Above photo by @SakiWaki

I have been wanting to feature the work of EKG for some time. An enigmatic figure EKG has established himself in cities around the world and most notably in New York. Speaking in graffiti terms and chasing all city, EKG not only works within the tradition of graffiti but transcends it by simplifying his mark to pure symbol. His work ethic can been seen in the streets writers know what it takes to hold this much real estate consistently, constantly fighting the buff. Yet he pushes forward always working in a safety orange that is as much as a symbol as his EKG. Many don’t know that he also paints and if you are lucky you will run across one of his more intricate and detailed street pieces. Somewhere between art forms yet not defined by any EKG is a true street artist who is able to effectively interact and represent whichever city he is in. Many speak of street artists and Hybrid artists who work outside of traditional graffiti letter form yet not many are able to bring the intensity and longevity the street requires of an artist to remain relevant. When looking at an artist like EKG you need to look past any aesthetic or traditional elements you might normally judge an artist by. The will of an artist is not something you can normally see right away, but with graffiti writers who live and breathe bombing tagging you are able to gauge that perseverance. EKG is cut from this cloth and does it his way. He also has some intense words to describe his idea of what graffiti and street art’s effect on society and culture. Below is his introduction to an essay he published in a Brooklyn Zine festival this past April. He will also have some work in an upcoming exhibition that we will cover when we get a preview so stay tuned.


“this essay attempts to understand and explain the impetus, force, machinations and effects of graffiti and street art on society and culture. it is a theoretical construction also functioning as poetic metaphor mired in personal experience (writing and community), visionary operations (laboratory experiments) and historical research (reading and writing). illegal aesthetic manifestations create connection, communication and community as they splice, transmit and mutate through the aetherial circulatory system ad infinitum. go all-city, all-universe, all-time-and-space. bomb the semiotosphere. revel in the power of the tag, the human mark, the identity avatar, the monitored action, the new millennium painterly gesture. david flinging pebbles at goliath.” — ekg, june 15, 2013, nyc

Degree Oblivion (an autobiographic theoretical essay) [abridged]

“Genesis in the semiotosphere, the new cityscape of the late sixties, the tag arrives as the original modern illegal aesthetic manifestation. simple and powerful, fast and portable, cheap and direct, dubbed “writing” by the writers themselves, overtime becoming more universally known as “graffiti,” this simple mark, the primitive shout, the protester’s fist, heavy metal’s devil-horns salute, #occupy’s anonymous mask, a quick effective and direct transmission, a rambunctious and unapologetic symbol on a mission to make a connection utilizing guerrilla broadcast tactics, a rippling resonance throughout the aether with minimal risk and maximum impact on populace, an all-city gesture, a marked geographic territory suggesting massive vision and limitless strength, an infinitude of geographically dispersed illegal marks delineating the boundaries of an entity, circumscribing the avatar’s outer planes, it’s limbs and dreams, a ghostly silhouette of a omnipresent presence exuding a sense of engaging omniscience, a mythological semiotic entity as anonymous mysterious heroic and big as the connection to and imagination of the receiver

this intention, contained in and transmitted from the core of all illegal public aesthetic manifestations, inherently questions the dominant system, challenging all structure and control, like this textual space in relation to this context, hacked spliced re-channeled onto a rebellious literary trajectory in order to create a theoretical and philosophical construction, a concrete metaphor representing it’s content, a pyre of signs fuming, a crystal ball snow globe sparkling boiling and churning, a television channel of blinking flowing static that makes sense as language on some alternate perceptual level, more personal theoretical subjective-analytical, a smoky visage illuminated by laptop-blue-glow contours fluctuating like a mist in the windowpane superimposing our sparking faces over the glowing circuitry of the urban grid, a brilliant map of bio-data movement and economics, as shimmering in its self-involvement as in its frenetic activity, the populace speaks in sparks and curves, anomalies and trajectories, irruptions and comets

a functionally-autistic empathic trans-missionary, a semiotic relay tower wraith, rendered by self-defined and self-designated coordinates on an x/y axis of individualistic energies traced and tracked on the big brother matrix, rendered in this sparking snowy static, a multi-dimensional log running equations, raining-down and wafting-up in vertical singularity and tumescence, ignited by biochemical neurological censures and wormy cerebral tendrils, rendered by the dusty schematic scroll, a blurry data feed streaming back-and-forth within the neuro-electrical semiotic interstitial space, triggering behavioral mechanizations and aesthetic visions, protocols embedded in the machinery of transmission, the demiurgent gears and cogs of the aether, metallic intestines rendered by star-delineated figures in an astronomical map of the heavens, between analytically-derived emotional algorithms and fragile visionary illuminations, singular aesthetic forms connecting, shimmering streaming rippling with the horizontal resonance of emanating transmissions signals heartbeats pulses, neurons firing, galaxies igniting, a universe born

