Boston bomb-terrorism-art-marketing scare

Posted by kanarinka akanarinak | Thu Feb 1st 2007 8:40 a.m.

Yesterday a bunch of LED signs with cartoon characters from a TV show
shut down the city of Boston. They were installed on bridges,
overpasses, etc.

City officials spent $750,000 deploying first responders to the site
of the cartoons.

Now they have arrested two of the "artists" who were hired by
Interference, Inc, a guerrilla marketing firm who was hired by Turner
Broadcasting.

Bail for the artists is set at $100,000.

One of the LED signs is on sale on eBay for $5,000.

This world gets weirder and weirder.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
----

Boston officials livid over ad stunt
Yahoo! News
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/
suspicious_devices&printer=1;_ylt=AlshJuoauPW32_iUqROy2mJH2ocA;_ylu=X3oD
MTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press Writer 56 minutes ago

Livid about a publicity campaign that disrupted the city by stirring
fears of terrorism, Boston officials vowed to prosecute those
responsible and seek restitution, while others mocked authorities on
Thursday for what they called an overreaction.

Officials found a slew of blinking electronic signs adorning bridges
and other high-profile spots across the city Wednesday, prompting the
closing of a highway and part of the Charles River and the deployment
of bomb squads.

The 38 signs were part of a promotion for the Cartoon Network TV show
"Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a talking milkshake,
a box of fries and a meatball. The network's parent is Turner
Broadcasting Systems Inc.

"It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use
this type of marketing scheme," Mayor Thomas Menino said. "I am
prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting
and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred."

The 1-foot tall signs, which were lit up at night, resembled a
circuit board, with protruding wires and batteries. Most depicted a
boxy, cartoon character giving passersby the finger
  • Mark Edward Grimm | Thu Feb 1st 2007 11:15 a.m.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Mooninites-Ignignokt-LED-Boston-Bomb-Scare_W0QQitemZ230086453528QQihZ013QQcategoryZ363QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    ebay address

    --- kanarinka <kanarinka@ikatun.com> wrote:

    > Yesterday a bunch of LED signs with cartoon
    > characters from a TV show
    > shut down the city of Boston. They were installed on
    > bridges,
    > overpasses, etc.
    >
    > City officials spent $750,000 deploying first
    > responders to the site
    > of the cartoons.
    >
    > Now they have arrested two of the "artists" who were
    > hired by
    > Interference, Inc, a guerrilla marketing firm who
    > was hired by Turner
    > Broadcasting.
    >
    > Bail for the artists is set at $100,000.
    >
    > One of the LED signs is on sale on eBay for $5,000.
    >
    > This world gets weirder and weirder.
    >
    >
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    > ----
    >
    > Boston officials livid over ad stunt
    > Yahoo! News
    > http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/
    >
    suspicious_devices&printer=1;_ylt=AlshJuoauPW32_iUqROy2mJH2ocA;_ylu=X3oD
    >
    > MTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-
    >
    > By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press Writer 56 minutes
    > ago
    >
    > Livid about a publicity campaign that disrupted the
    > city by stirring
    > fears of terrorism, Boston officials vowed to
    > prosecute those
    > responsible and seek restitution, while others
    > mocked authorities on
    > Thursday for what they called an overreaction.
    >
    > Officials found a slew of blinking electronic signs
    > adorning bridges
    > and other high-profile spots across the city
    > Wednesday, prompting the
    > closing of a highway and part of the Charles River
    > and the deployment
    > of bomb squads.
    >
    > The 38 signs were part of a promotion for the
    > Cartoon Network TV show
    > "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a
    > talking milkshake,
    > a box of fries and a meatball. The network's parent
    > is Turner
    > Broadcasting Systems Inc.
    >
    > "It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a
    > company would use
    > this type of marketing scheme," Mayor Thomas Menino
    > said. "I am
    > prepared to take any and all legal action against
    > Turner Broadcasting
    > and its affiliates for any and all expenses
    > incurred."
    >
    > The 1-foot tall signs, which were lit up at night,
    > resembled a
    > circuit board, with protruding wires and batteries.
    > Most depicted a
    > boxy, cartoon character giving passersby the finger
    >
  • MTAA | Thu Feb 1st 2007 12:57 p.m.
    http://alternet.org/blogs/peek/47507/

    the video embedded in at the page linked above is classic!

