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How Talking to a Wall Speaks to the World: Walls as Archival Devices Through Mark Making

Part 1 Dissertation 2023
Hailey Savage
London Metropolitan University | UK
Walls are principal in the fabrication of architecture for the division of buildings into usable space. Due to their affordance within the built environment, a wall’s disposition might migrate from its original purpose through human readjustments. This piece of writing follows one visual adjustment, mark-making, through history, structuring a methodology around walls and people in dialogue. The ascribed function of the space and the wall’s context becomes invariable in our interpretation of such marks.

How do marks and words in the street differ from those inscribed on the bathroom stall? How does time affect the value given to marks in the cave versus those seen in contemporary, urban spaces? Has the wall’s evolution sustained the human desire to leave a lasting mark? From the unnamed wall to stately examples, walls and their marks arguably become our greatest and most accessible public archive.

Hailey Savage

Ania Dabrowska
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