insights, ironies and idiosyncrasies in communication and design

from the wide, wide world and the world wide web

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Don't get drawn in.

Although scam work in the world of advertising is rife and shows no signs of abating (even with the presence of numerous digital, peer-congratulatory forums like Ads of the World), it's unusual to see anything other than faux stuff at school – unless of course you initially claimed that the work was in fact the real thing.

Getting someone else to do your homework or other such schoolboy laziness is more common, and even though I admit I thought that I'd seen it all at the age of 14 when I witnessed two kids at the school I attended catching the bus during our annual 3.5 mile cross country run, the following classroom cheat is on an altogether different scale.

In order to create what he hoped would be the biggest drawing in the world, Swedish design student Erik Nordenankar handed DHL a suitcase, inside of which was a GPS tracking device, together with exact instructions of where to take it. By tracking the device through six continents and recording the route on a map, Erik created the largest portrait the world has seen – or at least that's what he claimed. 

He later admitted – rather unnecessarily you might feel – that the case never made the journey, citing lack of funds as the reason; but Erik grassed himself up because as a hoax the tale was far hotter. In less than three weeks the story has created a viral storm boasting more than 1 million Youtube hits and plenty of blog coverage – which has all helped to raise the piece to a higher conceptual art form and gain the artist added anarchic kudos. 

I am just left wondering whether he got any extra credit at school for all his efforts and his cunning use of new media.

Check out his website for a personal confession. 

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