Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Graffiti, SE 8th & Woodward

This photoset is just some graffiti on a midcentury warehouse in industrial SE Portland. It's not part of a wider project, and it also isn't social commentary about anything at all. I just happened to notice it when I was in the right mood and liked the combination of the aggregate texture with the dark grey glossy paint (probably over previous graffiti) and then the purple and hot pink graffiti layered on top of that, and the fact that it got this way thru a completely adversarial series of events. I don't think anyone involved was going for a "look", including whoever added the latest color bits, which are strictly low-end, so-and-so-was-here stuff.

If I've sold you on the look, or at least the idea of it, and you want to go see for yourself, or maybe you think it would appeal to anonymous art collectors and money launderers in Zurich or Dubai, and you're about to send in your jackhammer goon squad, er, street art extraction team, you're probably out of luck. I took these photos months ago and (although I haven't gone back to check) it just stands to reason that it's been painted over at least once since then, with who knows what. And (as far as I know) the technology doesn't exist yet to pick apart all the paint layers to be framed and sold separately, as incredibly lucrative as that would be.

At that point my brain went off on a tangent and dreamed up a Next Generation episode on that theme, and I don't have any more material for this post, so I might as well tell you what it is. Ok, so the Enterprise shows up at the planet of the week, which has two long-warring continents. At one point centuries ago the forces of continent A captured a priceless painting belonging to continent B, and a completely different but equally priceless masterpiece was then painted on top of the original out of pure spite, and it's been a major bone of contention ever since. Picard volunteers to have Geordi separate the two paintings with the transporter, both completely unharmed, which is obviously very delicate work and might involve remodulating the phase inverters or some such. Continent A's national museum curator (a very aggravating person) reluctantly agrees, and it seems to go well at first, but right at the end a transporter accident turns both paintings to piles of dust, or so it appears. A major diplomatic incident ensues, and the locals arrest Geordi or maybe Picard, and a renewed global war looms. Closer investigation reveals a second transporter beam, traced to offworld art thieves in league with the curator, and the crew has to perform an even trickier transporter thing to get both paintings back unharmed, like somehow beaming them out of a sealed cargo hold on a cloaked ship at warp 8, swapping them out for other paintings of exactly equal mass without the subterfuge being detected. Maybe a quick Raiders of the Lost Ark in-joke happens at this point, seeing as they're both Paramount franchises. The crew pulls it off, the thieves' ship is last seen entering Orion Syndicate territory, still unaware of the swap, and everyone else lives happily ever. Right at the end we learn the replacements were a velvet Elvis and a painting of dogs playing poker, both from Riker's personal collection.

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