Bonus #1: Tu 1 April, 7pm, Marvin Center, Betts Theater.
To earn your bonus, attend the event, take notes, then post 100-200 words here (adding comments to this post): Respond to any aspect of the prompt below, but also to your peers’ prior posts, carrying on a conversation:
How did the documentary use visual techniques to convey its interpretations? Cite specific examples. How did Cool “Disco” Dan use the city as a visual canvas? How did/do graffiti artists think visually and change the way others see the urban landscape of Washington DC?
Description: DC in the 80’s seemed like a fractured place: racial tensions, sensationalist media, crack and more divided quadrants and neighborhoods. One graffiti tag crossed all boundaries, though, and The Legend of COOL “DISCO” DAN (2012) is a film that documents the vibrant life of “unofficial” Washington, connected by the work of graffiti artist Dan Hogg. By chronicling the elusive tagger’s survival through graffiti writing, it also tells a story of other artistic movements against the odds in DC: the emergence of DC’s own urban sound, Go-Go; the punk scene; the visual arts that were part of both; and more. Narrated by DC native Henry Rollins, and combining interviews with local and national celebrities and archival footage, this film tells an important version of DC’s history, and makes an argument for the arts as tools for survival and expression.
Fortunately, some of the folks who were there are also still here. After the film, please enjoy a reception and informal conversation with a few DC notables about the film, the era, and its legacies. Featured conversants include poet Reuben Jackson, punk artist Cynthia Connolly, rapper Head-Roc, and street artist Asad “Ultra” Walker. And you!