Street Art and Parasitism


Street Art and Parasitism

Conference by Dr. Macs Smith 

The French street artists, Blek le Rat and Invader, have each described their work as an epidemic unleashed on the city, and their harshest opponents seem to agree. Street art has often been pejoratively depicted as unclean and a symptom of urban decay. Why are people drawn to metaphors of disease for street art? And for the artists, why is disease desirable? This talk will draw on Michel Serres’s concept of le parasite to answer these questions.

Dr. Macs Smith is a Career Development Fellow in French at Queen’s College, Oxford. His research concerns the intersection of media theory and the body in modern and contemporary France. His first book, Paris and the Parasite, uses the figure of the parasite to examine how marginalised people, nonhuman life, and noise have been pathologized in French urbanism.

Person in charge


Dr. Elodie Vaudry

Researcher and Scientific Coordinator