Some might say that graffiti, and perhaps ‘street art’ more generally, holds an uneasy relationship with technology and the internet. Some feel like the web has diminished the original graffiti subculture by opening it up to wider audiences who experience the artform behind a screen as opposed to in person.

This may very well be the case, and a crime in which I am complicit simply by running this blog!

Yet there are many others who actively embrace the internet, and the potential it has to exponentially increase the number of people who can experience their art, either in person or virtually. A rise in visually stunning and digital-only ‘GIF-fiti’ like this from Insa and Unga shows that by no means do all street artists feel resentment towards the web.

Now with Invader’s recently released (and free) ‘Flash Invaders’ app, street art and digital technology are probably more closely aligned than they ever have been.

As I work in the digital/web development sector by day, and blog about street art in my spare time, I was really interested in this venture.

flash invader feat

The concept is simple. If you spot an Invader mosaic piece, grab your phone and ‘flash’ the invader (take a picture of it through the app). Once you’ve flashed it, and depending on whether or not the app recognises the piece from the app’s database of Invader mosaics, you are awarded points. These point are then totaled up, and your position on the delightfully 8-bit high score table is decided.

I’ve yet to test it on actual Invader pieces, so I’m interested to know if anyone has tried it out for real yet, and how they got on. The process of matching the image with the database is a potentially tricky one, so it will be good to find out how well this works.

flash inv screens

The high score table already has some entrants with well over 300 pieces spotted, which means roughly 20 flashed per day. I am not sure if there’s been a little subversion of the system involved or not…but yet again, those based in Paris will have the edge in ticking off a number of his pieces quickly!

Anyway, it looks like a really fun way to combine the collectibility of his art, and introduce a gamification aspect to give it an appropriately digital twist. It also got me thinking about app development in this way as an art form, or as a way to complement art. Does anyone have any examples of apps being used in this way? I’d really love to check them out – if you do, comment below, drop us an email or find us on Facebook.

Download the Flash Invaders app and start ‘flashing’ his mosaics!

Steven
UKB

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