Google alerts

I thought everyone knew of these, but after talking with some friends - maybe not. In Google's words, 

 Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Pretty simple - here's a link to the page. Using alerts you can have Google periodically search for whatever you want to follow, and you restrict the search to just web or just video, or ask for everything. You'll get a list of links and summaries sent to you as an email,  as it happens, daily, weekly - whatever you choose. I know, seems like yet another way to get more things piled up to read, but it can help to focus on some areas. 

I want to look for positive online coverage of graffiti, of graffiti murals, and of graffiti legal walls, so I have set those three searches up as alerts. Then in my Gmail  I have a filter that tells it to skip the Inbox with these messages and label all with "graff alerts". That way they don't clutter my Inbox and I can check whenever I want to pick the ones I'd like to share with others. And being online, check from wherever I have access.

Here's the web page where I share the links and summaries of the ones I like, maybe add a few words, using categories graffiti articles, legal wall, or mural.

Graffiti as art - and more

A friend of mine, Yvette, is writing a book about the history of Toronto 's graffiti scene, how it began, how it evolved, what has been happening. She is getting opinions and viewpoints from across the board including business owners, artists and supporters of the cause - such as yours truly.

There is an "artist profile" section where contributing artists write their own bios, provide their own photos and say whatever is important for them to get out.  These are primarily the old school writers who've been around the longest and have seen graffiti evolve as well as the communities that surround it.
There is also a "tales" section with interesting stories and anecdotes, as well as a photographic exposition showcasing some of the amazing graffiti in Toronto.

She has most of her input, but is still collecting more if you act quickly. You can email her via tgcbproject  at gmail dot com . 

The following is the text that sent to her:

Continue reading "Graffiti as art - and more" »

House of Paint - 2009

Yet another successful HoP - big ups to Sabra and all the rest of the volunteers. Seems every year we add a few more features, but we still manage to keep that community feeling.

We had about 50 graffiti artists, so added more scaffolding this year. Ended up with three levels on the main wall, two on the south wall.  Stage for the bboy/bgirl was larger, with bleachers added to two sides. Red Bull provided a sound truck, that was boosted by some amps and speakers from Timekode.

It was good to see a lot of artists there from previous years, and to hear appreciation of the work I've been doing to promote graffiti art, especially as part of a mural program. It's nice when a teenager comes up to me, asks if I'm Ravensview,then  thanks me for our mural work, and even expresses interest in joining Keepsix. Some are worried they aren't good enough, I explain it's not just a group for the top writers in Ottawa, it's also a way for aspiring artists to focus more on this and develop their skills. We try to mix up the artist levels on large mirals, just for that reason.

I've a lot of photos from the day, will get them up in Flickr over the next few days and add a link here.

 Lots of time for editing lately, with all this rain. We're hoping to get the Ravine Wall mural finished out here in Orleans, then it's on to one for behind Boushey's on Elgin. And then on to others - a few  contact us and then suddenly drop all interest, not sure why, but many stick with us And they then  really like the work we do, think the rate is fair, and compliment the artists on not just their skill but their pleasant demeanor. And pass on the word to others - we rely on not just our site and positive articles in the media, but also referrals by reputation and word of mouth.

Last post - and a mural

No - not for good, just hopefully the last on this annoying Mr. X.

I'd posted before on this person. I'd also sent him an email assuring him our aim is not to support vandalism, and asking him to meet face to face. I also pointed out I'd been copying in here his emails to various customers - forwarded to me by them for comment, as well as forwarded to each other. And added I've also included my responses and those of support from many others of what we are trying to do with our program. I also asked him to meet with me to discuss further.

His response was to worry about me publishing private emails - these were not one-on-one communications, these were emails he had sent to dozens of people, who in turn forwarded them to many others.  He referred me to the website of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Not sure why, as it has a caution about email that he doesn't seem to have read himself:

Most of us have strong expectations of privacy when sending email, but the reality is that sending an email message is like sending a postcard. |t is not technically difficult for a copy to be made in transmission. And once you send an email, you have lost control over it and its contents. In this world of electronic networks and instantaneous communications, your “personal” message can be forwarded to a public forum for the entire world see with the click of a mouse.

He does ask that I express his views in my own words, rather than quoting him directly - and accurately. You'd think he'd prefer the latter. Maybe he's worried I might repeat his specific accusations against named individuals and open him to accusations of slander. He did question my ethics - a strange accusation considering the slanderous contents of his emails and his underhanded approach of contacting almost everyone in Ottawa except me and Keepsix. He doesn't realize that the real issue is not whether his emails - sent to dozens, are in fact private communications. The real issue is that he has slandered not just our group Keepsix but also the names and reputations of these young artists, and likely hindered their business prospects. Some of them are considering legal action, based on what they have seen in his emails that others have forwarded to them - I don't blame them. People often consider youth as powerless and an easy target - not a nice attitude and not accurate. They can fight back - as was shown last year when a Toronto photographer tried to take advantage of some young graffiti artists. See my post Graffiti and Copyright.

Continue reading "Last post - and a mural" »