In this historical geography of the changing appearance of wall space in and around the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, I show how the proliferation of graffiti-murals indicates the rise of a new form of practice in the production of urban aesthetics. I rely on data gathered through empirical and qualitative research—specifically, ethnographic methods that include archival image analysis, original photography, personal and participant observation, and extensive formal and open-ended interviews with members of the graffiti and mural communities. Throughout this dissertation I discuss the production and destruction of murals and graffiti-murals in the context of over 70 years of socio-spatial neighborhood change. I rely on the writings of geographers, sociologists, urban theorists, and art theorists who understand the production of alternative urban aesthetics as necessarily political, participatory, and place-based.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2012. Major: Geography. Advisor: Abdi Samatar. 1 computer file (PDF); xvii, 339 pages.
University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
The Changing Face of Wall Space: Graffiti-murals in the context of neighborhood change in Los Angeles.
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