As the end of the 20th century approaches and a solution to the Y2K conundrum remains elusive, a bunch a dissatisfied image-makers are busy defying the all-encompassing power of the computer. A new generation of artists has come up from the streets, chopped the computer down to size and reconfigured the hand-made. This work provides an international survey of this phenomenon. Inhabiting a genre grey-area somewhere between art, design and illegality, these image-makers and "writers" operate beyond the colleges and galleries of the art establishment. Able to tenaciously exploit the media, they've also gone beyond any previous expectations of anonymous street art. The tradition of graffiti writing, with its notions of youthful rebellion, outsider identity, urban tribalism and aesthetic and technical innovation, was their starting point. The street, the rejeuvenation of comic book artistry and the stylistics, cut-up vocals and rhythms of hip-hop and beat-based music are their inspiration. The music, fashion and marketing industries, along with community-based arts funding, enable these young and mobile individuals to lead double lives.
This is a process-led visual revolution, as aplicable to commercial projects on an international scale as it is to self-initiated personal work. One day may be spent painting a stage backdrop in Tokyo; the next, designing a record sleeve in London.