frequently asked questions

No. INDIGO will maximally store the creator pseudonyms and never real names. The INDIGO database aims to be a central resource for anybody interested in the social | cultural | historic | linguistic | entertaining aspects of graffiti, not a resource for law enforcement. Since the latter cannot be prevented, INDIGO refrains from storing real names if they are known unless the graffitists give their full consent.

In addition, similar projects like Spraycity have proven that such platforms are not used as a tool by law enforcement. INDIGO does not expect this to happen either.

Yes, INDIGO works together with a wide variety of scholars that look at graffiti with specific eyes: linguists, art historians, archaeologists, sociologists. One can see the current pool of collaboration researchers here. INDIGO will collaborate on the graffiti thesaurus and standardise graffiti metadata fields with these people. In addition, they will receive early access to the INDIGO database to help us find bugs and suggest ways to optimise the user experience and possibilities of the online platform.

Graffiti is still a highly contested form of personal expression, so it is expected that a project like INDIGO receives polarised reactions. INDIGO receives essential geodata from the surveying department of Vienna (Stadtvermessung Wien, MA 41), but the project will only be introduced to other city departments once tangible results are ready for presentation. INDIGO hopes that such initial results can help soften the potentially harsh stance on graffiti (and its research); simultaneously, these results would underline how documenting the ever-changing graffiti landscape has social and cultural value.

INDIGO is a research project solely funded by the Heritage Science Austria programme of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). At present, INDIGO does not receive any kind of sponsoring.

INDIGO is a scientific graffiti documentation project. No matter how diverse and contested these graffiti messages might be, INDIGO does not want to engage in a cancel culture and, therefore, refrains from making moral judgements. This also means that INDIGO does not necessarily agree with the content of the documented graffiti.

Despite striving for objective graffiti documentation, INDIGO does not want to be a platform spreading hate and ideas of illegality. That is why potentially provocative content might be marked once the 3D online platform and database are live.

A more comprehensive ethical statement can be found here.

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