    On 2/1/07, mark edward grimm <meg156@columbia.edu> wrote:
    > http://cgi.ebay.com/Mooninites-Ignignokt-LED-Boston-Bomb-Scare_W0QQitemZ230086453528QQihZ013QQcategoryZ363QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    >
    > ebay address
    >
    >
    > --- kanarinka <kanarinka@ikatun.com> wrote:
    >
    > > Yesterday a bunch of LED signs with cartoon
    > > characters from a TV show
    > > shut down the city of Boston. They were installed on
    > > bridges,
    > > overpasses, etc.
    > >
    > > City officials spent $750,000 deploying first
    > > responders to the site
    > > of the cartoons.
    > >
    > > Now they have arrested two of the "artists" who were
    > > hired by
    > > Interference, Inc, a guerrilla marketing firm who
    > > was hired by Turner
    > > Broadcasting.
    > >
    > > Bail for the artists is set at $100,000.
    > >
    > > One of the LED signs is on sale on eBay for $5,000.
    > >
    > > This world gets weirder and weirder.
    > >
    > >
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > >
    > > ----
    > >
    > > Boston officials livid over ad stunt
    > > Yahoo! News
    > > http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070201/ap_on_re_us/
    > >
    > suspicious_devices&printer=1;_ylt=AlshJuoauPW32_iUqROy2mJH2ocA;_ylu=X3oD
    > >
    > > MTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-
    > >
    > > By KEN MAGUIRE, Associated Press Writer 56 minutes
    > > ago
    > >
    > > Livid about a publicity campaign that disrupted the
    > > city by stirring
    > > fears of terrorism, Boston officials vowed to
    > > prosecute those
    > > responsible and seek restitution, while others
    > > mocked authorities on
    > > Thursday for what they called an overreaction.
    > >
    > > Officials found a slew of blinking electronic signs
    > > adorning bridges
    > > and other high-profile spots across the city
    > > Wednesday, prompting the
    > > closing of a highway and part of the Charles River
    > > and the deployment
    > > of bomb squads.
    > >
    > > The 38 signs were part of a promotion for the
    > > Cartoon Network TV show
    > > "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," a surreal series about a
    > > talking milkshake,
    > > a box of fries and a meatball. The network's parent
    > > is Turner
    > > Broadcasting Systems Inc.
    > >
    > > "It is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a
    > > company would use
    > > this type of marketing scheme," Mayor Thomas Menino
    > > said. "I am
    > > prepared to take any and all legal action against
    > > Turner Broadcasting
    > > and its affiliates for any and all expenses
    > > incurred."
    > >
    > > The 1-foot tall signs, which were lit up at night,
    > > resembled a
    > > circuit board, with protruding wires and batteries.
    > > Most depicted a
    > > boxy, cartoon character giving passersby the finger
    > >
  • Tim Devin | Fri Feb 2nd 2007 7:24 a.m.
    Sure, I think Boston overreacted. But I think maybe a more important question is: why didn't the companies that directly benefited from all of this publicity come forward, and set everybody's minds at ease.
  • patrick lichty | Fri Feb 2nd 2007 10:41 a.m.
    I think that it's obvious that it's because of the publicity and also
    because they don't want to take responsibility.

    This has shown how ridiculous the situation has really become, how truly
    broken and ineffectual the system really is, how ubiquitous the effect
    of entertainment capital has become, and how art, in many ways, only
    exists outside of the gallery.

    Lately, I have really enjoyed Baudrillard's assertion that contemporary
    art has ceased to exist except as an abject gesture towards privilege,
    and itself.

    Patrick Lichty
    - Interactive Arts & Media
    Columbia College, Chicago
    - Editor-In-Chief
    Intelligent Agent Magazine
    http://www.intelligentagent.com
    225 288 5813
    voyd@voyd.com

    "It is better to die on your feet
    than to live on your knees."

