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Street Art

Sticker Art – Maria Walter – ICD Program Coordinator

When I was little, I used to collect stickers. Some of them had some glitter on it, some were made of some plushy material or had some other fancy special effects. However a recent trend  of sticker collection has arisen among adults.

The modern sticker bombers have been using urban space for around 15 years now much like graffiti artist . The most attractive locations for the stickers are areas, where a lot of people walk by or place where they are forced to stop like traffic signs,  or even on places like houses, windows and garbage cans.

At a first glance it may look light just another form of vandalism, but the stickers represent a deeper message. A lot of stickers want to create awareness for political issues and advocate protest or resistance movement against a certain status quo or policy. There is maybe even a greater amount of political left-wing motivated sticker bombing than of any other groups, besides the ones who want to create art without a political background.

The good thing for the sticker poster is that these smaller messages are cheaper to produce than big posters or even a spray can full and are much quicker to post. All it requires is designing a sticker and then emailing it to people who are willing to post them all over the streets. This could perhaps allow a local protest to reach a global level due to the fact that spreading the message is relatively easy. Just a click and the sticker goes to the other end of the world. But still, sticker are local. They are visible at a certain spot and mostly touch a local problem or phenomena. Those who shun the effort with own designs and materials just grab for free stickers like you find them in post offices and paint or write little notes on them before putting them up.

The bad thing is that stickers are seen as the same waste and demolition of the city by the city administrators or people who do not like art as graffiti is. Therefore, putting up stickers all over the city is also illegal. However stickers are easier to remove and do not cause much damage.

Real sticker artists produce art with the stickers. It is not simply a single sticker that is a part the art, but the entire construction around the sticker is. The sticker in combination with the location – the sticker in combination with other posted sticker – the sticker as part of a greater sticker art picture as a cluster of little pictures.

But there is still another side. There are also sticker fans collecting the little art pieces itself. They walk through the city with open eyes like in an open air gallery and spot their favorite messages. The collectors then remove the stickers carefully to fulfill their personal compilation. One of the maybe biggest collection of Street Art Stickers is the Hatch Sticker Museum in Berlin and they are always try to find the newest stickers in all the cities.

So watch out for Street Art!


About icdblogsphereteam

We are the Blogsphere Team of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. We are the interactive part of the web resources of ICD. We spread culture and mutual understanding among cultures through blogs.


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The London Art as Cultural Diplomacy ConferenceAugust 21st, 2013


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