laceninja asked me why I hate yarn-bombing
and a couple of other people asked me to make my answer rebloggable, so:
In brief: Public art is essentially a reclamation of public space. That means you need to think carefully about who you’re reclaiming it for and from, and why.
Interventions into public space that have a cute, indie aesthetic (like yarn-bombing, seed-bombing, paste-ups, and to a lesser extent stencil graffiti) are primarily carried out by white middle-class art student types. They are tolerated, seen as tourist attractions, and often sponsored by government art bodies. They’re also sure signs of gentrification.
Compare the reaction to tagging and traditional graf. They’re also forms of public art, but are criminalised, heavily policed, and widely perceived to bring down the tone and property values of an area. I’d say this is because they are reclamations of public space primarily by people of colour and working class people.
Yarn-bombing is inane and serves literally no purpose other than to mark an area as the property of twee white kids.