Comment 29781

By highwater (registered) | Posted March 27, 2009 at 11:43:37

I ascribe to the view of the Supreme Court Justice quoted in the story, that "we know it when we see it." I don't think it's as difficult as you might think to sort out the difference between what adds value and what takes it away. Nor is it simply a matter of deciding what has artistic merit based on individual tastes, which may differ. For instance, the motives of the creator should be an important factor in how we view the results. It's pretty difficult to argue that taggers are attempting to beauty or edify their communities.

Roadsworth also seems to have confined himself to public property, which is a statement in itself, and another quantifiable difference between what he is doing and the activities of those with less compunction about private property rights.

The KWGG is in dicier territory in this regard. The LIUNA parkette is a quasi-public space, but still technically private property. Are our actions justified because they are clearly adding value? Does the quasi-public nature of the space give us a say in how it should be managed? More likely our butts are simply being saved by the ephemeral nature of plant material; no one could seriously argue any lasting, material damage has been perpetrated.

As for who gets to decide, I think it should be the intended audience: the community at large, and as I said earlier, I don't think it's actually that difficult to get a consensus on what adds value since it's about alot more than just individual aesthetic taste.

As you say, an interesting debate, but then I think that's part of the point.

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