Soul Vandals

In this exploratory essay, V2K gives his account of how Street Art helps to ground experience within local environment in a spiritual activity.

Starting from the right note is always a challenge for me, but to understand my
further ramblings and thoughts it would be handy to know my creative
practice. I am an explorer of human soul and its interaction with reality
through creative expression of consciousness. It might sound complicated but
in real life it is the most common thing that people are experiencing on a daily
basis. They just tend not to notice or simply are too distracted by personal
circumstances to have enough thought about it. So, when we talk about
vandals my inner intuition suggests me to explore this subject from spiritual
perspective. That is why eloquent vandal to me equals soul vandal.

First question you would like to get an answer for is – what spirituality has to
do with street art or being eloquent or vandal? In my opinion answer to this
question is engraved in surroundings we live in and feel. From cities to
neighbourhoods to streets to homes we feel and experience differently
through personal circumstances but every second of time and place interaction
has this unbelievable connection with our soul & consciousness. People might
disagree with me and probably few years back I would disagree with myself,
but today in the age of technology & research even science agree that there is
a potential possibility of us being combination of spirituals/biological. For
example, remember the time when you return to the street you grew up on,
where you spent your youth days and where you kissed a girl or a boy for the
first time. Memories they never left, they always been there in your mind but
at the very moment you stepped back on the same street and looked or
walked around, you start feel suddenly something deep inside. Good or bad it
totally depends on personal circumstances of that time and place which left
that imprint. So, this feeling we feel at that moment I tend to call a “soul
mark”. That’s why the surroundings through time has unpredictable effect on
our consciousness which engraves that “mark” on our souls.

Sometimes I like to think that one day all my thoughts, feelings or words I’ll be
able to express on canvas with precise skill or technique, which is probably not
going to happen due to my shaky hands. However, I really feel comfortable
once it comes to writing. And being eloquent in my soul and not that much in
real life conversations, unless I’m influenced by alcohol or drugs, I sometimes
think that words which I leave on paper has a higher artistic value than
painting or piece on the street done by me, which probably isn’t the case. In
2004-2005 just before I emigrated to Scotland, I studied Bible for a year in
Theological College. One of the subjects on our course was preaching and it
was probably one of the toughest classes I had to undertake while doing the
course. One day we had to become preachers and I guess run the church or
some other ministry. The reason why I’m bringing up this topic is because they
tried to teach us how to be an eloquent servant of God. It was the class where
you take a chapter, passage or line from the Bible, study it and then take the
moral or lesson from your studies and apply to your personal life experience of
being a Christian. Once you have done all that, you prepare the sermon by
expressing your foundings in eloquent performance of your soul and
consciousness to people and hope that the God will touch their souls through
you. For this reason, I tend to think that being an eloquent is not only a skill
which can be taught but it is also a form of expression of a human soul which is
natural to each and all of us. However, people are different and for someone it
is much easier to be eloquent in writing, for others in real life conversations or
public speaking, painting, sculpture, music, acting or vandalism. All of them are
literally the same thing because they all have an aspect of creativity in it.
Creating something good or bad in any form or shape in my opinion has a link
to human soul & consciousness. It is all an expression of our inner universe at
particular time and place. Science tend to think that human consciousness and
human soul are the same thing. It rules out the possibility that first and
foremost we are spiritual beings and leans towards the theory that humans are
only biological creatures. I would like to disagree with this statement by simple
example. Let’s say there is a person who has experienced different perception
of life compared to you and me. Since the day he/she was born, experiencing
reality is an extraordinary experience, and for this reason his/her brain cannot
operate in the same way as yours and mines does. He/she doesn’t really
understand what is love, compassion and other human emotions/feelings
which are usually described by science as a part of consciousness. Would it be
right to say that this person has no soul? In my opinion it would be wrong just
because he is alive but missing this connection link between soul &
consciousness only due to his different experience of life and reality. For this
reason, I see consciousness and soul as two separates. So being eloquent in
your soul is not the same as being eloquent in your consciousness. However, I
see those two aspects as essential parts to each other for us to be able to
experience this life in the way we are experiencing it.

Vandalism – one of the greatest expressions of our souls. However, society
which we live in describes vandalism as the deliberate damage of public or
private property which in my opinion is totally bollocks. Throughout my youth
days vandalism was one of my daily activities. Not because I loved deliberately
damaging things, it was more of an expression of my young energy which like a
boiling kettle released steam into atmosphere after it reached certain
temperature. My soul simply refused to be part of systematic society designed
to suppress my energy and freedom. That’s why the first time I got arrested
and felt a comfort of post-soviet police cells at the age of 7. My parents were
in shock but they never punished me because they knew that punishment will
make things worse. Sometimes I think if my parents would have been stricter
when I was growing up, I would probably be a different person now. However,
only now I realise that all that riot in my youth days against the school, against
the system made me the person I am today. So, when we speak about
vandalism, I tend to see it as a riot, the riot of our souls. Someone may ask –
why your soul turn to riot? I think answer to this question lies in foundations of
our society, which was designed by so called social engineers throughout the
history of modern humanity. Same people as you and me but with the greater
knowledge of life and human psychology than statistically average person.
Modern society was designed to suppress our energy, suppress our freedom of
thought, suppress our souls. Simply because it is easier for a few to dominate
and control over the thousands. There is simple rule of physics which states
that every action has an opposite reaction, rule of equilibrium, rule of balance
which dominates in this universe. Our soul is the part of this universe and for
this reason it obliges to the same universal rule. But the moment when your
soul encounters suppression then its natural opposite reaction to it is the riot.
For this reason, I don’t see vandalism as the act of deliberate damage of public
or private property, I see it as the riot against systematic suppression of our
souls by modern society.

I understand that people might have a different view of the life we are living,
different view of spirituality, different view of society and different
understanding what is the reality and how we interact with it. But if you are
following my thoughts, you should be able to see the pattern here. Pattern
which in my opinion has a really deep link between soul, consciousness and
being an eloquent street vandal. Act of vandalism for me always will be a soul
riot, depending on the time and place it will leave the “soul mark” whoever
performed this act. And it doesn’t matter whether it is a spray paint tag,
stencil, top quality mural or just a smashed window on abandoned building – It
will always stay as eloquent message from Soul Vandals.