With, On and Against Street Signs On Art Made out of Street Signs

  • Mª Isabel Carrasco Castro
Keywords: De Certeau, strategies, tactics, street signs, Dan Witz, Clet, Brad Dowley, DosJotas


In The Practice of Everyday Life (1980), Michel de Certeau suggests the idea of a city in which there are, on one side, strategies of information, surveillance, control and infrastructure design laid out by the system and, on the other one, tactics defining the how-to-do of the users with regards to that system, that is, the operations by which they adapt them to align their own interests and needs. The texts allows us to examine the interventions of urban artists as a tactic characterized, as defined by De Certeau, as the harnessing of the system's resources (making do). This is more specifically translated into adaptability, development on a space they do not own, identification and utilization of the occasion (time) and the inventiveness of diverting time and resources (shortcut and la

In this work, we will take traffic signs of restriction and prohibition as one of the urban components that highlight the normativization of public spaces through the direct message of "NO" (not doing). Many artists have, in previous years, developed an interest in the artistic and symbolic possibilities of these signs and have developed works (tactics) as their response to them. Dan Witz (Chicago, 1957), Clet (Bretagne, 1966), Brad Dowey (Louisville, 1980) or DosJotas (Madrid, 1982) are good examples of this.

How to Cite
Castro, M. I. (2018). With, On and Against Street Signs On Art Made out of Street Signs. SAUC - Street Art & Urban Creativity Scientific Journal, 4(1), 82 - 93. https://doi.org/10.25765/sauc.v4i1.124