Signs of life and the aesthetics of decay: Ending, transformation, a new beginning

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The transformation of an Old Danish city - Aalborg – from heavy industry to an information-technology based environment has left industrial production plants empty and unexploited.
However young graffiti-artists have used the deserted buildings to express their drawings and slogans.
Transformation processes are an important source of learning with regard to what is going on in social life. Transformations from “old” to “new” contain three elements: Ending, a new beginning, and the search for identity in between. The graffiti-drawings can be seen as rebellious identity-markers in the transformation process, made by a generation with no personal affiliation with the industrial narrative and – at the same time - on edge with the new upcoming environment.
This presentation shows graffiti drawings in the environment of decayed old factories. Contrasting the condemned buildings, the drawings can be seen as signs of life from the young generation, but the decayed buildings also demonstrate an aesthetic dimension, unique in its own way. Together they constitute a challenge for the upcoming new environment with respect to architecture and infrastructure as well as technological, cultural and social development in the city. To some degree this challenge is already being met in a new cultural environment which integrates new and old elements.
Translated title of the contributionLivstegn og forfaldets æstetik: Afslutning, transformation, en ny begyndelse
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventInternational Visual Sociology Association Conference - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 20 Jul 201022 Jul 2010


ConferenceInternational Visual Sociology Association Conference

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