Graffiti can be found in cities and towns all over the world, from Lisbon to Seoul to New York. While many assume that the phenomenon of graffiti art originated in New York City, modern graffiti actually originated in Philadelphia in the 1960s. And while graffiti is seen by some as blight, and by others as art, the act of hiding in the shadows and scrawling your name on a wall is ultimately about being seen, rather than doing damage. This was definitely the case for a boy who went by the tag, "Zebra" in Philadelphia back in 1975.
Photo of graffiti artist, “Zebra”, Richmond Lifestyle Magazine circa 1976.
Art by Ira Marlowe, Richmond News Leader circa 1976.
To hear the song, “Three White Boys (painting the town),” by Ira Marlowe, go here.
Find the 2010 documentary about the history of graffiti in Philadelphia, Sly Artistic City, here. Greg, aka “T-Bone,” is interviewed in the film.We have some exciting news to share - as of the release of this episode, you can now download and listen to “Possum Music”, an album of music from the first 30 episodes of Nocturne. It's available as a digital download now, with a cd to come later, and right now if you donate at least $10 to KCRW, and add a note at the end of the process that you're a Nocturne listener, we'll send you a download code for the whole album as a thank you. You can go do that at kcrw.com/give. Find more information about “Possum Music” here.
In this high tech world, you're never without a camera, and can take a picture anywhere you go, recording every detail of a mountain or a river, or a tree. But do these images convey the experiences of awe, excitement, wonder and fear we had while we were in those places? Adam Katseff discovered a way to convey those feelings by taking landscape photographs in the dark of night, revealing more by showing less. He found that when our eyes are not able to discern every detail of an image, we become more engaged, and our minds fill in the blanks, inventing details and stories within the pictures. In this way, a photograph becomes not of the river itself, but of the idea of the river, rich with memory and imagination.You can watch a slideshow of Adam Katseff’s night landscapes while you listen to this episode. Just go to nocturnepodcast.org/landscapes. Start it after the break at 4 minutes into the episode.
Photo credits: Adam Katseff. Courtesy of Robert Koch Gallery and Sasha Wolf Projects.
There's a half mile stretch of road nestled between a lake and a steep hillside in rural Northern California. This road is idyllic and lush, with cows, sheep, birds and abundant wildlife. But if you look closely on rainy winter nights, it's anything but idyllic for the newts and salamanders determined to cross to the other side. Sally Gale is a rancher in Chileno Valley. One night, she resolved to help these tiny creatures, and that's how we got the Newt Brigade.
Night Newt. Photo credit: Sarah Digness.Chileno Valley Road at night. Photo credit: Vanessa Lowe.
Sally Gale on the road. Photo credit: Vanessa Lowe.
Chileno Valley Ranch. Photo credit: Vanessa Lowe.
Night newt. Photo credit: Sarah Digness.
At most martial arts schools, rising to the level of black belt requires a test that can take several hours. At Studio Naga, the black belt test is a 48-hour ordeal with no sleep. Students are running on pure adrenaline by the second night when they are blindfolded in the dark and taken to an unknown location. That's when it's time to fight.
The blindfold is removed, revealing a dark path with a flickering candle at the end. Along the way, attackers jump out from the shadows. The black-belt candidates muster all of their focus, courage and strength to find a way through.
Night training. Photo credit: Vanessa Lowe.