Street wall installation for creating interactive murals that can be built up and scrambled over time.

Components of the Graffiti Jumble

Grid: The grid of squares are made up of equally sized pieces of wood with magnets attached on one side and a flat surface on the other. The surface provides a blank, movable palette for art to build up over time. Once the surface is painted, pasted or stickered with something, the squares can be rearranged to produce a new canvas. The next person to add to the surface can change his or her palette, while providing a new background for the next artist to tag.

Frame: The frame sets the boundaries of the grid and prevents the magnetic squares from sliding down the wall's surface. (Even strong magnets slide easily.) The frame will be bolted or screwed to the wall.

Magnetic Surface: A magnetic paint undercoat provides the surface to which the magnetic squares will stick. Since large iron structures are rare in most urban areas, any surface can be made magnetic with the use of magnetic paint. Once you choose your location, you will have to paint the surface 3-4 times before attaching your frame and squares on top of it.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

The first and most interesting part will be finding the material for the squares of your grid. Many sheet materials can be used, but I preffered using street wood (generally Plywood or MDF) because it is rather abundant, tends to have more intrinsic character, and can be a good way to recycle stuff that already exists on the street.

Just be discriminating when you pick up street wood! It can have embedded hardware which can be extremely dangerous and cause injury when cutting on machines.

Materials List

Amount: Approximately 9 Square Feet
Cost: Free, off the street.

Amount: Four strips between 2 and 4 feet long, 3/4" inch to 1 1/2 " inch wide.
Cost: Free, off the street.


Disk Magnets: 3/8" inch x 1/8" inch NdFeB Disc Magnet, Ni-Cu-Ni plated Reccomended
Amount: Approximately 100
The number of magnets you need depends on the weight of the material you are using and the strength of your magnet. I used four 3/8" x 1/8" magnets on my 7" x 7"squares of 1/2" inch thick Plywood. You may need more or larger magnets for thicker/heavier materials.
Cost: $20

Magnetic Sheets
Amount: Approximately 9 square feet
The amount you need depends on the overall surface area of your squares. Magnetic sheeting does not have as strong of a force as NdFeB magnetic disks and may not work as well for thicker/heavier materials. I'm suggesting this as an alternative method for those who may not have access to all of the tools necessary for attaching the magnetic disks and have not modeled a version using this material myself.
Cost: $5 per 24" inch x 12" inch sheet

Magnetic Paint
Amount: 1 Quart
Cost: $15

Magnetic Spray Paint
Amount: 1-2 Cans
Cost: $10 each

Additional Materials to acquire at your Local Hardware Store
Wood Glue
Paintbrush or Roller

Table Saw
Drill or Drill Press
Optional: Chop saw or hack saw
there's a wonderful well known Australian artist Rosalie Gasgoyne who has been doing this with old roadsigns since the 70's - these days roadwork signs are made with core-flute board and very light & easy to cut straight. The fluro & black lettering look wild when jumbled. Grab some one night and give it a try !
wow, very creative. i really like.
thats kool..never tryed it but it looks like people can have alot of fun doign that...
this is kind of weird...i did something VERY similar to this a few years back as an undergraduate Media Arts student @ suny fredonia...check the link<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.joshuaritter.com/graffitti">http://www.joshuaritter.com/graffitti</a><br/><br/>never met these cats in my life! Funny how people that never met can have the same idea....maybe I smell a future collaboration?<br/><br/>-Chris<br/>
man that is so fun! I was just playing with that for an our just tryin' to complete all the differant pics.
wow I really liket this I aggree with Gunnar when he said that it's much nicer than those that hang up a role of paper with sharpies hanging from it.
something you could do with more woodworking skills, which I don't have, would be to make the pieces with a tongue and groove sliding mechanism like the number order puzzles you can get. This way it'd be possible to put it in an even more public space without worry of the tiles falling out or being stolen. Did I use "tongue and groove" correctly? My mama ran away with Norm Abram and his dado machine.
I thought about that construction, because those puzzle games are what the project is based on. But I was afraid that the weight of the pieces would cause the whole thing to bow at such a large scale.
tongue and groove would be hard to get right, I would think that friction from the wood grain would make it frustrating to slide. One idea I'm toying with my wax transfer to wood project is to make something like this but cut it up in to jigsaw pieces. This is cool though, I like it - well done
It is very creative and looks way nicer than those sharpie tags.I wish every graffiti artist were as creative as you.

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