BBtv: Graffiti Research Lab, the movie

Grab your LED throwies and your laser tagging units, comrades, and join the revolution. Today on Boing Boing tv, a sneak peek at a new documentary film on the subversive public art collective known as Graffiti Research Lab, who develop and distribute "open source technologies for urban communication." The voices you'll hear in today's episode — GRL founders James Powderly and Evan Roth.

Link to Boing Boing tv post
with discussion and downloadable video.

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From their statement, redacted by the "U.S. Dept. of Homeland Graffiti"…

From their origins in the trash room of a non-profit in Manhattan to their emergence as the instigators of an international art movement, Graffiti Research Lab: The Complete First Season documents the adventures of an architect and an engineer who quit their day jobs to develop high-tech tools for the art underground. The film follows the GRL and their network of graffiti artist collaborators (and commercial imitators) across four continents as they write on skyscrapers with lasers, mock advertisers with homemade tools, get in trouble with The Department of Homeland Security and make activism fun again. Primarily using video footage from point-and-shoot digital cameras ("The Pocket School") and found-content on the web, the movie's visual style draws as much from the art of the power point presentation and viral media as conventional documentary cinema.

Narrated by GRL co-founders, Roth and Powderly, The Complete First Season makes a humorous and insightful argument for free speech in public, open source in pop culture, the hacker spirit in graffiti and not asking for permission in general. The film was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. Available 24/7 on The Pirate Bay.

Part two of today's episode documents GRL's hijinks at Maker Faire 2007. That event's 2008 edition is coming up next week.

GRL was mistakenly credited with the Boston Mooninite LED Terror Freakout; while their work no doubt inspired the street marketing team responsible for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force debacle, Powderly told Boing Boing the day it happened that GRL was not involved.

Link to more info about the DVD and where you can download a torrent — or, see it at the premiere, May 4, at New York's MOMA.