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Category: COP2

Lecture Notes

Lecture 1: Institutional Power

  • Understand the principles of the panopticon
  • Understand Michel Foucaults concept of Disciplinary Society’
  • Consider the idea that disciplinary society is a way of making individuals ‘productive’ and ‘useful’
  • Understand Foucaults idea of techniques of the body and ‘docile’ bodies

The Panoptican

Lecture 1Institutional Power

Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

  • Madness & Civilisation
  • Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison
  • Disciplinary power and Disciplinary society

The great confinement (late 1600s)

  • ‘Houses of correction’ to curb unemployment and idleness

The birth of the asylum

  • The emergence of forms of knowledge – biology, psychiatry, medicine, etc.,  legitimise the practices ofhospitals, doctors, psychiatrists.
  • Foucault aims to show how these forms of knowledge and rationalising institutions like the prison, the asylum, the hospital, the school, now affect human beings in such a way that they alter our consciousness and that they internalise our responsibility.

 The Panopticon internalises in the individual the conscious state that he is always being watched.


  ‘Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.’(Foucault, 1975)

Disciplinary society and disciplinary power

  • Discipline is a ‘technology’ [aimed at] ‘how to keep someone under surveillance, how to control his conduct, his behaviour, his aptitudes, how to improve his performance, multiply his capacities, how to put him where he is most useful: that is discipline in my sense’ (Foucault,1981 in O’Farrrell 2005:102)

Key things to remember:

  • Michel Foucault
  • Panopticism as a form of discipline
  • Techniques of the body
  • Docile Bodies

Lecture 6: Concepts of Space – 15th November 2013

  • Marcel Duchamp – peep hole installation
    – Relationship between public and private space.
    – Interior space, vocal point, public & private.
    – Spaces on different scales. Plays on expanse.
  • MERZ
    – Flat/3D installation.
    – Challenges notion of space.
  • Guy Debord “La Societe du Spectacle”
  • John Dewey “Art as Experience”

Conceptual Art
– Art as an idea.
– Invention as place.
– Conceptual drawing.
– Conceptual performance.

Art as idea > Art as object.

Conceptual art – 1960s/1970s
– Thought and concept that defines the framing of a space.
– Conceptual art shifts from an emphasis on form and aesthetics to consider the ‘thinking process’.

This was considered central to art making as the essence of art: idea and concept.

‘Conceptualism developed approaches such as: A challenge to the visual and the status of the art object.’

  • Lucy Lippard
    – ‘Dematerialisation of art.’
  • ‘Nails’ – Hauser & Wirth
  • Fluxus Box
  • Architecture and spatial practices
    (Modern to post modern archetectural approaches to space)
  • Michael Faucault
  • Robert Morris
  • Aspects of Dystopian spaces
  • Postmodernism
  • Karl Lagerfield & Zaha Hadid
  • F.Jameson ‘The Cultural Turn’
  • Altermoderdnism
  • Nicholas Barriard
  • Psychogeography
  • Social space ‘youtube’
  • Claire Bishop ‘point of departure’
  • Olafur Eliasson: your chance encounter
  • Relational Aesthetics (1990s)
  • Marc Auge – Supermodern as ubiquitous modern space (non-places)
  • The modern procession
  • When faith moves mountains
  • Virtual spaces and participants

Illustrated Essay Ideas & More Research

Primary research

I decided to carry out a survey online to find out why people agree and disagree with the Graffiti culture, the pros and cons of the movement. Here are some of the answers I got.


Graffiti can show messages.
Graffiti can be art. 
A way for people to share their feelings and ideas freely.
It can help to improve the look of an area.
Kids are having fun and they’re not causing any other trouble on the streets.
Before graffiti artists, streets were grey, dull, boring and bland places to be.
The town looks a lot more attractive because of the graffiti.
Museums and art galleries are now considering graffiti as art and placing it in their own buildings. 
Graffiti attracts locals and tourists from around the world.
Spray cans are cheaper than using paints on canvas.
We paint on walls so that we don’t waste paper. Our art means that we are  ‘green’ and don’t harm our planet.


Waste of money cleaning up.
Waste of important police time cleaning it up.
We could be spending council money on more important projects.
Affects shop owners who have to clean their properties.
Money to clean it up comes out of our pockets.
More graffiti means fewer customers in shops or to an area. Fewer customers mean less income/salary/wage.
Has ruined walls, play equipment and trees in the park so children are too scared to go. 
The streets are fine the way they are- we don’t need any colour to brighten them up.
We want to keep the streets clean and green and free of mess.
Graffiti is pollution (visual). The sprays also give off toxic fumes (gas).
Why should it be up to teenagers and kids to decide what our streets look like?
Bad influence on children, who may pick up a bad habit or see something inappropriate.
Graffiti has destroyed road signs and made it confusing for road users to follow.

