Wastedland 2: The Quest for UFO 907 & The Meaning of It All

UFO 907 (photo by Luna Park)

After a year of touring the United States with his darkly humorous, philosophical fairy tale, filmmaker Andrew H. Shirley brings Wastedland 2 home for it’s NYC premiere and a blowout celebration at Maspeth’s Knockdown Center on September 15. Following hot on the trail of the all-knowing UFO 907, a motley crew of graffiti miscreants band together on a quest to discover the answer to one of the most pressing questions of our time: What’s the point??


The film will be screened within an immersive art installation featuring work by ADAM VOID, Amy Smalls, CASH4, DARKCLOUDS, EKG, George Vidas, Greg Henderson, NOXER, RAMBO, Ryan C. Doyle, SMELLS, UFO 907, William Thomas Porter, and WOLFTITS. Musical performances by CRAIG ANDERSONIC, DIRTYFINGER, DJ DOG DICK, JACER RACER & THE UFHOES, KARMA KIDS, NINJASONIK and more throughout the evening.

When: Friday, September 15 | Opening reception: 7pm-midnight | Screenings: 9pm & 11pm
Where: Knockdown Center, 52-19 Flushing Ave, Maspeth, NY 11378

On Banksy’s Fall 2013 Residency in New York

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Documenting the documenters during Banksy’s NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

It’s been just a little over a year since the world’s most high profile street artist, Banksy, manifested Better Out Than In, his October 2013 show in New York. His residency proved to be a runaway sensation, achieving an unprecedented media saturation by enthralling legions of increasingly rabid fans with a calculated, daily presentation of new pieces citywide. In all my years of documenting street art in New York, I’d never experienced anything quite like this residency. The month-long spectacle rolled out largely via social media, with seasoned documenters and newbie, self-proclaimed Banksy hunters alike sharing their experiences each day in a frenzied race against the clock and against the myriad forces that conspired to cut each piece’s longevity short. For those in the know, the #banksyny hashtag became the mainline for the daily Banksy infusion. And as documentation from each daily scene showed, many New Yorkers got hooked… on the art as well as the ensuing sideshow.

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

Via his well-respected Carnage imprint, fellow street photographer and long-time Banksy fan, Ray Mock, recently published Banksy in New York, an account of the residency from the point of view of a quintessential graffiti insider. I can’t recommend this volume enough.

Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)
Banksy NYC residency (photo by Luna Park)

And this past Friday, on the one year anniversary of the close of the residency, filmmaker Chris Mourkabel’s documentary Banksy Does New York was released on HBOGo, with the premiere, cable TV broadcast on HBO scheduled for Monday, November 17th at 9pm EST. The bulk of the footage for the film was crowd-sourced, allowing for multiple, unique perspectives on the residency as it unfolded. I’m honored to have been interviewed for the film alongside Jaime Rojo & Steve Harrington of Brooklyn Street Art, RJ Rushmore & Caroline Caldwell of Vandalog, Hrag Vartanian of Hyperallergic and others. You can watch a short trailer below: