BAUDRILLARD, Jean. Les Graffiti de New York ou L’Insurrection par Les Signes.

(Barcelona): Barral Editores, 1974.  First edition.  Octavo.  405 pages.  Number 3 of Paper Revista de Sociologia.  This issue contains, pages 27 – 38 the first publication of Baudrillard’s legendary and influential essay “Kool Killer.”  In this essay Baudrillard contends that graffiti writing functions as a revolutionary counter to mass media, an attack on the code of cultural hegemony, “a savage cultural process with neither goal, ideology, nor content, at the level of signs.” For Baudrillard, the writing is significant in that it contains “no content and no message,” in that, rather than convey political messages, it takes the form of pseudonyms, “empty signifiers,” as he calls them, inscribed on walls and subways. He asserts that writing’s recuperation can take one of two forms: that of a “bourgeois humanist interpretation” that imposes upon it the meaning of an assertion of identity; and that of art, which imposes an “aesthetic reduction,” thereby negating its revolutionary potential.  A very good copy in wrappers with integral flaps, crease to cover.  A nice copy of this a profound and important theoretical analysis of postmodern graffiti.


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