Mysterious Footprints and Tofu Grip Toronto and Wilmington

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

The tofu-graffiti mystery
by Ryan Bigge
August 15, 2009

tofu-200I first noticed the strange four-letter word written in black spray paint in Liberty Village, during last year’s Nuit Blanche. On the shins of three concrete plinths near the south end of the Lamport Stadium parking lot, in uppercase letters, was the word TOFU. It was simultaneously funny (what sort of miscreant selects soybean protein as their semiotic weapon?) and enigmatic (how best to respond to such a non-sequitur?) Still, it held my interest, despite having viewed an evening’s worth of competitively creative contemporary art, so I took a quick photograph and forgot about it.

But it turned out that TOFU was not a one-off conceptual prank without a punchline. The word has appeared frequently on walls throughout the city during the last few months. The lettering might be small – polite by the standards of graffiti, though no less illegal – but the tagger has been persistent, depositing little blocks of TOFU throughout the west end: the Brock Street railway underpass, a street sign near Dundas and Brock, a storefront near Bloor and Ossington, a green pole in Trinity-Bellwoods. An occasional variation in colour (white and pink) and altitude (the tagger enjoys both horizontal and vertical lettering) is the only thing that separates the tags.

Then came the TOFU tipping point, when this curiosity went big. Read the rest of this article here.

photo: seeks answer: What are the painted footprints downtown?
by John Staton
August 20, 2009

bilde-200Like the footprints themselves, some of which are already starting to fade, it’s not clear who’s responsible for the painted footprints that appeared on downtown Wilmington sidewalks two or three months ago.

As works of art they leave something to be desired: Basically, it looks as if someone dipped their feet in paint and walked up and down the sidewalk, leaving telltale paint streaks and spatters, as well as areas where the paint seems to have spilled from some kind of container.

Some footprints are clearly that; others just look like big smudges.

One thing’s for sure, however: The footprints, which appear on the sidewalks lining North Front Street (red on the east sidewalk, purple on the west) between Orange and Market streets, are not an officially sanctioned display of art. Read the rest of this article here.