This post is about arts and technology, about street arts and telecommunication, about Graffiti and ALOHA.
Here is an litmus test to check if you are wasting your time in anything that you might be doing. Take a moment and as yourself, what for? Depending on your values and the goals you have set for yourself, you inform yourself on whether to carry on or to quit. Your goal may be as deep as “to have a good after life” or as shallow as “to taste a piece of that chocolate”. Other times, as in this one, time tells us better.
It turns out that the manifestation of the above art (Graffiti) and technology (ALOHA) resulted from the same but unconnected endeavours. Yes the endeavours were worth doing because it has given us the two.
Some call it tagging, printing, spraying, marking but I call it street caligraphy.
Grafitti became popular in the 70s. It proliferated when young downtown new york kids wanted to create their identities from a Nobody to a Somebody. Under-priveledged kids reacted with drawings and paintings on public spaces when their feeling of neglect was high. They wanted to be known and they were… so much that they were being arrested for deforming public property.
The need for identity in the graffiti movement had been in play before reaching the minds of New Yorkers. Cornbread is the guy creditted with bringing graffiti to the forefront in 1967; called the father of Graffiti.
Cornbread was living in Phildelphia and he started marking his name on the train and other selected places so that he can gain the attention of a girl. There were many Cornbread-tag where the girl hangs around. By flambouyantly displaying the name, the girl will end up reading and noticing many Cornbread-tags a day. Cornbread’s crush popularized grafitti.
Cornbread later became famous for painting his name on an elephant and on the plane of the Jackson-Five.
Yes, it all started in Hawaii. It is said that an electrical engineer (Norman Abramson) working at the University of Hawaii had a sweet-heart while working on the mainland. Circumstance necessitated his relocation to a close-by Island. This genius created a way to communicate over the air (radio frequency) between the two islands. Now the engineer can signal his damsel with no distress. This technology was called ALOHA.
ALOHA gave birth to wireless packet communication which has led to mobile phone GSM as we know it today. It is said that it wouldn’t have been difficult if he didn’t have a damsel he so wanted to communicate with.
What did the artist and the technologist do? They tried to impress and get-attention of girls. Was it worthwhile for them? yes because they achieved their goals. As for us, it was very worthwhile because it gave hip-hop one more element and it gave us mobile phones.
One step towards impressing a girl, one huge step for mankind.