Urban Forms

  Archeology of the Streets 

Urban forms surround us all, even in rural areas. They are in our consciousness, whether we live there or not, for we travel there. They touch us in the media as well, and through the various entertainments we indulge.That we live in a time of sensory overload is no profound observation, it is our reality.

Artifacts of this fleeting blitz of imagry are recorded on the poster walls that spring up at places like construction sites and abandoned buildings. As they are randomly torn apart and replaced with each next generation- each yet again destined to succumb to a random onslaught of decay and laceration- a pattern emerges. In that pattern are rhythmic arrangements of image and message bits that playfully go in and out of time and context. Some are simple, while others grand. Often, there is contained a graffiti scribble, sometimes pealing paint, or even a splatter of mud or paint. Coincidence occasionally brings a juxtaposition that is in itself worthy of contemplation unaltered. And from afar, one can sense the jazz in it all. A great contemporary artist was once asked how to go about making a painting. He said to take an object and do something with it. Then do something else with it, and something else again, and again, and again until it was finished. Nature tends to work that way.

Another vigorous contemporary form is the graffiti mural, often containing visual passages that are rhythmically musical and aesthetically superb. This can even be evident in the vandals scrawl of the felt pen writer. Like it or not, they are there. These are raw creative impulses, however crude or insulting. They define much of our visual reality.

These are among my inspirations. They are the forms I like to do things with.


Charles exhibits in the Museum of Computer Art (MOCA) of which this is a distinguised member website.