BSA Film Friday

BSA Film Friday: 04.03.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #12 : Vermibus

BSA Film Friday: 04.03.20 / Dispatch From Isolation #12 : Vermibus

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Vermibus Makes a Small Book of His Own Studies

BSA Special Feature: Vermibus Makes a Small Book of His Own Studies

If you are stuck inside and are looking for new projects, this may be a perfect excuse to create a collection of your works into a book, or a collage, a photo album, or a slide show.

There are endless ways to show off your work digitally using programs or as a simple video – and guess what? Lots of people are stuck at home looking at their screens so they may well have an extra moment to see your work too.

For example take a look at Berlin-based Street Artist Vermibus, whose ad takeovers we have written about and presented in talks endlessly for a decade around the world. This little project is just as personal and impressive in this format as any of his large-format subvertizing work.

“It is a simple video but very intimate,” Vermibus tells us, “where I show the beginning of my work process and how this one work evolved in the first months of tests.”

Vermibus “Studies”

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BSA Film Friday: 03.20.20

BSA Film Friday: 03.20.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Challenging The Status Quo With Street Art – Blanco

BSA Special Feature: Challenging The Status Quo With Street Art – Blanco

One could argue that the whole modus operandi of Street Art was originally to challenge the status quo, however that is defined. The fact that in recent years banal “Street Art” festivals have cooked that goose and various industry brands have adopted it for a perceived ‘edge’ appeal doesn’t really change our minds about what real Street Art was and is.

Of course the graffiti and Street Art “scene” itself is not free of its own status quo – the need to circle wagons, slamming doors, forming cliques, and keeping gates is perhaps an ironic hypocrisy in a counterculture that prizes itself for bucking these practices, but examples abound.

True to form, Blanco has not pursued slick stardom as a Street Artist per se, and you probably have not heard of him. That’s sort of the way he likes it.

Challenging The Status Quo With Street Art / Blanco / TEDx Coeurdalene

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BSA Film Friday: 03.13.20

BSA Film Friday: 03.13.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. VHILS: Stories Told with Explosives, Chemicals, and Power Tools
2. Our Collective Responsibility – eL Seed in London
3. Tomokazu Matsuyama: What inspires him to create his art?
4. Teenagers interview Barry McGee at ICA Boston

BSA Special Feature: VHILS: Stories Told with Explosives, Chemicals, and Power Tools

Blasting, buzzing, chipping, revealing. Vhils gives a tour to you with his creative destruction, exploration – and a spirit of discovery. He is reflecting on the idea of identity, your dreams, expectations of life and how they are shaped.

Our Collective Responsibility – eL Seed – London

Its been five years since the philosophical Tunisian-French street artist and muralist eL Seed painted this wall in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London. Overwrought with stirred emotions at the time because of recent terror attacks in Tunisia and London, it was a meaningful moment and installation for eL Seed, who now can reflect on it even after it is gone. A well-paced interview about his experience, it is placed in context by an Arabic calligrapher and a Street Art cultural commentator.

Tomokazu Matsuyama: What inspires him to create his art?

Brooklyn’s own Tomokazu Matsuyama may have been born in Japan, but his musings on self-identity, diversity, and globalization can only arise from the cultural mélange that gives birth to these considerations such as these.

Question; what’s the difference between sampling and copying, appropriating and paying tribute? Obviously these are themes battled for centuries, even your cousin Melvin used to tell you “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. He also told you that NSync was probably going to be regarded as the Beatles of the 1990s, so keep that in mind.

Teenagers Interview Barry McGee at ICA Boston

Teens at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston interview Barry McGee.

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BSA Film Friday: 03.06.20

BSA Film Friday: 03.06.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Offset” by Nevercrew at Urvanity in Madrid
2. Icy & Sot: “Our house is on fire” By COlabs / Marco Figueroa
3. Said Dokins on Cultura Colectiva

BSA Special Feature: “Offset” by Nevercrew at Urvanity in Madrid

Welcome to BSA Film Friday with a new mural from the Urvanity commercial art fair in Madrid that culls together 30 or so galleries and mounts a public art campaign during the same week. “Offset” by the Swiss muralists called Nevercrew presents a massive pile of bears, one stacked upon the other.

The manner of arrangement of the bears presents creatures of the wild as no more than commodities, in the same way that corporations and countries think they can “purchase” offsets through a surreal trading market where one purchases the right to pollute and kill our atmosphere. In a positive light, the title “Offset” may refer to the practice of biodiversity offsetting, where previous wrongs are righted following a mitigation hierarchy to produce “no net loss” of biodiversity.

Also, bears are really cute.

