Civil Disobedience in Los Angeles
Article By: Robbie Conal
Pages 228 - 230

"Guerilla street postering—"sniping"— is the most direct, unmediated form of public expression available to pictorial artists. It's also narcotic. And illegal."
Robbie Conale


Designers are important and often powerful because of the medium they've mastered - because of that power, they carry responsibilities.

This essay completely disregards that mentality, one that has been prevalent throughout the whole book.

Conal just tells us why and how he goes around with friends putting unauthorized posters up around Los Angeles, and his love for doing it bleeds into his writing. He doesn't care if you think what he's doing is a big deal -- he just wants to tell you how awesome he thinks it is.

The why for the activity is pretty simple: distribution. Conal notes that "[m]ostly, they'll show your art if it will sell. That pretty much leaves out ugly little black-and-white portraits of ugly old white men in suits and ties who've abused their power in the name of representative democracy." The how is a little more complex, but no more than you'd expect from this sort of a clandestine operation. Of course, he doesn't expect to accomplish anything enormous from his efforts -- the reward lies mostly in personal satisfaction.

"Trust me, it's a total loss. Making art with the intention of changing people's minds about issues that are important to them is hubris. Personal catharsis works for me."


I think he's a little humble about the work he's doing. Art, whether it has direct political intentions or not, has always been to a great degree about making people think, and if it accomplishes that goal, it is successful. The advantage of street art is the amount of eyeballs it gets, the amount of people it has the potential to get thinking. The internet is also a great medium for this kind of thing, and a great way to organize this kind of thing.