Ecological street art & graffiti : Birth of new hybrid urban practices.
Far from the antagonism that is somewhat drawn from words graffiti and ecology put aside, some artists prove us henceforth that it is possible to act on our urban landscapes and still only leave a scarce environmental imprint.
Graffiti is one of these practices on which we can only say that they infer a relatively heavy ecological print, involving concretely the act of applying on wall paint made of diverse excessively toxic components, themselves contained in a tool, a spray can, not fully recycable and therefor by definition already itself source of environmental issues.
Although it is quite obvious all the heavy mass industries are imminently more polluting than the few thousands of world actors from the graffiti scene and their works can never be, some creators, sensitive to this specific problem, started searching for alternative solutions, allowing to keep a conceptually similar depiction through different basic materials.
Grass graffiti : Anna Garforth and Edina Tokodi
Anna Garforth uses a natural mixture made of yoghurt, beer and sugar to stick her poetic sentences, cut from foam patches harvested on graves, on the walls and fences of buildings and composes frescoes with modular origami in recycled paper.
Edina Tokodi questions the passer-by of her absurd patterns in lawn, or creates striped portraits, made of evolutionary vertical window boxes that she integrates to urban space.
Close to classic graffiti, Moose and Stook compose their drawings in hollow, using water jets on dirty city walls and question therefor directly the penal stigmatization aiming to condamn street art as an act of vandalism (can one still consider as a degradation an act consisting in fact in partly cleaning a wall?).
Alexandre Orion polishes with rags the metallic walls of road tunnels in order to create the appearance of disturbing mortuary frescoes, and gets the residues of his worn cloths, that he then uses as pigments for his paintings.
The Mud stencil : Jesse Graves
Jesse Graves creates ephemeral ecological stencils made of mud.
The Knitt graffiti : Knitta please and PolyCotN (Magda Sayeg)
Instigator of the henceforth world movement Knitting guerrilla, PolyCotN had the first the idea to cover usual elements of our daily frame with second skins knitted and colored, made out of bits of worn wool, to cheer up cities, too grey and monotonous for her taste.
Although most these practices remain trivial nowadays and can not claim themselves to be substitutes to graffiti itself, it would seem that space is now given for these researches in our urban landscape and we can easilly bet we will witness more and more of these alternative techniques surfacing in years to come, adding yet a bit more diversity to all the techniques already present and used in street art and urban design.