Artist virtually vandalizes Jeff Koons’ x Snapchat collab in protest

On Tuesday 3 October, Snapchat launched a collaboration with Jeff Koons which placed virtual, 3D versions of the artist’s best-known sculptures in international tourist hotspots via augmented reality. A day later, New York-based artist Sebastian Errazuriz virtually “vandalised” one of the sculptures, the Balloon Dog, in Central Park in order to make a statement.

The team made an identical 3D AR Balloon Dog covered in graffiti, including a graffiti tag from phenom Klops, and geo-tagged it to the exact coordinates in “a symbolic stance against imminent AR corporate invasion,” Errazuriz expressed to It’s Nice That. “It is vital to start questioning how much of our virtual public space we are willing to give to companies.”

Why It’s Hot

No matter the motive for this statement by Errazuriz, he brings to light a growing concern. An increasing amount of our social interactions are occurring virtually. As we move toward more utilitarian applications for AR, we’ll need to ensure that the space is not over crowded with “cool” brand activations. Branded content should continue to enhance social interactions, not just seek to disrupt them.