    -----Original Message-----
    From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org] On Behalf
    Of Tim Devin
    Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 8:24 AM
    To: list@rhizome.org
    Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Re: Boston bomb-terrorism-art-marketing scare

    Sure, I think Boston overreacted. But I think maybe a more important
    question is: why didn't the companies that directly benefited from all
    of this publicity come forward, and set everybody's minds at ease.
    +
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  • Steve OR Steven Read | Fri Feb 2nd 2007 6:16 p.m.
    Here my cents. This is a bizarre case in all directions. These guys seem like 'artists', but they were hired by a marketing firm for their corporate client to advertise corporate products. This is the work of the axis of evil, not artists. Its messed up because they are using a method which simulates artistic production. But the media and police has so far blamed them (the 2 'artists'), instead of blaming the marketing company or corporate client. This is maybe because they look like 'artists'. The 'artists' seem to both want and not want credit, for obvious reasons. From what I heard, the marketing company and corporate client told the 'artists' to stay on the down-low when the shit hit the fan. It was clearly those higher entities which made it get worse. Yet do we see arrests of anyone besides the 'artists'? We will I hope... I say let the 'artists' go free, but don't let them become heroes because they acted on the side of the 'bad guys' in my opinion.

    I both dislike and like these 'artists' in this case. I like the work they made. But I dislike the fact that it was made for corporate marketing purposes, and disguised as 'street art'. Its not street art, its illegal corporate garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love the cartoon but I don't need to see advertisements about it like this. I dislike their installation choices, using targets that imply terrorism. Who's idea was that I wonder? I of course also dislike the media and the law in this so far, idiots, but then again I think their confusion is natural because I too am confused. But I love the fact that its all happening and its all blurred together.

    Steven Read
    http://www.stevenread.com
  • Rhizomer | Fri Feb 2nd 2007 8:28 p.m.
    The whole thing is a rip off of Graffiti Research Labs, right? (right?) to
    market some stupid corporate product. That the people who installed the
    boards are "artists" is irrelevant: it was not their work or any form of
    "art" - they were just hired to do a job and were paid $300 each to put up
    40 boards. That they were smug and smarmy about the whole thing at the
    arraignment and in their press interaction was just embarrassing: they
    thought it all was about them (showing a really ugly side of artists'
    hunger for attention and self involvement) when they were actually just low
    paid hirelings of the marketing company. There is no "art" part in any of
    this, whatever the press may have latched on to (or those fellows may have
    presumptions about). It is more about the intrusion of corporate
    advertising illegally into the public space (i.e. corporate graffiti) and
    the ease with which any artistic practice can be co-opted towards corporate
    (i.e. marketing) ends.

    The pathetic thing is that these two fellows will probably put it on their
    resumes. I guess the other pathetic thing is that the "art types" at the
    marketing company (http://www.interferenceinc.com/) are probably on this
    mailing list.

    -Roy Pardi (Boston)

    At 5:16 PM -0800 2/2/07, Steve OR Steven Read wrote:
    >Here my cents. This is a bizarre case in all directions. These guys seem
    >like 'artists', but they were hired by a marketing firm for their
    >corporate client to advertise corporate products. This is the work of the
    >axis of evil, not artists. Its messed up because they are using a method
    >which simulates artistic production. But the media and police has so far
    >blamed them (the 2 'artists'), instead of blaming the marketing company or
    >corporate client. This is maybe because they look like 'artists'. The
    >'artists' seem to both want and not want credit, for obvious reasons. From
    >what I heard, the marketing company and corporate client told the
    >'artists' to stay on the down-low when the shit hit the fan. It was
    >clearly those higher entities which made it get worse. Yet do we see
    >arrests of anyone besides the 'artists'? We will I hope... I say let the
    >'artists' go free, but don't let them become heroes because they acted on
    >the side of the 'bad guys' in my opinion.
    >
    >I both dislike and like these 'artists' in this case. I like the work they
    >made. But I dislike the fact that it was made for corporate marketing
    >purposes, and disguised as 'street art'. Its not street art, its illegal
    >corporate garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love the cartoon but I don't need
    >to see advertisements about it like this. I dislike their installation
    >choices, using targets that imply terrorism. Who's idea was that I wonder?
    >I of course also dislike the media and the law in this so far, idiots, but
    >then again I think their confusion is natural because I too am confused.
    >But I love the fact that its all happening and its all blurred together.
    >
    >Steven Read
    >http://www.stevenread.com
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php

