The Wooster Collective 

In connection with my final project topic which deals with the topic of image retrieval system and graffiti art, I’ve decided to look at one of my references for this assignment, the Wooster Collective. As mentioned on their website, the Wooster Collective is dedicated to showcasing and celebrating ephemeral art placed on streets in cities around the world. The site is maintained and updated by Mac and Sara Schiller. The Wooster Collective site includes images, videos and articles documenting interesting photos, events, and new all dealing with street art. For example, users may find reviews of an artist’s new work or of a recent gallery exhibit. There’s also a feature where users can search the site’s archives by either date, beginning from the sites creation in 2003 to the present, or by a category list which is over 100 items long. Depending on the entry’s tag, a user can find what they are looking for. Some tags include 3-D, geek graffiti, activism, and even by city. The site also has a podcast with music and interviews featuring street artists. Also listed on the Collective’s site are links to websites of the street artists that are mentioned on the site such as Buffmonster, Space Invader, and the well known artist, Banksy.

I really find it interesting that the Wooster Collective its content is user submitted. Aside from the Schillers collecting images, news, and video about street art, the public is encouraged to submit their own photos by emailing them to the site. Also many of the entries have the option to “recommend” the article. Since the Wooster Collective can be found on Twitter, it’s possible for readers to retweet an entry, There is also a feedback link where users can contact the administrators of the site.

The reason why I chose to share this site with the class is because like you’ll hear in my final presentation numerous times I think that graffiti art has, whether someone considers vandalism or not, become a part of our culture. It’s become more mainstream thanks to street artists like Shepard Fairey, Fafi, and Banksy. Graffiti style art has been used in advertisements. Artists’ works have been sought out by art collectors and have been seen in many art auctions going for thousands of dollars. And because a lot of graffiti art is so temporary, it deserves to be preserved. Aside from a cataloging system inspired by ICONCLASS that was created to put some order in graffiti art, I feel like there really isn’t a “professional” way of archiving such work. Having the Wooster Collective in existence gives graffiti art the chance to have some permanence in our culture.

I’ve included a link to our del.icio.us account if you’d like to check out the Wooster Collective for yourself.

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