All posts tagged: Susan Hansen

The Tag Conference Hits Brooklyn

The Tag Conference Hits Brooklyn

Welcome to the first American celebration of graffiti studies.

The Tag Conference Brooklyn is set to be an impressive event, bringing together some of the most influential and pioneering voices in the field of graffiti studies. This groundbreaking event will take place on May 14th, 2023, in the heart of New York City. The conference focuses on the art of name-writing in public spaces and how it has evolved over time, with a particular emphasis on the history of American tagging.

The list of participants is impressive, including renowned scholars and storied professionals like Richard Goldstein, Joe Austin, Susan Phillips, and Carlo McCormick, as well as prominent graffiti artists with deep roots such as Steve ‘ESPO’ Powers, Alan Ket and Mr. Kaves. Events like this raise the consciousness and further establish the role of the mark-makers in shaping activism and influencing art – with positive and negative effects both fairly examined and interrogated. The conference also showcases the work of independent researchers and rogue archivists, providing a platform for their invaluable contributions to the field of graffiti studies.

The Tag Conference Brooklyn is an INVITATION-ONLY installment of the Tag Conference with a focus on contemporary tagging. Click HERE to read about the full program.

As graffiti continues to gain importance in both scholarship and institutional academia, the Tag Conference Brooklyn is a rather enthralling opportunity to explore this unsung art form and its impact on contemporary culture. With its focus on the history and evolution of tagging in New York City, this conference promises to be a landmark event, bringing together key voices from around the world for the first time in the United States.

The Tag Conference Brooklyn is an invitation-only installment of the Tag Conference with a focus on contemporary tagging.



14 MAY 2023


“Where does American tagging come from, and how has it evolved? What special chapters in its history took place in New York City? How does tagging play with space, and how do artists play with tags?

The Tag Conference Brooklyn gathers an unprecedented lineup of speakers, including some of the key voices in American graffiti studies both underground and institutional, plus some special guests from Europe and Australia to discuss the unsung artform of tagging in the city that made it what it is today.”


While the working field of graffiti studies is taking shape in Europe, its most veteran and fundamental voices hail from the U.S.A.

Industry City
33 35th St, Building 5
Brooklyn, New York
No entry fee

Directors: Edward Birzin (US), Javier Abarca (ES).
Chair: Susan Hansen (AU).

The Tag Conference is produced by the Unlock Book Fair team. The Tag Conference Brooklyn is an INVITATION-ONLY installment of the Tag Conference.

A full-format Tag Conference with an open call for papers is scheduled for June 29th to July 1st 2023 at the Museum for Hamburg History in Hamburg, Germany.

The exhibition “A CITY BECOMES COLOURFUL. Hamburg Graffiti History 1980-1999”, which runs from 2 November 2022 until 31 July 2023 at the Hamburg Museum, tells the story of the origins of this youth subculture in Hamburg.

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Nuart Journal Punches Forward: “Eloquent Vandals,” Vol 1, No. 2

Nuart Journal Punches Forward: “Eloquent Vandals,” Vol 1, No. 2

The nascent voyage of ‘Nuart Journal’ comes slowly into view as a softly bound Street Art/graffiti cultural preservation document; its glossy cover is purple for issue Number 2, like a thick royal-court velvet, or a bruised eye.

Editor-in-Chief Martyn Reed opens this forum to a hand-selected series of thought leaders, artists, organizers, academics and friends who are invited to impart, illustrate, confound and inspire. It is an extension of what he has endeavored to do with his annual invitational public art/commercial art festival Nuart- the newest edition which commences this week in Stavanger, Norway.

An impossible goal; to track the precise movement of the dancing tentacles of this scene as it grew – as it grows – much less to assign motivation or significance or measure impact. A mutational march of interconnected disconnectedness, no amount of pontification will ever fully capture the width of this circle, but Nuart Journal is beginning to take its measure and introduce a sense of order if only to better examine it. The theme is “Eloquent Vandals”, a reference to Nuart’s 2011 self-survey in hardcover. Themes range from colorless black street bombing to definitions of place and authenticity, to Street Art’s movement into conceptual, and decolonizing artivism.

The layout is the new utilitarian modern; clean-framing articles, essays, interviews, inquisitions – text-based and visual. Editor and academic Suse Hansen is nimble, streetsmart, and canny in her guiding of contributors. Hopefully, she can continue to steer confidently through these choppy waters, guiding a forward-moving course of enlightening observations – as the ship passes icebergs of false intellectualism, pirate boats of one-eyed tribalist gatekeepers, or the occasional showboat. Anglers ahoy!

Here’s the lineup of contributors for “Eloquent Vandals”, Nuart Journal Volume 1 Number 2, 2019;

Jeff Ferrell, Oskolki, Jens Besser, Georgios Stampoulidis, Daniel de Jongh, Jaime Rojo, Vlady, Alison Young, Reuben Woods, Lindsey Mancini, Christian Omodeo, Vittorio Parisi, Faith XLVII, and Milu Correch.

