Theorising Street Art (CATE2013)


Street art has emerged as a significant cultural phenomenon in the post-globalised world of the 21st century, particularly in the major metropoles of wealthy as well as developing nations. This unit of study contextualises street art theoretically by reference to the politics of urban space, new practices and understandings of collective action, and aesthetics, and considers the institutional location of street art versus contemporary art and graffiti. The unit also contextualises street practices art historically by reference to Surrealism, conceptualism, Fluxus, Situationism, and text-based art. It covers a wide range of practices internationally, with particular emphasis on Latin America, Australia and Europe.

Further unit of study information


1x2-hour seminar/week


visual intervention (30%) and small group presentation (10%) and major essay (60%)


Cedar Lewisohn, Street Art: The graffiti revolution, Tate Publishing, London, 2008
Christine Dew, Uncommissioned Art: An A-Z of Australian Graffiti, Miegunyah Press, Melbourne, 2007/8
Tristan Manco, Stencil Graffiti, Thames and Hudson, London, 2002

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(THAP1201 and THAP1202) or (CATE1001 and CATE1002) or (BDES1011) or (12 senior credit points of Art History and Theory)

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.