I went to shoot photos at an old building that has become a canvas for taggers and discovered part of a broken skateboard with the stencil of a spray paint can on it.
Close by on a wall made of concrete blocks I noticed the stencil repeated, so I documented the finds with my camera, then claimed the skateboard remnant for my own.
The prefix meta generally means self-referential when ascribed to a creative work, and using a spray can to stencil a spray can on objects fits this. Since this appears to be a logo and signature, the act can be labelled tagging. And so – this is a meta-tag, or an act of meta-tagging. It’s a nice find, since I’ve been familiar for years with the HTML meta tag, which is used to provide metadata about an HTML document.
Taking things a step further, I reconstructed an unbroken miniature of the skateboard, a sort of archaeological facsimile for comparison. A Takahashi cardinal finishes the montage with a splash of color. For me the Takahashi bird resonates the freedom & rebellion that tagging and skateboarding evokes, and not simply because birds can fly. The Takahashi family learned their craft while imprisoned in a U.S. internment camp during the second world war and went on to support their family for a lifetime with the skill.
Get the wind in your face, leave your mark, soar above it all.