BNI Magazine

September 01, 2000

September 2000

“Watchtower” by Jenny Reid
“Dear watchtower, what’s with all the obeygiant stickers in Dublin? my friend says it’s a cult, any ideas?”
Some call him an artist, some claim he’s a cult leader. A lot of people think art is for the viewer, this does not describe Shepard Fairey, the person most commonly credited with the obeygiant project, and he does not lead a cult, so that’s out the window too. Then what is with the “Obey Giant” Stickers we see on shop windows in our fair city? Well, first of all this is not a local matter, this is an international thing.

But what is it? seems to give all the answers we will ever get, it says the campaign is an “experiment” in Phenomenology.

“Heidegger describes Phenomenology as ‘the process of letting things manifest themselves.’ Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

This campaign is exactly what we need. Scott adams, author of the Dilbert comic strip said “in the future we will stop finding new things to look at, instead, we will find new ways of looking at things.”

This campaign, experiment, whatever you want to call it, is a great idea, and one of the first of what i hope will be a new breed of thought. The stickers are a great idea, even if some people do misuse them, putting them up over other artwork, etc.

If you’re still not satisfied here’s another snippet of the site.

“You may be familiar the street sticker campaign of obey giant indicating that Andre has a posse or proposing the directive to “OBEY.” The image was first created in 1989 by accident as Fairey was showing a friend how to create stenciled graphics. The example he made his friend work from was an advertisement for professional wrestling. “It all started with a copier and a ball point pen and a stencil,” states Fairey with a confident tone of fatalist inevitability.”