July 11, 2010

Futurama new season’s episode 2 had Bender imitating the real graffiti artist Invader whose work is shown above.  The Wikipedia entry on Invader is so succinct and clear, I can’t really improve on it, so here is an excerpt:

“Invader (born 1969) is a French street artist who pastes up characters from and inspired by the Space Invaders game, made up of small coloured square tiles that form a mosaic. He does this in cities across the world, then documents this as an “Invasion”, with maps of where to find each invader.

He started this project in 1998 with the invasion of Paris – the city where he lives and the most invaded city to date – and then spread the invasion to 35 other cities in the world. Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, London, Manchester, Darlington, Newcastle, Geneva, Lausanne, Bonn, Cologne, Ljubljana, Prague, Vienna, Barcelona, Bilbao, Nice, Amsterdam, Berlin, Bangkok, Tokyo, Katmandu, Varanasi, Melbourne, Perth and even Mombasa are now invaded with his colourful characters in mosaic tiles.

The mosaics depict characters from Space Invaders and other video games from the late 1970s. The images in these games were made with fairly low-resolution graphics, and are therefore suitable for reproduction as mosaics, with tiles representing the pixels. The tiles are difficult to alter and weather-resistant.

Invader installed his first mosaic in the early 1990s in Paris. According to the artist, it was a scout, or sentinel, because it remained the only one for several years. The programme of installations began in earnest in 1998.

The locations for the mosaics are not random, but are chosen according to diverse criteria, which may be aesthetic, strategic or conceptual. Invader favours locations that are frequented by many people, but also likes some more hidden locations. In Montpellier, the locations of mosaics were chosen so that, when placed on a map, they form an image of a space invader character.

The mosaics are built in advance, and Invader travels with them. When he arrives in a city he obtains a map and spends at least a week to install them. They are catalogued, and Invader draws a map indicating their locations within the city. For some time, Invader has employed a professional photographer to take pictures of each mosaic.”

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