If you like space invader street art and you’re looking for an alternative to costly trips to Paris museums, try searching the city for Space Invader art.
While Paris is not known for its space invader street art, one anonymous artist who goes by the pseudonym, Invader, started his now global large-scale project, Space Invaders. Since 1998, Invader has been sneaking about Paris and other cities around the world armed with a mask and his ceramic tiles. Using individual pieces, the artist creates and installs pixelated characters onto the walls of buildings along the streets. According to Invader, “It is first of all about liberating Art from its usual alienators that museums or institutions can be. But it is also about freeing the Space Invaders from their video games TV screens and to bring them in our physical world.” These simple and fun graffiti tiles provide a way to experience space invader art and explore the city in a unique manner for anyone lucky enough to step foot in one of his chosen cities. As for how to find a space invaders mosaic, there seem to be three ways.
The first being the random exploration of space invader art. One can simply meander around the city letting their eyes wander over the street buildings looking for space invader street art. This method, undoubtedly, takes the least amount of effort, but one’s chances of finding the graffiti tiles are just that, a chance.
Another method for finding space invader art includes internet sleuthing. By combing through Invader’s website and Instagram account, one can attempt to find the locations of the Space Invader graffiti tiles with the help of Google Maps Street View. It is possible to look for clues for the space invader street art in the photographs such as street names, landmarks, or store signs that would give away the Space Invaders mosaic locations. On Google Maps Street View, on can then virtually walk down the street to see if the Space Invaders mosaic is there. Placing pins on a custom My Google Map is a quick and easy way to mark locations and go find them later in real life.
Note that it’s best to keep a custom Google map of space invader art to yourself. Some other public maps that have been posted online have received notifications from Invader to remove the exact locations of the graffiti tiles to deter people looking for the Space Invaders mosaic locations to destroy the space invader street art instead of to enjoy.
The last method includes Invader’s published materials on space invader street art. Invader has published various space invader art books and guides that show locations and the stories of his graffiti tiles. The books are hard to come by, so searching for the guides is another hunt in its own.
Whatever the searching plan is for space invader street art, do not forget to download Invader’s smartphone app, FlashInvaders. The space invaders art app provides a way to turn the hunt into a virtual street art game. Use the camera to snap a photo of the graffiti tiles and the app uses GPS coordinates to verify the find. In this way, each user can and keep track of which Space Invaders mosaic they have found and how many points they have earned (each Space Invaders mosaic has been assigned a score of 10 to 100 points). Currently, the top player, TIDENIS TOFZ…, has found 1,736 locations of the graffiti tiles and has a score of 51,870.
Although his space invader art is founded on being on the streets, Invader occasionally collaborates with various galleries and museum. Currently, Invader’s exhibit of space invader street art, Hello My Game Is…, has just been extended at the Museé en Herbe in Paris and is open until January 7, 2018. Originally his exhibit was scheduled to run from January 26 to September 3, 2017. His graffiti tiles and other works are on display along with three old-school arcade game machines, which draw young and old crowds alike. Cheekily, the museum also displays in little cases each mask that Invader has worn to disguise his identity all these years.
One man, armed with toy store masks, mass-produced ceramic tiles, cement or glue, and the occasional ladder, has created a virtual street art game of space invader art out of the real world. Each visitor is transformed into their own player in a new world made from their own city. Sure, one might experience the occasional glitch where some space invader street art has been destroyed or removed, but the overall experience is addictive and action-oriented. Invader’s philosophy is “Anytime, Anywhere” and his art will continue to keep people outside, on the move, and always with their head up. Happy hunting.
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