“Offset” NEVERCREW in Madrid for Urvanity Art Fair 2020

Icy & Sot: “Our house is on fire” By COlabs / Marco Figueroa

The pacing is quick, the reversal of the timeline adds a sense of mystery and mastery to the brothers’ fox-witted ability to communicate horror in a rather elegant way.

See more in yesterdays’ posting Icy & Sot say “Our House Is On Fire!”

Said Dokins on Cultura Colectiva

Mexican muralist Said Dokins talks about his practice and his underlying social practice through coded calligraphy

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BSA Film Friday 02.28.20

BSA Film Friday 02.28.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. Bernie Sand Art on NYC Street
2. Welcome to My Colorful World x Okuda San Miguel
3. “When Does Tribute Become Exploitation?” Kobe Murals and Fifth Wall
4. Michael Bloomberg Buys Media, DNC, Presidency. Enjoy!
5. Sorceror Robot Buttigieg Channels Obama Delightfully

BSA Special Feature: Bernie Sand Art on NYC Street

Sand Art is a barometer of populism on the street, so it seemed significant to find that this piece by Joe Mangrum of the Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders appeared in NYC in the spring of 2016. Now that Bernie is again polling the highest again against Trump, this little video keeps popping up in our feed for the 2020 race.

Joe Mangrum Creating sand art of Bernie Sanders in NYC’s Washington Square Park.

Welcome to My Colorful World x Okuda San Miguel

The Spanish Street Artist takes another public victory lap for his accomplishments in this new one from Okuda San Miguel.

“When Does Tribute Become Exploitation?” Kobe Murals and Fifth Wall

“Your grief, your pain, your anguish is completely side-stepped because this is a great opportunity,” says Doug Gillem as he imagines the wife and mother who has just lost two of her dearest family in an accident. These are relevant arguments made well by him in the Street Art observer’s newest video “When Does Tribute Become Exploitation.”


As long as we’re looking at politics this week, here are two stunning video pieces on two of the Democratic contenders. Well, actually only the billionaire is a contender anymore. The programmed robotic one, no chance this time.

Michael Bloomberg Buys Media, DNC, Presidency. Enjoy!

Sorceror Robot Buttigieg Channels Obama Delightfully

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BSA Film Friday: 02.21.20

BSA Film Friday: 02.21.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. 5 Minutes with: Plotbot Ken via I Love Graffiti.de
2. Nadia Vadori-Gauthier: One Minute of Dance
3. Ron English: The Road To Heaven (Tribute to Daniel Johnston)

BSA Special Feature: 5 Minutes with: Plotbot Ken via I Love Graffiti.de

Plotbot Ken first caught our eye in the remnants of a factory full of environmental and personal hazards. His is an apocalyptic view of humanity and our shortsighted predilection for creating destruction and for poisoning the earth. But somehow he has made something positive from our dire idiocy. You don’t have to speak German to enjoy this video, or to understand the symbolism of his recurring gas mask motif, or his genius for placement.

Nadia Vadori-Gauthier: Une Minute De Danse Par Jour (One Minute of Dance Per Day)

In reaction to terrorist acts, dancer Nadia Vadori-Gauthier began a program to dance for one minute a day.

I dance as one manifests, like a small but daily one, to work for a living poetry, to act by the sensitive against the violence of certain aspects of the world. It felt like a series of small acts that might possibly prove to reconnect the disconnections in her own society. She sites the wisdom of a Chinese proverb to talk about her repeating acts of expression in the public sphere over many years: “Dripping water ends up going through stone.”

This compilation of her works can help us see that the aggregate of many small acts can indeed be phenomenal.

Ron English: The Road To Heaven (Tribute to Daniel Johnston)

Putting his thoughts and emotions in visual vocabulary, artist Ron English gives this personal offering as a moving tribute to the great singer/ songwriter Daniel Johnston, who passed away last autumn.

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BSA Film Friday 02.14.20

BSA Film Friday 02.14.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Who is TAKI183?”, Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin
2. ESPO: A Love Letter For You
3. Exquisite Waste Of Time – Telmo Miel

BSA Special Feature: “Who is TAKI183?”

Graffiti writers were going hard in New York City in the mid-late 1960s but it wasn’t until the elite cultural avatar The New York Times did a story on the prolific TAKI183 in July of 1971 that many felt that the graffiti scene was somehow validated. From that point forward, the writer’s reputation as being all-city and unofficial representative of taggers everywhere was gold plated among his peers, and competition to get up all-city was suddenly on fire.

