Editors’ Blog

Sites We Love: Written On The City

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

By Chris Teja

image-00001706.jpg“They don’t know you, and it doesn’t matter. They say it anyway, writing on the city itself, because the message is important.”

In the spirit of six-word memoirs, the same less-is-more approach to storytelling can be seen in the urban message graffiti showcased at Written On The City. WOTC’s philosophy is simple and scrawled across their home page: “Someone is trying to tell you something.”

The site focuses on short messages that have been written onto public spaces in various cities by anonymous writers. Like Found Magazine, WOTC’s content is supplied by a network of loyal readers who share their belief that there is something great and unrecognized about people reclaiming the public spaces of their city as a form of personal expression.

The featured messages run the gambit from clever wordplay (”Cheap art can be expansive.”) to heartfelt personal declarations (”I will not speed up my life for anything, anybody else or no amount of money.”) It’s easy to get lost in WOTC’s extensive archives of message graffiti from various cities all over the world. I spent over an hour clicking through the New York, San Francisco and Chicago sections of the site, discovering various ambiguous statements that seemed to become increasingly meaningful as I continued scrolling through them. My personal favorite appears on the corner of a typical Manhattan street: “Stand here and think of greatness.”

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3 responses

  1. Josh Kamler says:

    hey chris!

    thanks for the plug! you might be interested to know that our WOTC book just came out! it’s available at bookstores big and small and on amazon as well.


  2. KJ says:

    WOTC is a great site and the book is awesome (not just because my photo made it in).

  3. nerdle says:

    Thank you for producing such a fascinating essay on this subject. This has sparked a lot of thought in me, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

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