X-Pand magazine

September 16, 2000

The Writing on the Walls, September 2000
By Jason Lockman

So, guess who’s got a posse. As everybody knows by now, it’s obey giant, but what people do not know is why, where, and what does that mean. Well, here come your answers. Just a couple months ago, stickers sporting the words “obey giant has a posse” and “Obey” began popping up on random signs and lampposts in Charleston, South Carolina, but now you can’t go down a block without seeing at least one, two or three of these stickers posted somewhere in front of your face. Apparently, the sticker “is an experiment in phenomenology” says Shepard Fairey, the artist and creator behind Andre’s posse. Fairey created the sticker while in art school at the Rhode Island School of Design, as a way to mock skateboard gang’s advertised stickers. Soon the sticker was launched into stardom and with it a new explanation of the image. Fairey adopted the idea of phenomenology from the work of German Philosopher Martin Heidegger, who describes phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” And boy did this experiment work. The sticker not only manifested itself, but soon various questions arose with it, and they weren’t all out of curiosity of the sticker. Questions pertaining to the law on public property and graffiti soon grew to enormous numbers. For now the stickers are still up, but will this experiment soon be shut down in its prime?