    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Studio Site Updated!
    http://www.roypardi.com/
  • patrick lichty | Fri Feb 2nd 2007 11:06 p.m.
    That's right - it was a rip of GRL.
    The ironic thing of the whole matter, is that I was showing my students
    in two classes the Ars footage of GRL the day before this whole thing
    broke.

    My viral media lecture is going to be moved up about 8 weeks.
    The whole thing is just inane. The news coverage was about a "hoax
    Device", where I had no idea that any intent like that was even
    attempted. Another source cais with was made with lite-brites; another
    gross misstatement.

    Makes me feel like I have really been living at the high altitudes.
    Where was I at when all reason completely buckled?

    I've said it before - I lost a couple friends in the towers on 9/11, and
    a cousin in Oklahoma; that actually hit my family harder.

    However, the US is just so freaked out that it's just ridiculous. This
    place has got to get a grip.

    Patrick Lichty
    - Interactive Arts & Media
    Columbia College, Chicago
    - Editor-In-Chief
    Intelligent Agent Magazine
    http://www.intelligentagent.com
    225 288 5813
    voyd@voyd.com

    "It is better to die on your feet
    than to live on your knees."

    -----Original Message-----
    From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org] On Behalf
    Of Roy Pardi
    Sent: Friday, February 02, 2007 9:34 PM
    To: list@rhizome.org
    Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Re: Re: Re: Boston
    bomb-terrorism-art-marketing scare

    The whole thing is a rip off of Graffiti Research Labs, right? (right?)
    to
    market some stupid corporate product. That the people who installed the
    boards are "artists" is irrelevant: it was not their work or any form of
    "art" - they were just hired to do a job and were paid $300 each to put
    up
    40 boards. That they were smug and smarmy about the whole thing at the
    arraignment and in their press interaction was just embarrassing: they
    thought it all was about them (showing a really ugly side of artists'
    hunger for attention and self involvement) when they were actually just
    low
    paid hirelings of the marketing company. There is no "art" part in any
    of
    this, whatever the press may have latched on to (or those fellows may
    have
    presumptions about). It is more about the intrusion of corporate
    advertising illegally into the public space (i.e. corporate graffiti)
    and
    the ease with which any artistic practice can be co-opted towards
    corporate
    (i.e. marketing) ends.

    The pathetic thing is that these two fellows will probably put it on
    their
    resumes. I guess the other pathetic thing is that the "art types" at the
    marketing company (http://www.interferenceinc.com/) are probably on this
    mailing list.

    -Roy Pardi (Boston)

    At 5:16 PM -0800 2/2/07, Steve OR Steven Read wrote:
    >Here my cents. This is a bizarre case in all directions. These guys
    seem
    >like 'artists', but they were hired by a marketing firm for their
    >corporate client to advertise corporate products. This is the work of
    the
    >axis of evil, not artists. Its messed up because they are using a
    method
    >which simulates artistic production. But the media and police has so
    far
    >blamed them (the 2 'artists'), instead of blaming the marketing company
    or
    >corporate client. This is maybe because they look like 'artists'. The
    >'artists' seem to both want and not want credit, for obvious reasons.
    From
    >what I heard, the marketing company and corporate client told the
    >'artists' to stay on the down-low when the shit hit the fan. It was
    >clearly those higher entities which made it get worse. Yet do we see
    >arrests of anyone besides the 'artists'? We will I hope... I say let
    the
    >'artists' go free, but don't let them become heroes because they acted
    on
    >the side of the 'bad guys' in my opinion.
    >
    >I both dislike and like these 'artists' in this case. I like the work
    they
    >made. But I dislike the fact that it was made for corporate marketing
    >purposes, and disguised as 'street art'. Its not street art, its
    illegal
    >corporate garbage. Don't get me wrong, I love the cartoon but I don't
    need
    >to see advertisements about it like this. I dislike their installation
    >choices, using targets that imply terrorism. Who's idea was that I
    wonder?
    >I of course also dislike the media and the law in this so far, idiots,
    but
    >then again I think their confusion is natural because I too am
    confused.
    >But I love the fact that its all happening and its all blurred
    together.
    >
    >Steven Read
    >http://www.stevenread.com
    >+
    >-> post: list@rhizome.org
    >-> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >+
    >Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php

