“Rise and Grind” is NOT Just an NYC Snapchat Filter

“Rise and Grind” is a saying we’ve all heard before, especially those of us rooted in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Many of you may associate the expression with the Snapchat filter (hence, the title of this post) or a cheesy chalkboard stand outside of a coffeeshop. But regardless of wherever or however you’ve heard it before – brace yourself to hear it anew. Or rather, see and feel it anew, at 22 East 2nd Street, where you will find a new mural painted by Drea Cofield.


This is a sketch similar to the mural- you’ll have to see the real thing for yourselves people!!!

I just so happened to bump into the artist as she was painting the mural last week. So, I (oh so excitedly) took advantage of my luck and asked her what she was trying to present in her work. She briefly explained how the mural portrays the ways forces act on people within the city. Now hold on a minute… is it just me, or is that freakishly relevant to both Mathew Fuller’s discussion in “Media Ecologies” and Jane Bennet’s discussion in “Vibrant Matter”? I mean, if you go and check this thing out, you will see how her mural is quite literally vibrant matter. Its electric blue background and bright colored figures call out to passersby. The mural is a force in itself; it acts on street strollers merely by grabbing their attention. As Fuller said so eloquently, “All objects have poetics; they make the world and take part in it, and at the same time synthesize, block, or make possible other worlds” (Fuller 1). I could not agree more and could not connect this concept better than to describe the way in which this mural adds liveliness to its local community. Jane Bennet would also advocate crediting this mural’s lively force as she asserted that, “The philosophical project of naming where subjectivity begins and ends is too often bound up with fantasies of human uniqueness in the eyes of God, of escape from materiality, or of mastery nature”(Bennet ix). In the way I see it, it it would be entirely oblivious to deny the subjectivity of this mural. For art speaks, and often times even screams to its surroundings, starting many person-to-person conversations. The speaking/ screaming of art and the conversations it provokes can be otherwise known as its affect, its ability to make a difference.

For my ecology project, I would like to highlight the noteworthy liveliness of public art (its affect) by using mural spaces in the East Village and the LES as platforms to examine the ways artists participate in local communities. Public art communicates rather peacefully in the regard that viewers can approach it without being verbally harassed or attacked by opinions (not to be dramatic or anything). As a result, the medium maintains the ability to promote awareness and open dialogues in ways that humans themselves can’t. I look forward to spending the semester rising and grinding while featuring bold and loud public art expressions on my ecology website… stay tuned my friends. 

Until next post,


Works Cited

Bennett, Jane. “Preface.” Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke UP, 2010.vii-xix. Print.

Fuller, Matthew, and Roger Malina F. “Introduction: Media Ecologies.” Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2005. 1-5. Print.

~ by rocheyadegar on September 18, 2016.

One Response to ““Rise and Grind” is NOT Just an NYC Snapchat Filter”

  1. Roché, I love the tone and example you so brilliantly found to highlight the important points raised by this public art piece. I had no idea there was more to the Snapchat filter and you educated us through that and connecting it so wonderfully to Bennett’s vibrant matter, all while giving it a blog-post narration. I really loved it, and have to go see the art for myself. In addition, I love your idea for a media ecology and think that there are so many examples that offer a vibrant expression of media and culture. They are a true affect. – Nolan

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