Writer, photographer, author, lecturer and storied nonagenarian Jim Prigoff, who published Spraycan Art with Henry Chalfant in 1987, has just produced a new video with Cedric Godin that more closely examines this tagger/standard-bearer and lets the camera roll on stories from him and others inside his family’s car repair shop.

“A lot of the earlier graffiti was scratched or done with paint brushes. There weren’t really spray cans. I think because markers were available and you could do it quick,” says Taki.

“I discovered the first graffiti in NY as Taki 183. I was stunned. This determined my life direction,” says French Street Artist Blek le Rat. 

“But in New York, it was the media capital of the world,” says Philadelphia graffiti king Cornbread, who was writing in the 1960s as well. “When they had done something, it was magnified. To be honest with you, New York overshadowed me.”

The storytelling leads to stylized writing and people like Stay High 149 and the dawn of more formalized or experimental gallery spaces like Fashion Moda in the Bronx. But Taki retained his tagger status, and remained a touchpoint for an era. “I never had a relationship with the art world because I was just so removed from it.

So much of this history is lost already, mostly because our art institutions and universities have been ignorant and adamantly so about the importance of graffiti in the language of society and its evolution as the most democratic global art movement ever. Videos like this one by Mr. Prigoff and Cedric Godin act to preserve and archive the images and voices of those at the forefront of a movement that influenced so many other parts of global culture.

WHO is TAKI183 A film by Jim Prigoff and Cedric Godin

ESPO: A Love Letter For You

“To mark the 10th anniversary of A Love Letter For You, ESPO and the film director Joey Garfield held a Q & A in Brooklyn’s Night Hawk Cinema. With this documentary, Mr. Garfield captures the artist’s process while directly asking the residents of this Philadelphia community, which was once ESPO’s own hood, what they wish was painted on the walls. ESPO took the inspiration that he received from the community and went onto painting 50 walls.

Exquisite Waste Of TimeTelmo Miel

Exactly how your dad describes your interest in painting, in music, in social work – an “Exquisite Waste of Time”. Luckily, this video promo for a show by Telmo and Miel will make you drool so much to paint that you won’t care what Dad says.

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BSA Film Friday: 02.07.20

BSA Film Friday: 02.07.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. 1Up X Hand Mixed – “Love is Love”
2. WK Interact x Kobe Bryant
3. Bordalo II in Studio

BSA Special Feature: 1Up X Hand Mixed – “Love is Love”

Many old school original graff dudes kicked gay guys onto the tracks in the 1970s and 80s and 90s and 00s and…. They may have been rebels against oppression, but they could still use their own power and prejudice to keep people down.

Somewhere during that time LGBTQ people began to vociferate for social and legal equality in Western democracies, and their braver straight allies also began to fight alongside of them, and begrudgingly the graff scene began to let these folks into the mix. But homophobia, like racism, is still present in places where the dominant culture embraces homo/transphobia and has held tight to its exclusionary claims to privilege and power – including in the subcultures of graffiti, hip-hop, tattoo, punk, skateboarding, and street art.

So it’s still remarkable when a graffiti crew stands in the face of all of it and says “Love is Love” and uses its One United Power to recognize the rights of everyone, regardless of their particular crush or kink. Granted, 1UP and Hand Mixed employee rebellion and vandalism to make the point, and no one is going to hire any of these guys/gals to work on the UN Security Council because of their diplomacy, but life is messy, yo. And viewer comments on this video on Instagram and Youtube prove that change is still incremental.

WK Interact x Kobe Bryant

In the wake of the unfortunate death of basketball star Kobe Bryant, we’re reminded of that campaign Street Artist WK Interact did with him for a brand a few years ago. It was a very good merging of styles, with their intersection at the corner of movement and strategically employed power. Our condolences to his family and extended network of friends.

Bordalo II in Studio

A full interview with street sculptor Bordalo II last fall on Camões TV. Also a great opportunity for you to practice Portuguese.

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BSA Film Friday: 01.31.20

BSA Film Friday: 01.31.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. How Art Saved Swoon’s Life
2. The Masters: Futura 2000

BSA Special Feature: How Art Saved Swoon’s Life / The C Files with Maria Brito

In 2011 we had a show in Los Angeles called “Street Art Saved My Life”. It sounded like some humorous hyperbole but in reality, it was a sentiment we had heard many times in graffiti as well – including from tough-guy and tough-girl types who have told us with tears in their eyes that graffiti saved their lives. So the transformative power of art is not merely anecdotal at this juncture, and we patiently await the fields of science embracing it as well.

Witnessing the evolution of Street Artist/fine artist Swoon has been moving, and she’s generously opened the trip to you over the last decade. Because of this bravery, her painful growth and their accompanying revelations have enabled others to examine their own path. Certainly, you can relate to her when she says she realized, “There was damage. It was psychological and emotional… and it could be healed.”

