Graffiti is part and parcel of urban life, wherever in the world. At one end of the spectrum you may find meaningful works of art, at the other end you will find meaningless rubbish. To be fair though, one person’s meaningful rubbish could be another person’s meaningless work of art.
Or in whatever is used to scratch up the windows at the back of the upper deck of every London bus. This form of graf is called “etching”. It’s an inevitable result of when a city’s municipal authority evolves to develop advanced anti-graffiti systems in urban spaces. e.g. anti-graf paint on fences and walls, teflon-style coating to trains and bus interiors and exteriors. The etching of windows on buses and trains is what happens next. London is a highly advanced society in the graffiti stakes; for I have ridden buses and trains in many major cities all over the world, but London’s transport systems are the most highly “etched” I’ve ever observed. Those of you who have been around these pages for long enough may remember my last posting of 2004. The accompanying picture was taken with my camera in “autofocus” mode from the top deck of my bus. The thing is, if there’s etch graf on the window then the likelihood’s quite high that the camera will focus on the graf and not on the subject matter outside the window. That picture in the old posting was from the bus.
(My cameraphone auto-focusses on the etch graf)