Space Invader on the Princes Bridge, St Kilda Rd

One of the most viable means of preserving and documenting street art has been found in photography. Wherever we see street art we often feel the need to photograph it. While in the gallery this is frowned upon as it detracts from engagement with the work, photography has become a viable way for viewing street art and preserving.

As external conditions alter frequently and rapidly, photography is the most reliable way of documenting art in the streets. Given the site specificity of street art, this means of preservation also allows for sharing art across continents, and allows for a global engagement with movements and causes. Through the use of websites, books, magazines and instagram, street art and its ever-evolving landscape can be meticulously documented, while also allowing works to retain their original meaning. Such advances in technology alleviate the pressures sometimes felt to preserve, conserve and restore works.

Through the digitisation of archives and active street art photographers, a tendency to map works online for others to visit has grown. Space Invader’s mosaics in Melbourne have been mapped online allowing people to tour them like an exhibit. The Street Art Museum (Brooklyn, NY) is a fantastic example of a movement that takes the museum to the streets, placing museum style labels next to works and curating exhibitions that keep up with the every changing streetscape. All exhibits are photographed and mapped on the website, allowing street art to be more accessible and well preserved than ever before.