the passion drive output strategy and remnants of an artist’s street actions schematize, render and broadcast a portrait of the artist’s identity and personality. choosing to use illegal aesthetic manifestations as a means of transmission imbues the artists statement with the aura of rebellion and revolution, inherently defining them as anti-status quo marks, ironically defined by the very structures and mechanisms that deny and censor them, the dominant class evident metaphorically in every detail of the architecture and infrastructure of any urban space, but individuals are the heart of all cities, semiotic bootleggers, values and transactions defined by individualistic human motives, love affairs and communities connected, alternative distribution channels, a mutant frequency, an underground wavelength, an under-cover-of-dark methodology protocols operations algorithms, each illegal aesthetic action creating a meta-tag, a link to an identity, another philosophy, another universe of singular depth and horizon, a data flux across aetherial transcircuitry, through arterial architecture, these signs of creation and signifiers of life decoordinate and re-systematize en masse representing the pulse of the city as a grid of many intersecting matrices, the heartbeat of the city, the voice of the populace, the will of the people

unsurveyed undesignated unmonitored secret agents infiltrating the institutions cathedrals and catacombs, zorro and robin hood revolutionary spaces become the petri dishes of freedom and experimentation, creating new rules new communities new algorithms eventually to replace the outmoded cogs and gears, the body politic in reaction to abstract systemic control at its purest, creates dialogue and influences decisions affecting society and culture, as well as on a poetic individual emotional existential level for each viewer, each resonating on their own wavelength, but then also blending together on progressively higher levels of frequency, the intersection, a spectrum of wavelengths defining an individual residing within connection and community on the one channel, the street, its visible public surfaces, the display nodes, concrete monitors broadcasting blood sweat and stone chiseled surfaces, covered with scribes paint ink aerosol stickers wheat pastes rollers extinguishers, an infinite array, the tools of transmission

engage, encounter, embed, click on the remnants of their revolutionary aesthetic actions, the performance residue, the intellectual sparks and cerebral instigations, the emotional connections and personal relationships, all deviations from the proscribed boundaries, coloring outside the lines, creating DNA-HTML hyperlinks, double-clicked pigment, another page opens revealing a landscape of vibration: idiosyncratic personalities, anti-status quo philosophies, political ideologies, psychotic ramblings and so on, en masse, graffiti, street art, urban art, are an expression of the diverse plurality of the populace of a city, a stone tablet inscribed with their voices, their visual manifestations of individuality emotion humor confusion surprise ideas love protest, ( ( ( ekg ) ) ) the symbol, the transmission, the signal, the blip, the pulse, the heartbeat, palpitation, emanation, illumination aspiration apparition manifestation chimera wraith is a metaphorical meta-tag hyperlink, designed for speed mystery abstraction depth inspiration conductivity and connectivity ad infinitum. ekg is an acronym for electrocardiogram, a limb for the tree to hang from, a heart on the sleeve, a pulse in the veins, a light bulb in the head

and then there were coordinates. every thing, all beings, all physical landmarks, all surfaces, all interactions and exchanges, all forms, actions, energies, marks, are abstracted, designated, mapped, and digitized, even as they continuously shift and reconstruct as scrolling geometric formulae spooling out like rolling waves on all axes, in all dimensions on all psychic and physical levels, resonance tumescence and value transparent and sparkling in a mist of vectors and code, signals and data, symbols and transmission, universal and institutional diagrammatic renderings glow on the surface of consciousness, a psychic peripheral vision, a cyborg guidance system, a video game dash board, iHuman pregnant with purpose and direction, full of suggestions and choices, denials and regulation, defining a universe, a world, an entity, reality, the aether

