Vol. 16 No. 1 (2023): Going Virtual – But How? Mapping Virtualities in Contemporary Technoculture

Cinematic street art? Exploring the limits of the philosophy of street art

Logan Canada-Johnson
University of Southern California

Published 2023-07-22


  • film-philosophy,
  • street art,
  • experimental film,
  • transparency

How to Cite

Canada-Johnson, L. (2023). Cinematic street art? Exploring the limits of the philosophy of street art. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 16(1), 105–115. https://doi.org/10.36253/Aisthesis-13862


As artforms, film and street art seem incompatible. Contra this incompatibility, I investigate their combination: cinematic street art. Two promising cases are the artworks MUTO and Repopulate, but I argue neither is suitable. MUTO only counts if I accept the transparency thesis, the claim that photographs allow us to literally see their depicta. Repopulate only counts if we reject Noel Carroll’s requirement that a cinematic performance token isn’t itself an artwork. However, these imperfect cases demonstrate what is required in order to have cinematic street art: the artwork is a 1) aconsensual artwork that 2) does not merely use street art as imagery or 3) merely use the street as a performance space. I introduce two hypothetical artworks inspired by this approach and discuss their merits, as well as their pitfalls relevant to my own desiderata. As such, this article serves as the foment for broader discussion within the philosophy of street art.


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