backpacking, camping, environment, graffiti, hiking, joshua tree, national parks, nature, outdoors, parks, photography, photos, pictures, trash, vandalism, vandalize
This past weekend we camped in Angeles National Forest east of Azusa in Los Angeles. I was walking around taking pictures when I spot graffiti- all over the place! It was announced that popular hiking spots of Joshua Tree are being closed for graffiti as well. Rangers said they’ve found graffiti spray painted on 17 sites, including the famous rock formations and historic Native American sites, at the Southern California park’s Rattlesnake Canyon. They put historic Barker Dam off limits after vandals carved their names into the cement of the Old West landmark. It saddens me to see this graffiti over our beautiful parks and forests! We need to do something to help clean up our parks and stop the graffiti! Here are some pictures I took while camping just weekend. This was all within about a quater-mile radius… so sad!
The Vegan Grip said:
I’m always torn about graffiti. One one hand, yes, it’s disrespectful and a defacement of historical and public property. But at the same time, I contemplate the meaning of history and public. People have been graffiti-ing (that’s the technical term :-p ) walls, buildings, rocks, etc since ancient Rome. Even, arguably, since before that – what else would cave paintings be called? So is graffiti a type of historical artifact – a reminder that we are here, we are human, and we intimately interact with and change our environments? Or something to be regulated, stopped?
Graffiti is art and has cultural significance. Given time it should be considered historically important as well. However, to install it in places like this is like giving the finger to art and culture, and it’s pretty disrespectful. I think it can be a fuzzy line sometimes, but in this case it isn’t art. It’s vandalism.
Ugh. Really, people? This is why we can’t have nice things.
The Backdoor Artist said:
Indeed an artifact. While cave paintings tell stories and recorded history they way we tell stories and record our history through paper and digital means…these remnants are no more than tagging, a self glorification of “look at me” meant to deface and draw attention to oneself rather than to build up.
So in that regard, it is indeed a sad artifact to leave for the future.
That really ticks me off! There’s no reason to deface historical artifacts like that, or to even vandalize things like signs. It’s something that I rant about often. It’s the work of little people who get their kicks out of destroying things for every one else.
By it’s definition according to Wikipedia ‘vandalism’ is “the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable. The term also includes criminal damage such as graffiti and defacement directed towards any property without permission of the owner.” The Vegan Grip, I think it’s a little short sighted to try and equate cave paintings with the defacement of these natural wonders. I would hardly categorize some high school senior spray painting “class of 2012” or a gang member etching gang signs onto rock faces as historical artifacts. But, I do agree that it is important to reflect on the meaning of human expression with its natural surroundings. However, I strongly believe that expressing yourself at the expense of others ability to enjoy these beautiful parks crosses the line between self-expression and just plain and simple vandalism.
Plain and simple stupidity in my opinion….In the end I agree with you seomartinez, the thought of some punk kid spray painting in a national park pisses me off to no end but it is interesting to ponder what someone 2,3 or 400 years from now might think about graffiti that in our opinion today is an eyesore. After all, they dig thru peoples garbage heaps and toilets from hundreds of years ago today and call it “science”. 🙂
They need “nature cams” out there to record the animal behaviors, including spray painting natural elements.
That’s awful. Pretty inconsiderate and disrespectful of the people who did that. And I just usually see trash junkin’ up the place. Never thought about graffiti.
Baz - The Landy said:
Seems to be a problem all around the world, I’m surprised at times the places I find it in Australia…
Definitely excessive ‘expression’ in my opinion. It does say something about our society for the historical record, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t guide or curb the artists. We’re part of society too, and stopping them for the sake of preserving ancient stone or natural erosion can be a historical societal expression as well. I’m all for art, but I love nature’s art unspoiled too. I recently posted some murals painted by a former tagger who started a movement in his area to encourage other taggers to step up their artwork and beautify spaces with permission instead of just scrawling messy tags on everybody’s stuff. It’s been fairly successful and there’s some awesome public artwork around Bellingham now.
Charles Cooper said:
What I see from your pictures is that this form of tagging isn’t ‘Art’, just vandalism. Cave paintings were used as a form of communication, a record of hunting, religion etc, Roman times to spread news, political gossip. I don’t see any of that here or any sign of intelligence. How can it therefore ever be seen as having any historical value and shouldn’t be legitimised as such. Shameful though it is, I’m glad you highlighted the issue on your blog and I hope it can be cleared up to preserve the natural habitat,
Kyle Kuns said:
What an unfortunate way to see the world to feel the need or desire to vandalize nature.
Alas, Graffiti is also a problem in the Uk. If you walk on any trail near an urban centre, you will find some 😦
Reblogged this on euzicasa and commented:
The graffitization of natural parks is a sacrilege, and reminder of the underculture of inculture!
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