About Arbitrary Art Grants
2003 Arbitrary Art Grant
for Digital Graffiti
2002 Arbitrary Art Grant
for Creative Writing
2001 Arbitrary Art Grant for Film
2000 Arbitrary Art Grant for Music
2003 Arbitrary Art Grant for Digital Graffiti
Awarded on October 11, 2003
For the fourth annual Arbitrary Art Grant we tapped into the brilliance of Ron Carrahar and his mischievous interpretation of graffiti. Pass him on the street and you would take him as a conservative and responsible American. With gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses, he may be the last person you would associate with graffiti art. But don’t be fooled — he is more punk rock than any kid walking down Broadway with 100 bobby pins and a two-foot Mohawk. Ron plays the game with a bit more discretion. He is one of my favorite people.
In the winter of 2002 he started sending me images of his “graffiti art” — digital pictures of buildings and billboards he scanned into Photoshop and tagged, tweaked or altered with such skill you were convinced he climbed the steel pole himself. It was a great concept. Something digital that reached out to the world, an Arbitrary Art Grant that jumped the county line and included anyone, anywhere with a computer and a hint of deviance.
With fifty submissions representing five states and 3 countries, it was a hefty haul of creativity and skill. I wish we could publish all of the entries, as each held a new perspective, a new idea, an independent eye. All lined up on face down on my living room floor, the bird flew, the bird shit and local Seattleite, Andy Smull, walked away with the cash. Look at his entry and you’ll find the irony. All in all it proved to be one of the best Arbitrary Art Grants yet. While our next grant will certainly return to the street where it belongs, it was a nice reminder that the internet is not all spam and single-line conversations. Stay tuned.