I discovered that more people had points disagreeing with Graffiti which I was not surprised about, I think it will be a long time before Graffiti has a complete positive outlook.

Images I took of ‘Graffiti’ around Hyde Park: Is Graffiti vandalism or valuable art?

IMG_6276IMG_6287 IMG_6278 IMG_6275




Secondary research

After discovering a debate online I was surprised to see that the poll had been equally divided with 50/50 on votes for and against graffiti, some of the comments being made on the subject compelled me and helped me to understand the publics views on graffiti.

Here is some of the comments:

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 11.41.47


Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 11.32.24


Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 11.40.34

I was interested in how some of the people who believed graffiti is art, still agreed with some of the points the former participants made such as; graffiti is illegal and classed as a crime for defacing someones property. The comments show a good variety of views on the art form and I believe it is a good interpretation of what the public feel about graffiti.


Illustrated Essay Artist Research

Some of the most influential Street Artists

  • Banksy
  • Shepard Fairey
  • Keith Haring
  • Mr. Brainwash
  • Inkie
  • Cekis
  • Roa
  • Stinkfish
  • INTI
  • JR
  • Miss Van
  • Ron English
  • Swoon


banksy-dumbo-0510       banksy-new-works-2


Shepard Fairey

AndreTheGiantSticker          obama-change












Background on the history of Graffiti

Graffiti, if we define it as any type of writing on the wall goes back to ancient Rome, and if drawn images count, then we could point to the first graf artists. But the style of urban graffiti that most people have seen and know about, the kind that uses spraycans, came from New York City in the late 1960s, and was born on the subway trains. Taki 183, who lived on 183rd street in Washington Heights, worked as a messenger who traveled all throughout the city. While he did so, he would use a marker and write his name wherever he went, at subway stations and also the insides and outsides of subway cars. Eventually, he became known all throughout the city as this mysterious figure. In 1971, he was interviewed for an article by the New York Times. Kids all over New York, realizing the fame and notoriety that could be gained from “tagging” their names on subway cars (that traveled all over the city, naturally) began to emulate Taki 183. The goal was to “get up” (using the slang of the day), to have one’s name in as many places as possible, and as kids competed against each other to get famous, the amount of graffiti on trains exploded.

For tagging on the insides of trains, permanent markers worked, but using spraycans of paint quickly became popular as well, especially for tagging on the outside of trains. Graffiti became so much more than simple tagging, however. Graffiti writers, in addition to getting their name around as much as possible, would try to outdo each other in terms of style. At first, writers would try to make their tags (or signatures) more stylish than anyone else’s. Later on, they would add more colors, special effects, and they’d make their name bigger. Spraycans allowed large pieces of graffiti to be created fairly quickly which was important because writers didn’t want to get caught by the police or people working for the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority). As you will see in the Graffiti Styles section of this wesite, graffiti really evolved into a complex artform with its own techniques and vocabulary. From simple tags on the insides of trains to throwups to masterpieces that spanned multiple subway cars, the art and science of graffiti grew in leaps and bounds.

The “style wars” in the 1970s between graffiti artists trying to get famous and creating bigger and better pieces resulted in the emergence of an entire subculture surrounding graffiti. Graf writers would gather at what they called “writer’s benches” at subway stations to look at each other’s sketchbooks, to plan “bombing” runs, and to watch as trains passed by so they could discuss the latest pieces they or other writers had recently produced. Older writers would take younger writers on as apprentices and assistants to help on larger pieces. Whole writing “crews” would form to collaborate on pieces, to help each other “rack up” paint (by any means necessary), and to watch out for authorities. Some crews would travel together to avoid gang troubles, but they were rarely violent. A common misconception is that graffiti is all gang-related. Most graffiti is not gang-related. Gang-related graffiti is most often used to mark territory, and not as much time or effort is spent in its creation.

NYC subway graffiti became world famous, and its style and sensibilities were transplanted to other parts of the country and the world, mixing with local traditions and styles in new ways. The 70s were the golden age of subway graffiti, but for the MTA, it was a problem that had long gone out of control. Graf writers did not just battle each other in their quest to be the “King of all Lines” and all the other titles they bestowed upon themselves. They had to deal with police patrolling the trains and the yards where they worked, their masterpieces being washed off of cars, barbed wire fences, and guard dogs, not to mention concerned parents who sometimes did not understand.