an undulating, three-dimensional polygon, wireframe-rendered environment of electromagnetic waves, string theory and intersecting graphed and charted surfaces creating a sea of rippling planes, numerically derived surfaces rising and falling, swooping and flowing, boomerangs and comets, satellites and asteroids, grinding numerical intestines scribing DNA poetry on mirrors glass tiles retina, instigating flailing internal frission, manifesting in that breath of adrenaline and connection, that sweet spot between groups of bio-statistical apparitions, a pedestrian rhythm composed by the street lights’ metronome, a pulse designed from patterns based on the systemic collection of data from the quotidian motions of the masses of biological organism’s defining pertinent equations and taking poetic license back from the economists accountants and legislators, creating a pulse and an absence, an unregulated space, an un surveyed moment, a temporal allowance by default, defining a pause in time, a glitch in the system, cloaking device in effect, an invisible wraith unnoticed by the radar, a choice moment to tag, lean down physically, rise up culturally, innocence and domination, just tying my shoe, orange laces over and across, horizontal line, squiggle, shift, second horizontal line, almost always left to right, shoe tied, david slew goliath, check phone, smoke, subway

orange action! and resonance, meaning, as it trickles up, infiltrating and mutating culture and society, as action painting leapt from the canvas to all other surfaces of reality: kaprow! onto the floors walls ceilings of studios to the streets walls subways of the modern urban environment to the monitors nodes and display surfaces of the new millennium aether, all subcultural elements, transmission techniques, and formal aesthetic elements of the illegal aesthetic manifestation aka graffiti and street art, the alternative channels of distribution, are all guided and defined by the illegality of the modern rebellious signal

signals, transmission, the interaction, the conversation, an interchange on an emotional biological and mental level between the mark and the viewer, an internal and interstitial exchange, sparks and threads strung back and forth between sender and receiver, or why would artists continue to seek out this form of communication for over forty-five years to broadcast and find connection? why would an audience continue to be puzzled fascinated and moved to passionately listen to and support these artists involved with illegal aesthetic manifestations? why would so many different types of dedicated artists risk personal physical safety and legal-social ostracism because of the illegal nature of the unsolicited public aesthetic activities?

since birth, on the radar, designated with coordinates and expectations, forever expected to wait for the light, smile for the camera, under surveillance and under threat, for our safety and intimidation, the resulting physiological state of this biological form vibrating within this bio-electromagnetic net, utilizing an aesthetic tool on a public surface, imbuing the shape size content materials of the art form with the essence of the new millennial gesture, the actions of one watched, that which is watched in a certain manner reacts in certain ways, influencing all actions on some level in relation to the emotio-physiogonomy of the artist creating art while in an environment being viewed and monitored, an uneasy desire for personal connection and cultural recognition in contrast with having to remain masked, empowered by being anonymous unnamed unnumbered unenumerated

numerical designation and physical surveillance affects the form and style of the manifestations in terms of speed technique and size, so those who see the art are also aware on some level just what was put at risk to transmit that signal, even the personality of the artist through his control, placement and affiliations. Creating a massive alternative identity, a geographically-expansive physical presence, by getting up all-city, all-world, all-universe, multiple coordinates defining an omnipresent and omniscient avatar, multiplicitous and idolatrous, voodoo against the gods, blood stains on the tiles, spills on the graph paper, squeezing and whizzing through the fizzing interstitial space, arms spread wide, hands clutching revolutionary aesthetic tools, bubbling and churning vats of homemade inks splashed and setting fire to walls, caps and cans controlled explosion, belton molotow cocktails and montana twin anti-psychotic aerosol propellant systems, made manifest, smooth and opaque, yet antisocial, grumbling and fuming

writing and graffiti and aerosol art and bombing and piecing and productions and public art and street art and urban art, a cornucopia set afire, a dog with its ear listening to the blaze, the flames kicking their ears, clouds of smoke billowing from its bounty, hand-drawn typography, personal marks and wheat-pasted pages of idolatry, prophesy and illumination, ornate and elaborate in their illustration and commentary, print and digital manuscripts, different channels frequencies wavelengths, similar revelations of the holy infrastructural doctrine of all systems, releasing alpha-beasts scurrying up the cloud of grey roiling air and floating elements of markers spray paint stickers wheat paste liquid nails rollers fire extinguishers creating a physical presence through mount Everest flag-placement and surreptitious dissemination tactics, the body is evident in the marks, the gesture is embedded in the code, personal jeopardy is defined in the placement of the mark in the spot, mysterious anonymous identity auras manifested in the disconnection between action and viewing, all signs releasing a pollen of transgression, hula hoop halo mind games, light bulbs bursting with eternal flame snatched from the mouth of the dragon as it is slain by the hammer.”

Instagram: @ekglabs