Going All City: Struggle and Survival in La's Graffiti Subculture

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Product Details
$23.00  $21.39
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author
Stefano Bloch is a cultural and urban geographer, ethnographer, and a semiretired graffiti writer from Los Angeles. He is assistant professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. This is his first book.
"Intensely personal. . . . Bloch blends resonant memoir, academic scholarship, and streetwise storytelling in a truly unique urban study."-- "Booklist"
"This tensely engaging memoir documents Bloch's elaborate, daily remapping of streets, blocks and neighbourhoods along shifting coordinates of physical access, subcultural status, public visibility and the daily dangers offered up by street gangs and the police. . . . His was a street cartography of consequences." -- "Times Higher Education"
"[Bloch] is the ultimate insider in an outsider subculture, a legend for his productivity and tirelessness; and his insight into this world is frank, compelling, and enlightening all at once. . . . Few works explore L.A. with the depth that Going All City accomplishes--and, at 240 pages, so economically--while also touching on the importance of art, the difficulties of family, and the struggle to belong. . . . It is a work not simply of insight and gravity, but also of unflinching wisdom regarding those deemed to be the least of society--those who are not nothing--and what they have to offer all of us when given a platform to speak."-- "Los Angeles Review of Books"
"A brave portrait of a highly criticized subculture and a look inside the reality of growing up in low-income Los Angeles."-- "LA Weekly"
"A surprising and intimate look inside the life of a graffiti writer. . . . His descriptions of how he created the graffiti--the way he controlled the paint spray, the little tilt and sway of his body as he wrote--are pure poetry. . . . [Bloch tells] the story in a measured way, with context that gives it scope and meaning."-- "The Star Tribune"
"Going All City is that rarest text, both a gripping memoir of life on the street, as well as an academic treatise. . . . Bloch's story is personal, but also a primer on graffiti's history and technique, as well as its artistic and social import."-- "Hyperallergic"
"This vivid autoethnography provides a shattering account of life in the LA 'gang hoods'--and the warmth and companionship that somehow survive the horrors. A remarkable picture, presented with insight and sympathetic understanding."-- "Noam Chomsky"
"Bloch unflinchingly peels back all the layers of artifice, hype, and sensationalism to reveal a stark portrait of struggling to survive and make meaning in a landscape of disorder and deprivation."-- "Alex S. Vitale, author of The End of Policing"
"Going All City is an amazing read that is impossible to put down. A cutting-edge geographical exploration of under-examined Los Angeles landscapes, this poignant, insightful book is unique within graffiti scholarship and expansive in our understanding of the city. Depicting the pain of a childhood spent in poverty, the ambiguity of race, and the subjective experience of policing and gangs, this is the remarkable story of just one of thousands of young people who have found power in the clandestine practice of graffiti."-- "Susan Phillips, author of The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti"
"Bloch knows how dangerous art can be for aerosol warriors: their imaginations arrested and expressions pathologized. He also elucidates the undeniable brilliance exploding on walls, utility poles, and underpasses."-- "Luis J. Rodriguez, author and former LA Poet Laureate"
"Tagging graffiti is a voyage of self discovery mixed with the danger of street gangs, police, and vandalism. Through his book, CISCO is still tagging his story and name on the walls inside your mind."-- "Chaz Bojórquez, artist and LA graffiti writer"
"It would be difficult to find an author better credentialed than Bloch to write about subverting urban geography. . . . Going All City is a refreshing piece of modern geography, and an excellent addition to the still growing conversations on spatial justice in the United States."-- "AAG Review of Books"