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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

The Graffiti Research Lab
Eyebeam OpenLab, James Powderly , Evan Roth , the agents of the G.R.L.

The Graffiti Research Lab (G.R.L.), a division of Eyebeam, is dedicated to outfitting graffiti writers, artists and protestors with open source technology for urban communication. The goal of the G.R.L. is to technologically empower individuals to creatively alter and reclaim their surroundings from corporate visual culture in a time of aggressive, paramilitary policing tactics.

To this end, the G.R.L. has integrated software, electronics, digital fab, materials research and DIY community into traditional street art practices. This work has resulted in the development of a number of new technologies, including: LED throwies, graffiti writing capture software, mobile urban projection, the Electro-graf, circuit stickers and Etch tech. Each of these technologies has been researched and developed, with input from practicing street artists and writers, and field demonstrated in the streets of NYC and Washington, D.C. Video documentation and instructions are then published on online forums like Flickr, Instructables, the Wooster Collective blog, Visual Resistance blog and at Graffiti Research Lab dot com.

Another goal of the G.R.L. is to bring graffiti to a broader public audience, to demonstrate its intent, highlight its positive aspects and start a critical discussion regarding its criminality, culture and context. In our experience fieldtesting technologies in the streets of New York City we have observed that G.R.L street art is compelling and entertaining to an audience ranging from children to adults, from artist to graffiti writers to hackers, technologists and gadget enthusiasts and interested laypersons. On the web, our work has spawned imitation, parody, critical discussion and open source development.