Dinca — contemporary art blog

The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal

A film by Matt McCormick

16mm/Digital video – 16 minutes – 2001 (excerpt from the film)

The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal is an award winning experimental documentary form Portland-based filmmaker and artist Matt McCormick.  The film won first place at the Black Maria Film Festival, best short film at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and won the grand prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival.  Also of note, the film screened at Sundance, South by Southwest, The Seattle International Film Festival, The New York Underground Film Festival, and the Chicago Underground Film Festival.  RIYL the documentary film of Chris Marker.

Miranda July narrates in this abstract documentary.


It is no coincidence that funding for “anti-graffiti” campaigns often outweighs funding for the arts. Graffiti removal has subverted the common obstacles blocking creative expression and become one of the more intriguing and important art movements of our time. Emerging from the human psyche and showing characteristics of abstract expressionism, minimalism and Russian constructivism, graffiti removal has secured its place in the history of modern art while being created by artists who are unconscious of their artistic achievements.

Production of The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal took approximately six months and was completed in January 2001. Shooting was done primarily in Portland, Oregon and other pacific northwest locations. The piece was shot in both 16mm film and digital video, and post-production was completed with desktop editing and animation software.

  • Narrator: Miranda July
  • Bicyclist: Tasha Christensen
  • Cinematography, editing, and sound design: Matt McCormick
  • Computer animation: Topher Sinkinson
  • Original ideas: Avalon Kalin
  • Written and directed: Matt McCormick


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