abatement-industrial complex

The Abatement Mural Mystery

Graffiti is a polarizing word. Rampant tagging in urban areas contributes to blight, which according to law enforcement experts, decreases property values, and invites further vandalism and illegal dumping. These urban hieroglyphs are frequently a hot-button issue for both the media and elected officials; their sensationalistic rhetoric has turned the abatement industry into a $20 billion behemoth. For that reason, many practitioners of the form prefer the term “aerosol artist” – noting that the punitive measures often prescribed tend to…

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Rethinking the Abatement Industrial Complex from a Public Art Policy Framework

Since its founding in 2007, the Community Rejuvenation Project has sought to transform communities with holistic, vibrant, and uplifting murals which engage and inspire viewers. A large part of our work, however, has been overcoming negative perceptions of street art, which is often linked to vandalism and youth crime. We have also seen the need for sounder, saner, and more sensible policy around public art and graffiti abatement, as well as for more communication and better cooperation between all stakeholders…

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Ken Houston and the Fallacy of the Abatement-Industrial Complex

Fourteen months ago, in January 2014, self-proclaimed “community advocate” and wanna-be Oakland Mayoral candidate Ken Houston addressed a roomful of business owners, mass transit corporate executives, high-ranking police officers, journalists and a sprinkling of local and state elected officials or their representatives, invited on behalf of the East Oakland Beautification Council, a community initiative developed under the auspices of the Turner Construction Group (on whose website the group’s minutes appear), a major developer whose past projects include the Fox Theater and…

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