Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Borf

I was walking through Dupont Circle with some yoga friends last night and we noticed "Borf" painted on a stop sign. The conversation inevitably turned to this mysterious and ubiquitous graffiti artist. "You're the researcher, Zoe, why don't you look into it?" Karoline said. So I did.

Borf is an artist who used to have a gallery on the www.stencilrevolution.com website, but it no longer exists. I only found a few references in the Google cache of old webpages, but nothing that's maintained.

There is an interview with Borf on the Visual Resistance site where he expounds his political philosophy (How did they get his email address??):
http://visualresistance.org/wordpress/?p=94

This DCist article is full of rumors with no substantiation:
http://www.dcist.com/archives/2005/01/10/who_is_borf.php

This article in the North Carolina Observer has more information about Borf's geographical proliferation, but as the Visual Resistance site complains, they don't actually seem to understand what stencil art is:
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/2078610p-8458533c.html

If you want to see a bunch of Borf pictures, check out:
http://flickr.com/photos/tags/borf/

But I really like the little robot going "Borf borf borf" here:
http://www.wrybread.com/gammablog/gammablablog.php?p=1252

The definition of Borf:
http://www.hyperdictionary.com/computing/borf

Borf is also a villain in old arcade games.

My own theory: Borf is not just one person! He is a meme who lives in many hearts and souls. Perhaps there is a bit of Borf in all of us...

Namaste,
Zoe

PS. Mary, wasn't able to find anything about your Russian story with
the poison, although this Russian definition seems to match the
English one:
http://bikman.ru/projects/progs/borf/

6 Comments:

Anonymous wi11iam13 said...

Zoe,
thanks for your research. before i left DC for Berlin i was growing quite fond of Borf. I happily greeted his stenciled missives with a cheer and a sigh of relief to know that not all of my fellow residents had drank the republican Kool-Aid. I suspect it is only a matter of time until he is captured and interned in a tiger cage on some unmapped tropical island...but until that day "borf, borf, borf" indeed...

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

screw it i'm tired of people thinking they know what who Borf is or what he is all about. oh yeah the people posting saying its thier work are full of shit. Borf's real name is bobby and he happens to be my brother that passed away Oct. 2003 at the age of 16. A friend of his started the whole thing around great falls Va where my brother and I used to live and now its all over! i'm not going to give up any names. . . they aren't doing the art for anyone but my brother. All these web sites make me laugh, all the people posting stuff thinking borf is reading it HAHAHAHAHAHA -NF

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE LET PEOPLE KNOW BORF IS BOBBY AND HE ISN"T ALIVE THESE WEB SITES ARE REDICULOUS YEAH PUT UP THE PICS BUT SCREW THE BULLSHIT COMMENTS. R.I.P>RLF.III

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Borf's family not happy

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

paste these post and copy them on to other web sites with peoples comments

8:22 AM  
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