Recently, I wrote about Jeff Koons’ collaboration with Snapchat to place his sculptures in augmented reality around the world. I thought it was interesting and harmless. After all, what is bad about artists creating cost-effective artworks accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a free app?
But it turns out that to artist Sebastian Errazuriz, this issue is, in fact, controversial. Saying it symbolized,“Augmented reality corporate invasion,” Errazuriz felt that corporations shouldn’t be able to geotag public spaces for free.
His response? To vandalize the statue. He and his team were unable to use Snapchat, so they created an app called ARNYC. Twenty-four hours after Jeff Koons’ statue was installed, his copy of Balloon Dog was in AR on his app and covered in graffiti.
I don’t know if I agree with him or disagree with him on his stance on AR in public places, but I can appreciate the whimsical approach to his protests.