Launched 9th June, 2023 at Nuart Aberdeen

“I was 16 years old when I first trespassed onto some railway tracks and wrote the initials of the graffiti crew (of which I was the only member) on a wall. Afterwards the most incredible thing happened – absolutely nothing. No dogs chased me, no thunderbolt from God shot down to punish me, and my mum didn’t even notice I’d been gone. That was the night I realized you could get away with it.

That was also the night I discovered that beyond the “No Entry” sign everything happens in higher definition….”


In a visual art counter-culture where seemingly the only “counter” left is the one with the cash register on it and where the streets that gave birth to this transgressive movement are now seemingly as tightly curated and policed as the institutions it sought to challenge, we thought we’d delve into the essence of what makes these cultural “desire lines” – these scars across power’s desire to shape our cultural identity – more essential than ever.

We’ll explore how public space is being transformed by power’s attempts to police unsanctioned and unsolicited forms of public expression and behaviour, from the tag to the illegal rave and to activist art in general, whether through the policing of public forms of art, the installation of “hostile architecture” or the general privatization and policing of public space through the imposition of a sliding scale of punishments from fines and penalties to physical violence – and ultimately death for those who wish to challenge and transgress them. We’re interested in exploring what new forms are emerging to challenge the growing homogeneity of the neoliberal city and how an alternative “street art/graffiti” reality of “no fences, no borders” can resist slipping into the realm of public art conformity.

This issue aims to focus on the socio-political, legal, geographical, cultural and economic determinants of what constitutes trespass and transgression in street art cultures and how these acts of creative resistance can act as a bulwark against a creeping transition towards neo-feudalism. It will also explore why, even after 20 years of getting up, of evading some of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced security systems known to humanity, you still pee your pants a little when stickering a public lamppost.

Martyn Reed, Editor-in-Chief

Nuart Journal is a peer-reviewed journal. We accept submissions from a broad range of authors, including cultural heritage workers, historians, critics, cultural and human geographers, political theorists, anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, psychologists, criminologists, curators, artists, writers, taggers, anarchists, and out and out vandals.

The complete journal is available to read for free online.

We produce a limited print run of the journal.

Nuart Journal can be ordered online from Hitzerot (DE) and Le Grand Jeu (FR).