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August 25, 2004



I have also noticed these Nullpunkt sticker.

I think it's a grafitti artist thing. There are dozens of these placards all over SOMA, some have been around since Late Spring/Early Summer.

I'm amazed that these placards have remained around for so long. Other tags like a normal spray-paint grafitti tag or an "Andre the Giant has a Posse" poster are removed quickly.

But the Nullpunkt tags remain on many buildings for months. The one at my building survived for about a month before it was removed. In that month, several grafitti tags have been put up and removed. For some reason the Landlord ignored the Nullpunkt placard.

My theory is this:

Bar codes are so common that we ignore them. We don't usually mess with barcodes because we can't read them at all, and assume they contain useful, hidden information, and any manipulation of the bar code will cause trouble.

The Nullpunkt placards sort of look "official". In fact, many of my friends have only barely noticed the Nullpunkt's at all, despite walking past them a hundred times. Other friends assumed that the bar codes were put there by the City to mark something important. However, each Nullpunkt placard is identical... so they don't contain unique information about taht particular building, for example.

An interesting and successful piece of grafitti art.


I have a theory... I have worked in the area for a little over a year now and I too noticed the "barcodes." They seemed to pop up at about the same time the bridge project moved to town and my theory proceeds thusly...
I figure the bar-codes have been affixed to the building adjacent to the bridge project in order to establish height elevations or fixed working points for the bridge engineers. A team of covert German surveyors must have repelled from the bridge slapping them on the buildings whilst we slept. Having learned that Nullpunkt means absolute 0, I am further convinced that I "am like so right" about this issue. All along, I knew in my heart that a German word made sense atop an engineering tool, viva Alemania!, but to find out it means absolute zero, how cool is that, I love that movie. Perhaps the Germans hired one of our own to perform the sticker invasion, one they adore and trust. Strengthening my theory to near bullet-proofism: Germans LOVE David Hasselhof!

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