“The thing about art-making for me is that it’s kind of like this pole that is in the center of your world and that the wind is blowing and your feet are off the ground and you feel like you are getting sucked away, but there is one thing that you can hold on to.”  

Dude, whatever it takes for any of us to be healed, let it be.

The Masters: Futura 2000

Essentially a tour through Futura’s creative and personal life, here you can see the fluid linearity of the creative spirit as it’s channeled through art, music, fashion, branding, the street and merchandising. We’re just thankful he shares the ride and gives us insights and observations along the way with his disarming humor and canny pronouncements.

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BSA Film Friday: 01.24.20

BSA Film Friday: 01.24.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Gestures of Caring” Jan Vormann
2. Drones Printing Walls, Stop Us if You’ve Heard This One.
3. Dan Kitchener x Wynwood Walls 2019
4. El Mac: Making a mural of Hope in San Jose
5. Jeff Parker and the New Breed – “Max Brown”

BSA Special Feature: “Gestures of Caring” Jan Vormann

Gestures of Caring

Monuments. Architecture. Mosaics. Street Art.

These interests provided Street Artist Jan Vormann with a launchpad for a cute idea when he began repairing broken walls and filling in street crevices with children’s colorful plastic building blocks. Now along with those miniature interventions he’s added oil stains to his repertoire. He acknowledges the ecological disaster that these gorgeous iridescent patterns imitate, and says somehow these attractive mosaics may start maybe, in the best case, a discussion about it.

Here’s another conversation starter: The outdated and dirty fossil fuel industry continues to spill millions of gallons into our groundwater, streams, lakes, and oceans and has for decades. Also, most wars in this century have been about securing access to oil, or outright stealing it.

Jan Vormann – “Gestures of Caring” Bien Urbain 2019. A film by MZM Projects

Drones Printing Walls, Stop Us if You’ve Heard This One.

Katsu may have started this, or the original developers of a mechanized printer called SprayPrinter, both of whom we published years ago, but now there are other pretenders to the throne, like Urban Flying Opera. Let’s see them hit the high notes!

Dan Kitchener x Wynwood Walls 2019

El Mac: Making a mural of Hope in San Jose

Jeff Parker and the New Breed – “Max Brown”

Time to let go, do a few dance moves, relax and revel into the weekend with some serious masters.

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BSA Film Friday: 01.17.20

BSA Film Friday: 01.17.20

Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. “Dinner For Few.” A short film by Nassos Vakalis.
2. NYCHOS. Five Weeks Of Rabbit Eye Movement
3. Futura X Wynwood Walls. Chop ’em Down Films
4. Shok1 in St. Petersburg, Florida

BSA Special Feature: “Dinner For Few.” A short film by Nassos Vakalis.

“Those who eat their fill speak to the hungry of wonderful times to come,” an applicable bromide for all those folk who got the big Trump tax cut last year. Meanwhile, you are rationing your insulin.

Do you think Capitalism has run amok? This darkly entertaining animation illustrates one version of our current disordered/ordered world.

“(The capitalist machine” solely feeds the select few who eventually, foolishly consume all the resources while the rest survive on scraps from the table. Inevitably, when the supply is depleted, the struggle for what remains leads to catastrophic change.”

NYCHOS. Five Weeks Of Rabbit Eye Movement

A road-trip film is an ideal vehicle for mythmaking and definition of persona, especially when accompanied by timely music choices and distracted stares into the burned horizon. This amber-tinged panoply of rockstar travel shots, nomadic spraycation side trips, behind-the-scenes production, off-the-grid hippy encampments, rusted detritus sculpture, post-apocalypse signposts, and the energized, intensely industrious, exquisite dissection of Nychos that puts his oeuvre under the microscope and behind the looking glass. Alternately elegant and violent, this is a laboratory sweep of imagined scenarios that can make the mind cavort with fear and lust, toil and soil, pensive thought and power chords, ready to be sliced and peered into.

Futura X Wynwood Walls. Chop ’em Down Films

A brief look at Futura as he recounts his revisiting of a mural he made in Miami. Calling to the fore his inspired abstractions that first set him apart from the pack in the late 70s/early 80s, it’s a treasure to see engaged with his past, his process, his futura.

Shok1 in St. Petersburg, Florida for Shine Mural Festival.

2nd in a row from Chop ‘Em Down Films, this look at the technique of Shok1, who reveals the world through his brilliant mastery of x-ray and fantasy, is a rare treat and a great way to close this week’s survey.

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