Sidewalk Therapy

Then Why Did You Do It? - Chang

Sidewalk Psychiatry

Ever notice how while walking down the street, you find yourself reviewing the day’s events in your mind or perhaps preparing for a social interaction to come? On the streets of NYC you may come across some helpful questions on the pavement, supporting further processing of these thoughts while you walk. In her work titled Sidewalk Psychiatry, Candy Chang is responsible for these messages, encouraging the viewer to reframe their thought processes or take their ponderings a little deeper.

Laser Tag

Using your computer, Laser Tag 2.0 software, a projector, a laser pointer and a web cam you can tag or draw on your walls impermanently (i.e. in your home or office).

Graffiti Research Lab discovered this, and developed the project so that using more complex tools you can actually temporarily draw on large outdoor structures, such as high rise buildings. With the software available through Graffiti Research Lab, you can create variations in color and also the way the “paint” reacts, such as, how much it will drip.

Check out the video posted bellow for an example. Also, here’s a link explaining how to pull off the large scale building painting project.

I was thinking, how much fun would it be to incorporate this within an art therapy group or individual session? Its similar to a Buddha Board but on a larger scale, and perhaps more palatable for contemporary urban youth clientele.

Graffiti Art Therapy

What does tagging, bombing and writing have to do with art therapy? A whole lot, according to Abdallah Ezekiel Rothman LPC, ATR…especially if you work with adolescents.

In 2004, Ezekiel wrote his thesis on the topic of Graffiti Art Therapy while studying at Antioch University in Seattle. His thesis includes two parts- a written research portion and a 20 minute documentary, which can be seen in full at Ezekiel also has his own website where his research is posted, although only a clip of the documentary is available here. I find Ezekiel’s website an easier read than the graffitiverite site due to the way the website was formatted and designed.

If this all seems familiar, it may be because Ezekiel presented his video at the 2008 AATA conference in Cleveland. He also is an adjunct professor at George Washington University’s Art Therapy program and will be teaching a class titled “Graffiti Art Therapy” this summer.