Nuart Journal, Stavanger, Norway. Click HERE for more about Nuart Journal.

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We had a question going into the BSA Talks program at Urvanity in Madrid earlier this month: How deep is the street? Turns out it’s very deep.

We had 10 minds from different countries and disciplines on the stage talking to us about a wide range of issues in depth, and armed with a vast wealth of knowledge.

As we reflect on our week in Madrid we realize that we came out of it vastly enriched. The knowledge shared on the stage came from people who have devoted a great part of their lives researching, studying, producing, traveling, writing, exposing, taking risks, creating on the streets, on stages, outdoors, indoors, alone, with a team, with funds, without funds.

Denis Leo Hegic (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Many have made their own path by walking.

Multiplying the effect was the fact that we were presenting in a bubble. Perhaps that is a metaphor to some, but in this case our three day exploration was while inside a room that had been covered with plastic top to bottom, side to side; a red bubble cave made of plastic. The site specific installation by the Madrid based collective Penique Productions changed our very perceptions because everything was drenched in a red/pink glow.

Here are some of the images from those few mind-expanding days;

Fernando Figueroa (photo © Jaime Rojo)

From the start, big thinker Denis Leo from Berlin spoke to us with his current vision on “The Intelligence of Many” and what it means in terms of collaborative place-making, curating, and problem-solving. It seemed a perfect note to begin as we contemplate a world where long established hierarchies are flattening and power is reallocated to those who can work collectively and independently. He reminded us that pretending to know about art may mean that we close our mind to new opportunity, new experiments and possibly the whole point.

Following him Dr. Fernando Figueroa from Madrid spoke about how Graffiti and Street Art can act as a social barometer; an emotional and ethical reflection of a neighborhood, a community, and a city. With an unearthing of research on societies attitude toward graffiti and mark-making that went back centuries, his research combined classical notions of civilization, architecture, and urban planning with the individuals’ psychological need to have a voice. He also talked about how to decode the messages we see on the street.

Juan Peiro (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Juan Peiro from Spain and Sergio Pardo from New York spoke about how we can thoughtfully program works that respond to the rhythm of a city, cognizant of its systems, in concert with its various populations.

A New York City Arts programmer and a professor at Universitat Politècnica de València, the two of them have worked in public space with artists and the community. Each had valuable observations about the interactions. An underlying theme: What is “creative placemaking” and how does one obtain permissions from all the parties who are affected by works in the public sphere?

Sergio Pardo (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Prague based multidisciplinary artist Jan Kaláb spoke about inclusivity and exclusivity in Street Art as seen through the eyes of someone who’s art practice has continuously evolved in the past two decades. Reclining on the plastic red couch with mic in hand, Jan shared his personal experiences as a graffiti writer hitting trains and explained to us how the graffiti crews are an inclusive community who rely upon each other to succeed and how graffiti is a social experience that thrives in collaboration. Lessons learned from his foundations working collaboratively led him to different forms of working with artists, creators, administrators, galleries, and fans.

Jan Kaláb (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Alberto González Pulido from Madrid touched on a timely and very important set of topics from the Gag Law in Spain, censorship to copyrights and artists’ intellectual rights. Armed with in-depth detail about current laws that are evolving to address Internet matters and copyright and free speech – casting a frightening pall of power overreach by corporations into areas exclusively reserved for our courts and governments. The main message for us was that we all need to educate ourselves.

Alberto González Pulido (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sabina Chagina from Moscow took us on a personal trip and shared her experience and the process and difficulties co-founding a Biennale of Street Art in Moscow, a city with practically no culture of street art on the streets. A frank and open sharing of knowledge, it was instructive on how huge projects can come together with the right partners and the ability to pivot when necessary toward opportunity. Also, think big!

Sabina Chagina (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Susan Hansen and Bill Posters took us on a learning trip with their lectures about hacking public space with subvertising, brandalism, collaborative interventions, the street practices of Creative Activism. They both spoke of the role that activism plays in a time of social-political-psychological upheaval and how Street Artists are using the existing public furniture to disseminate their message – and reclaim public space.

Susan Hansen (photo © Jaime Rojo)
Bill Posters (photo © Jaime Rojo)

And finally curator, visionary, publisher and gallery owner Pascal Feucher from Berlin spoke about the importance of nurturing artists and giving them the space and the freedom to create, experiment, fail, learn and succeed.

Pascal Feucher (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Three days of intense learning and meeting people and talking about why we do what we do – and the importance of remaining independent and commercial free – gave us new impetus to continue taking risks. We are newly determined to make things happen; providing a platform for artists, curators and big thinkers to present their proposals and voice their dreams and aspirations. For galleries to announce their exhibitions. For art fairs to promote their programs, for authors to voice their thoughts and for the public to experience art without the intrusion of advertisements.

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