Banksy’s cryptic month of art in New York

Famous British street artist Banksy is unveiling new work all month on the streets of New York City.  The mysterious talent announced Oct. 1 on his site that he’s going to be “attempting to host an entire show on the streets of New York.”

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His site, banksy.co.uk, was redirecting to banskyny.com, and a telephone number sits alongside each piece of art. After dialing in, observers can enter the piece’s code for an “audio guide.” (Which in Banksy-style, proves to be not very revealing.) Dial 1-800-656-4271 and then either 1, 2, or 3 to listen to gems like “You’re looking at a type of picture called graffiti, from the Latin ‘graffito’ which means ‘graffiti’ with an O.”)

He is also posting his art, along with clues about its location and the audio number on Instagram. He also surfaced on Twitter the day his New York show started, with almost 10,000 followers after only five tweets (the Tweets don’t seem to have a connection to the art). – via @Creativity-Online

Why I’m Curious

I’m curious about the the social and mobile elements he is incorporating into each of his pieces. The  information you get from dialing the phone number is extremely vague, sarcastic and ironic (the music at one point on #2 completely covers the audio) – much like the artist himself.  The fact that he’s posting to Instagram and Twitter (albeit, Twitter hasn’t thus far added anything to the experience) seem more commercial that he’s appeared before. While these items may seem interactive, they are still just one-way communications from Banksy to everyone. The most interactive part of the ‘show’ so far has been the tagging over his artwork. As Creativity Online mentions, Banksy has long been critical of people who label graffiti as vandalism, so it’s unclear whether he wants people to come and tag his pieces or not. I’m wondering if that’s the point…

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