    --
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Studio Site Updated!
    http://www.roypardi.com/

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  • Rob Myers | Sat Feb 3rd 2007 2:36 a.m.
    A certain amount of schaudenfreude is forgivable when faced with the
    spectacle of marketeers getting not only the rewards but also the
    punishment of street art for once. Wooster Collective et al are right to
    be pissed off when Sony or Adult Swim fake street art, particularly when
    they do it so badly and with such negative consequences.

    That said, these things would have been fun for the public, and art
    needs paying for somehow. There is an open door between art and
    advertising, there always has been and this is a freedom of expression
    issue for both artists and advertisers. You don't have to like someone
    or like what they are saying in order for it to qualify as free speech.

    That said, the current fashion for faking street art actually on the
    street is not appropriation of form but substitution of products. A kind
    of gentrification?

    That said, this wrong does not make the reactions of the authorities and
    the media right. The authorities need to be able to properly identify
    bombs and deal with the public. The media need to properly identify
    stories and deal with the public. Both have shown themselves to be
    confused, fearful, and remote.

    I think this picture is right:

    http://www.seanbonner.com/blog/archives/002494.php

    - Rob.
  • Jim Andrews | Sat Feb 3rd 2007 3:44 a.m.
    > Lately, I have really enjoyed Baudrillard's assertion that contemporary
    > art has ceased to exist except as an abject gesture towards privilege,
    > and itself.

    I've thought that too, but it falls victim to what it would critique. It
    would critique the cultures of privilege and self-absorption, but denies the
    existence of art outside those cultures, which is where art is to be
    lived/found, created/discovered.

    ja
    http://vispo.com
  • patrick lichty | Sat Feb 3rd 2007 8:53 a.m.
    I think that this still holds true, in that art cannot call itself art
    anymore, because what we call 'art' (in the high cultural sense) has
    become emptied of all meaning except its position to
    power/prestige/capital. I think the key irony is that to have much, if
    any, affect, art in the gallery is highly problematic, and art which
    claims to be so puts itself in a bind because the whole discourse of art
    has become such a problem.

    Patrick Lichty
    - Interactive Arts & Media
    Columbia College, Chicago
    - Editor-In-Chief
    Intelligent Agent Magazine
    http://www.intelligentagent.com
    225 288 5813
    voyd@voyd.com

    "It is better to die on your feet
    than to live on your knees."

    -----Original Message-----
    From: owner-list@rhizome.org [mailto:owner-list@rhizome.org] On Behalf
    Of Jim Andrews
    Sent: Saturday, February 03, 2007 4:50 AM
    To: list@rhizome.org
    Subject: RE: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Re: Boston bomb-terrorism-art-marketing
    scare

    > Lately, I have really enjoyed Baudrillard's assertion that
    contemporary
    > art has ceased to exist except as an abject gesture towards privilege,
    > and itself.

    I've thought that too, but it falls victim to what it would critique. It
    would critique the cultures of privilege and self-absorption, but denies
    the
    existence of art outside those cultures, which is where art is to be
    lived/found, created/discovered.

    ja
    http://vispo.com

    +
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  • Steve OR Steven Read | Sat Feb 3rd 2007 1:42 p.m.
    Great thoughts on this whole ridiculous scene. I'm curious, so these 2 'artist' guys didn't actually invent or manufacture the boards? They only installed them? Is that a moot point?
    Yes, GRL has been ripped! Hurry, let's arrest them too! In fact, arrest anyone involved who has dreads...those in suits are surely innocent.
    Stephe R
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