SOUTH BEND, Ind., March 25 (UPI) — A U.S.-led multinational study suggests street art provokes meaningful discussion about the world’s urban landscape.
The researchers at Notre Dame University, Arizona State University and Italy’s Bocconi University said they examined the phenomenon of street art from the perspective of artists, dwellers, passersby, retailers and others in the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland. They said they analyzed reactions to various types of graffiti and “sticking,” which involves pasting and drawing symbols in public places.
“Wherever we look, we observe a recurrent emptiness and disenchantment in the way citizens negotiate urban spaces,” wrote the authors Luca Visconti, John Sherry Jr., Stefania Borghini and Laurel Anderson. “An ambivalent and multi-faceted phenomenon, street art stimulates lively discussion about public space and its ties to the market.”
The researchers said for those who believe corporate logos are taking over the landscape, street art rejuvenates public spaces while “talking back to the culture of over-consumption.”
“Several disciplines, including sociology, urban studies and anthropology have commented on the rise of non-places we all consume with little real enjoyment,” they said. “We show public space can be contested as private and commercialized by companies and artists, or offered back as a collective good, where sense of belonging and dialogue restore it to a meaningful place.”
The study is to be reported in the October edition of the Journal of Consumer Research.
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