8.12.08

Found it.

"Exciting!" - Graffiti by Eine
A passion for the hidden.

Like most people I enjoy to be in the know, to be aware of things people don't perceive and share this knowledge with others. Not only is that flattering for your own ego, but that is also good for the audience's ego who will then be able able to spread the word and get the fruits of their new knowledge. Such a psychological driver is the key to viral marketing, a buzz word that is regularly muttered by marketing crowds those days. Nevertheless, this is and has always been in the human nature to hide things to be unlocked by codes. Think of the templars and their rituals, of the Egyptians and their pyramid plans, think of the free massons and their rules of proportions, think of the persecuted Christians in antic polytheistic Rom who engraved a fish on their tombs because "ichthus" (fish in ancient greek) was the acronym of Jesus Christus, Son of God, our Saviour... Across the ages, each civilization has shared some knowledge through encryption.

Maybe because I am from Grenoble just like Jean-Fran├žois Champollion, the scholar who deciphered the hieroglyphs using the Rosetta stone, now visible in the British Museum, but I nurture an interest for codes. That is also the reason why I like graffiti: I see them as a coded expression of an underground culture on the verge to blossom. They are right in your face. You may see them or sometimes skip them, but they are there. And they convey messages.

Find it.

As an echo for this personal enthusiasm, Ford is now deploying a European advertising campaign for the launch of the Ford Ka. This model is the best-selling car in the UK, you see it everywhere and yet every new launch brings some level of novelty that you might not pay attention to as you are so used to see these little cars driving around. The campaign is called "Find It" and it's all about encouraging people to look beyond the obvious and to discovering new things.

Their agencies, Wunderman and WeAreSocial, have decided to make a parallel between the car and the graffiti that surround us. They thus invited some UK bloggers for a private guided tour of Shoreditch between graffiti and social media enthusiasts. For the people who are not yet in the know (see it works... tomorrow at the watercooler you will be able to talk about a new London area and someone might even offer you a coffee to hear more about it), Shoreditch is a very hot place for street artists. With iconic Brick Lane and its Truman Brewery as the cornerstones, you can walk around the area and discover some pieces of contemporary shortlived art by international artists Banksy, JR, Eine, D*Face, Invader... to name a few.




It was really great to be able to exchange with other enthusiasts like Christian of Vandalog. Each of us had its own piece of knowledge about this or this artist, and the perspective to learn and share was another treat of the day. I really enjoyed myself and even managed to convert my reluctant and cold-sensitive wife who even points me to stencils I would have otherwise skipped.

To read further:
  • An article about JR, the engaged photographer and his installation in Gaza: Smile my brother. Smile.
  • An article about Space Invader, the mosaic which invades your street and TV adverts: Bunn-invasion.
  • An article about Banksy, the British artists who now sprays gold out of his cans: Spray the world.

2 comments:

  1. What a nice collection of street art pictures!
    especially of space invaders! I am so jalous, so many space invaders I haven't discovered yet...

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  2. Cedric's "reluctant and cold-sensitive wife" does confirm: we did have a very good time! :-)

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