Graffiti and street art are exploding around the world, and in Bomb It 2, director Jon Reiss takes us to previous unexplored urban areas: Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Perth, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Chicago, Austin and the Palestinian refugee camps on the West Bank. Reiss shot Bomb It 2 himself using a ultra compact camera and sound package, crawling through sewers and nest of red ants, scaling abandoned buildings to interview artists and capture them at work.
Bomb It 2 features artists from Singaopore–where graffiti is punishable by caning–Austrailia, Hong Kong, Denmark, Thailand, Israel and Palstinian refugee camps, all of whom are fueled by a desire to create and leave their mark, to make people think
Crowd-funded on Kickstarter, Bomb It 2 was released on DVD/VOD on August 6. Jon will be my guest on Firedoglake.com Movie Night September 9, at 5pm West Coast time. As a teaser, here’s part of an interview I did with Jon via email for CARTWHEELart.com:
Graffiti is an art form that can exist for years in one place, or only days. This uncertainty, the impermanence, how does this impact the artists?
I think it is one of the aspects of the art form that excites them, the transitory/ephemeral nature. Sure they want their pieces to be up as long as possible – so they are always looking for places where pieces will live longer – generally avoiding pristine downtown/business districts that will be buffed immediately. But none are fools as to what the world is that they are operating in. They are taking space – and anyone else can take the space from them – if they have the skills.
The urges to create and make one’s mark in/on the world, to also beautify/alter the urban environment, to communicate with others through images are as old as mankind, and certainly seen in street art. Are there efforts in the cities you profile to provide walls for street artists? Or would that take away, for some, the thrill/artistic impulse?
No – not really re providing space. I think in these cities – if anything there is more apathy towards street art from the local authorities – such as in Tel Aviv, Bethlehem, Bangkok, Hong Kong (not so in Singapore). In much of the developing world there are bigger issues to deal with. In Melbourne – there is a tolerance and even appreciation for it – from the local authorities, but that often changes and can change with any government on a dime.