is nothing to interpret. An image is open to complex and variable interpretation. A word simply cannot be compared to an image. Tagging gives nothing to an audience but a visual artist does.

  4. “A tag (a word) communicates nothing. There is nothing to interpret. An image is open to complex and variable interpretation. A word simply cannot be compared to an image. Tagging gives nothing to an audience but a visual artist does.”


    You sure about that?

    What about “eternity”?

    • Words have agreed meanings. You read ‘eternity’ and you know what it is meant to mean. There’s nothing to interpret. A visual image often has no inherent meaning and is open to interpretation.

  5. don’t backpedal and move the goal posts now.

    you said “A word communicates nothing. There is nothing to interpret.”

    nothing about “agreed meanings”.

    and no, a word doesn’t always have an agreed meaning.

    that’s why when Arthur Stace spent decades chalking it all over Sydney, many people debated it’s meaning and purpose.

    a declaration of love?

    a warning of what follows in the afterlife?

    “here it came from, how it got there, what it meant and who was behind this phenomenon was a mystery to all. The mystery turned to fascination and eventually obsession. For decades leading newspapers and letters to the editor debated who or what was behind the mysterious appearance of the word Eternity each morning. It was an enigma, a one-word sermon that had Sydney columnists speculating often about the author. ”

    but please, do keep carrying on and embarrassing yourself, yet again…

  6. For an image to be “art” it does not have to be “complex”and and open to “variable interpretation”. That’s your preference (and mine at times). Don’t get me started on words!

    • You’re missing the point. Compared to words, which have meanings you can look up in a dictionary, images are far less defined and are thus far more open to interpretation.

  7. Point taken – you can look up the meaning of words in a dictionary but images are less defined (unless you are in a gallery and reading an artist’s statement or “art wank” at MONA). True. Images are open to many interpretations and sometimes words can be (eg poetry) but this doesn’t occur as often.

  8. I’m not here to cause a ruckus or anything but do you realise by putting peoples tags online and talking about them gives them even more exposure, which is something you clearly don’t want? I’m for street art AND graffiti, tagging in itself is an art in fonts. to create your font is amazing, in my opinion, yeah some people can’t read it, but it doesn’t mean we should start bad mouthing it over the internet. I’m not a hater, but I don’t really see any point dissing tagging and then love your interpretation of street art, if any was banned all together, like some crazy communist suggestion, then there would be nothing, and thats plenty worse.

    • Creating a font may be artistic but writing your name endlessly in public space communicates nothing to the audience. The photos I use in posts are to illustrate the topic of discussion. That’s their purpose.

  9. What do you mean “communicates nothing to the audience”? Lets break your comment down thusly;
    Firstly who is the audience.
    Secondly what is being communicated.
    For ‘taggers’ (an inane term, all graffiti artists tag, even the famous Bansky tags [quick buy some of his street art bro]) they are communicating to other artists within their culture. Their audience is not the mainstream and furthermore, just because their target audience is not all inclusive, it is not reason to demerit its legitimacy. It is quite apparent that from your offense taken at this medium, you are not part of the culture.
    Now that we know for whom tags are written, we can begin to discern what is being communicated. It must always be remembered that tags belong in the context in which they are found and made; on the street and within the culture of graffiti, not as an individual pieces of work. For graffers (the intended audience), fresh tags hold a wealth of information. For example;
    is there a new writer on the scene or a new name for an old writer?
    is an old writer experimenting with a new style?
    is a writer’s flow evolving or becoming stale?
    what medium is the writer using lately? (indian ink, posca marker, export cans as well as, what type of wall, door, rooftop and in what areas)
    From this information the graffiti culture can extrapolate and a good artist we be able to discern;
    the movement of an individual artist over a night(s),
    how they moved
    who they were with
    how much they planned beforehand or was it impromptu and opportunistic
    their resilience and doggedness within the scene
    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
    What the tag symbolises is thus;
    I am here. I am not a passenger of the graffiti culture, I am one of the drivers. Please remember that your opinions are just that, purely subjective and not a universal truth. If you don’t like tags just come out and say it, but do not proclaim that they have no worth or message.
    If you don’t get it, you just don’t get it.

  10. Your conception of art needs a frame. You poach from a culture what you like and demonise the rest.
    Why don’t you please put on your pith helmet and plunder another culture to fill you galleries and museums with now.

    • I simply fail to see the ‘art’ in the ADD whining and OCD repetition of a name on walls in public space. There is no message and no communication. Tags are not art. They are a definition of intellectual inadequacy and poverty.

  11. I appreciate your admitted failure to understand a culture to which you do not belong. But please do us one more courtesy. A feigned ‘in my opinion’ would do well as either prefix or suffix to your comments, instead of badgering us with your subjective opinions as universal truths. Your failure to see point or reason in logical debate accompanied with automatic nay saying to my comments belittles the meaning of forum.
    Please remove your blinkers.
    In response to your comment, why not pop down to Everfresh in Collingwood where they make graffiti and street easily accessible to the layman and there I encourage you to spout your vitriol about tags. Why not ask Rone if there is any correlation between his own stickers on every conspicuous surface in Melbourne and the ADD/ OCD repetition of tAgS yO.
    All graffiti and street art is petty property damage/litter by nature, from pasties, stencils and scratchies to train pieces, fire extinguisher blasts and stickers. Your previous retort is redundant because is vilifies even what you are trying to put on a pedestal. The link between all street art is indivisible and your belief of what good street art is clearly that which is most readily consumable and thereby profitable.
    It is not museum culture, but a living culture. People having the pieces slashed, capped and burnt (whether agreeable or not) is all just part of the game.

    • Readers with some intelligence realise that what I say here is my opinion, not a declaration of fact. Only the marginally literate need this endlessly repeated. I make occasional claims to fact and when I do so it is clearly stated. Everything else is by default opinion.

  12. “They are a definition of intellectual poverty and inadequacy”. <=== Back it up.
    Can we get back to the topic at hand now?

  13. This is getting rather childish Brain. If your replies remain as tongue wagging and poo pooing, please keep you debating techniques to the playground until you can adequately respond to the points I have raised. Your retorts are bogus and your contentions are toy.
    That aside, I appreciate your lack of censorship in this forum.
    I look forward to having my arguments countered.

  14. Brian how can you be such a culture vulture and make no attempt to acknowledge the roots of the art that makes up your blog content? I have seen tags done by every one of you artists neatly packaged into the “Fitzroy Art Tour” section of this blog. Whether you like it or not tagging has meaning and value to a large group of people and is an intrinsic part of the graffiti movement. I get the feeling people would just like to see you acknowledge that the roots of graffiti and street art start in the tag and without it your beloved street art would not exist.

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