Graffiti turns private property into a precarious commons (precariousness is accessibility)

Despite any legal attempts to clarify them, surfaces remain vulnerable to dispute and they are a lawscape of powerful internal contradictions. Surfaces possess interaction, inclusion and exclusion, networks and displays of aggression and art, politics and access, and they refuse any attempts at stabilisation: they champion using and producing, instead of having and keeping. Property owners want to stabilise surfaces through conditioning access on ownership, while municipal authorities attempt surface domination by either cleansing or artification. Both approaches are aimed at the same result, which is to achieve controlled and predictable territories of single expression and visual consistency. Surfaces might be strained by fixed jurisdictions and legal claims, but they keep bending, swelling, retracting and peeling like the city they are facing. Surfaces are political because they are accessible, despite attempts at control and predictability. Legislate them, coat them, clean them, fence them, art them – but surfaces remain precarious when facing the city. Surfaces are city more than they are rules, permanently becoming, and defiantly showcasing the minor in order to make it significant.

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