The Tag Conference, Kyselak

ABOUT ‘THE TAG CONFERENCE’

The Tag Conference is the spearhead event in the growing field of graffiti studies. Since 2017, the conference has partnered with museums, universities and institutions in Europe and America to host over 100 speakers coming from more than 20 countries on all 5 continents.

WHY A TAG CONFERENCE?

Street art conferences cover graffiti as well, but we felt it was lacking proper attention. This is why we conceived the first Tag Conference for the Freie Universität Berlin.

Graffiti had to be in the spotlight, but we decided to go all the way through and focus exclusively on tagging, probably the most underrated, underexplored and fascinating form of public art.

BRINGING TOGETHER DIFFERENT SPHERES

The event’s groundbreaking focus on ‘name-writing of all eras’ has brought together academics studying historical wall-writing with the new scholars of contemporary graffiti, often insiders of the culture.

The Tag Conference created the first point of contact between these two research spheres, and has succeeded in drawing a thread for them to find common ground and complement each other.

SHOWCASING ATYPICAL RESEARCH

Most research about tags is produced informally by graffiti aficionados. Some of them are highly specialised photographers and ‘rogue archivists’ who put in endless hours of work, then publish the result on blogs and social media profiles.

The Tag Conference is particularly proud to support this new type of research, and to provide it with an institutional setting.

ABOUT ‘THE TAG CONFE-
RENCE’

The Tag Conference is the spearhead event in the growing field of graffiti studies. Since 2017, the conference has partnered with museums, universities and institutions in Europe and America to host over 100 speakers coming from more than 20 countries on all 5 continents.

WHY A TAG CONFERENCE?

Street art conferences cover graffiti as well, but we felt it was lacking proper attention. This is why we conceived the first Tag Conference for the Freie Universität Berlin.

Graffiti had to be in the spotlight, but we decided to go all the way through and focus exclusively on tagging, probably the most underrated, underexplored and fascinating form of public art.

BRINGING TOGETHER DIFFERENT SPHERES

The event’s groundbreaking focus on ‘name-writing of all eras’ has brought together academics studying historical wall-writing with the new scholars of contemporary graffiti, often insiders of the culture.

The Tag Conference created the first point of contact between these two research spheres, and has succeeded in drawing a thread for them to find common ground and complement each other.

SHOWCASING ATYPICAL RESEARCH

Most research about tags is produced informally by graffiti aficionados. Some of them are highly specialised photographers and ‘rogue archivists’ who put in endless hours of work, then publish the result on blogs and social media profiles.

The Tag Conference is particularly proud to support this new type of research, and to provide it with an institutional setting.

The Tag Conference - Photograph by Robin Vermeulen

TEAM & PARTNERS

UNLOCK

The Tag Conference is part of Unlock’s ongoing international culture program of graffiti-related events.

Unlock is a distributed team of scholars, publishers and culture professionals with a strong graffiti background, with bases of operation in Madrid, New York City, London and Thessaloníki.

Read all about Unlock’s flagship event, the Unlock Book Fair.

DIRECTOR

Javier Abarca (ES)

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

Orestis Pangalos PhD (GR)
Edward Birzin PhD (US)
Javier Abarca PhD (ES)

LOCAL TEAMS

Akim (DE), Jasper van Es (NL), Robin Vermeulen (NL), Georg Barringhaus (DE), Margrit Miebach (DE), Pietro Rivasi (IT), Elia Mazzotti (IT), Mirko Reisser (DE), Ilaria Hoppe (DE)

COLLABORATING ACADEMIC BODIES

Hamburg University (DE), Freie Universität Berlin (DE), Graduate School of North American Studies (DE), Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia (IT), Catholic Private University Linz (AT), Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures (DE), Cluster of Excellence ‘Understanding Written Artefacts’ (DE), Hamburg University Library (DE), Institute for Contemporary Arts and Media KU Linz (AT)

COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS

Museum for Hamburg History (DE), Museum aan de A (NL), Museum of Graffiti (US), German Research Foundation (DE), Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (NL), WissensART Foundation (DE), Villa Albertine (FR), Fondazione di Modena (IT), Comune di Modena (IT), Stadt Köln (DE), Stadt Köln Bezirksvertretung Ehrenfeld (DE), Buergerstiftung Köln (DE), Hamburg Behörde für Kultur und Medien (DE), Hamburg Behörde für Wissenschaft und Forschung (DE), ÖFG Österreichische Forschungsgemeinschaft (AT), Linz Tourismus (AT), Bischöflichen Fonds zur Förderung der KU Linz (AT), Landeshauptstadt München Kulturreferat (DE), Kompetenzteam Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft Landeshauptstadt München (DE), Groninger Archieven (NL)

OTHER PARTNERS

Hitzerot (DE), Eine Stadt Wird Bunt (DE), Industry City (US), CityLeaks (DE), Urbaner (IT), Ovestlab (IT), Amigdala (IT), MoCu Magazine (IT), Pervenio (IT), NYX Hotels (DE)

Kyselak image courtesy of Gabriele Goffriller (AT)

The Tag Conference - Photograph by Ka-Tjun Hau