Technology is changing and changing everything on a daily basis. So what exactly does that mean for street art? We talked to TRAV MSK of The Seventh Letter crew to see how his work has evolved with technology, how the Internet changed graffiti, and what app he can’t live without.
Interview by Julia Rodack (@juliarodack)
How has technology changed graffiti?
Technology has changed graffiti in a negative way for the most part, because younger kids don’t want to do any footwork. They just look on the Internet and have access to styles they’re so easily able to see, and emulate them to the best of their ability. You have some kid who paints a primarily West Coast style of graffiti for months, then sees some European graffiti blog and decides it’s time he switches it up, and paint this “new” style.
Style is something that used to be taught based off who you came up with, and who you were in contact with. Now style is bitten, and fabricated without any roots to the pioneers of that particular style. It’s a flavor of the month.
In certain aspects the Internet is a great tool to connect with other writers, or to be promoted. It allows writers or companies to come together and create larger projects, which could push the limits a bit further—and potentially allow deserving writers work to help keep it moving.
How has it changed graffiti for you personally?
I personally try to see the glass half full and try to enjoy it, and use it for the positives. I see the Internet as a drug or stimulant, and by that I mean it can be good in moderation, but it can also consume you or lead you to believe all types of stuff.
Luckily, I came from an older generation of graffiti writers. And I can’t emphasize how lucky I am, like it was the last train in the station and somehow I made it onboard. But being that I was schooled from that older generation, and my crew, MSK, is deeply rooted in the older ways of graffiti, I feel an obligation to uphold a stronger foundation. But to answer that question a bit more directly, the Internet allows me a broader audience to which I am grateful, but I try to limit the amount of time I spend online.
What technology gets you through the day?
My phone. But what does “get me through the day” really mean? Technology is crazy, and it seems to keep evolving into less and less items you need to bring with you through the day. Most smartphones are the equivalent to a phone, a camera, a laptop, an MP3 player, a pad of paper, a Talkboy from Home Alone 2, a calculator, and so much more. I mean, what else do you need?
What are the five apps you primarily use?
I don’t use too many, but I primarily use Instagram, which is way too addicting for me to even think about messing with other apps.
On the next page, see TRAV MSK in action...