Street & Urban Art

What do "urban art" and “street art” mean

It’s not easy to define what  “street art”, or more in general  "urban art", mean apart from that they  flooded our cities for some years now.

Indeed, under the name of “street art” a large set of free artistic attitudes are grouped, which find expression in the form of stencil (clipping masks), adhesives, graphics-painting, being all of simple, immediate and effective nature. The “street art” was born as a direct descendant of “writing” from which it takes up the idea of ​​re-appropriation of urban spaces and in particular as an operation of re-designing of the territory, through the implementation of small interventions in graphic character, which transform the road in a place of free creative experimentation. This phenomenon resulted in a creative river, flooding small and large urban centers and becoming focus of interest to the media and the art market. The basic rationale is to create logos or images that can repeat themselves in those urban settings that allow greater visibility: from the walls of the railway lines to those visible from highways and expressways, from the poles of traffic lights to road signs. The image becomes an expression of the artist’s own creativity giving symbolic value to the place where it is placed in and transforming the city in his/her expression platform. These art works are both fast in the realization and immediate in the fruition, coherent to the need to convey the artist expression in the mode of hectic city life, just in time while the recipient is in his/her way to the office, on the steps of the metro, or at the light queue.

The possibility to convey their messagges through simple practical tools such as stickers or stencils has guaranteed young artists the opportunity to spread them beyond the spatial boundaries of their city, launching them to a global size. In this sense, “street art” is the birth of a mode of expression through which anybody can launch his/her own claim over the world without need to access to private-type media or to purchase an exhibition hall.

The different forms in which street art has emerged in recent years, starting from the "writing" and "graphics", have been all conveyed in urban and sub-urban areas and have  been exposed to the watchful eyes of fans as well as to those of distracted passers-by, turning this phenomenon of creative expression of the new generations in size and allowing it to become among most influential way of artistic expression.

But, besides of  "street art", many other transient, creative, and public expressive media are going around our cities, such as performance arts, clothing/catwalk pop-ups, street dance, and street theatre.  So that we can talk more in general about "urban art", to include all contemporary artists that, independently from using unconventional or  traditional media, have a subject matter that deals with urban life and related cultural, environmental, economic and political issues.

(modified after the writer named Porto)

 

Why we would like to communicate RES URBIS through "street art" or "urban art"?

Communication is a key aspect of any H2020 project, especially dealing with such “hot spot” as waste management is. Thus, at the start of RES URBIS we were thinking about some additional ways for implementing unconventional and creative social communication.

Especially thinking to our main concept of “urban biorefinery, we decided of  trying  to create a connection between our technological views and solutions on one side and visual arts on the other side.In particular, in our view, “street art” is often dealing with (but not limited to) recovering and transforming abandoned sites of our cities, mostly in suburbs,  to give them back a new life, and this looks like, to us,  what we are trying to do with urban waste. For this reason, we are planning several actions to explore any link between the RES URBIS's attempt to transform huge flows of waste that are produced, collected and handled in urban areas and the  “street art”  which is transforming these urban areas too.

We are fully aware that the public perception of “street art” can be highly controversial, but  also waste-management  is so in some way. Thus, we believe that “street art” could help us not only to describe our work in a highly imaginative way but also to  understand and plan it better. In this sense, we are ready to accept that the “street art” views about relationships and interactions along the chain of production/consumption/wasting/recovery could be not so "comfortable" and even somehow diverging from our rationale.

Which actions do we plan starting?

First, the RES URBIS logo was inspired to “street art” and realized by an Italian writer, Porto.

Then, when organizing a RES URBIS meeting, some of our partners will be so kind to offer a “wall” where to call artists to realize artworks which are inspired to urban waste and to their fate and transformation. We also plan that these artworks will be photographed along with any other one of similar content we could discover by going around in our cities (we trust on our young scientists moving a lot at night !). All these creations will be disseminated through our presence in social media along with simple description of our targets and results. At the end, we hope to be able to prepare an illustrated book with both the artistic views and the factsheets on technological solutions, as well as to organize an artistic happening in Rome with several artists creating their artworks in connection with an open session for presentation of main achievements of RES URBIS .

As obvious when dealing with  “street art” and/or "urban art", any contribution to this effort is by default pretty welcome.