Street artists can now showcase their art on location without getting arrested – thanks to a new mobile app funded by a global prize fund.
The Street Art Project is the culmination of a 10-year experiment that enables artists of all ages and nationalities to collaborate online on spray paint designs at locations around the world – spreading understanding of the controversial discipline.
The app won the first Innovation Challenge run by the Global Society for Digital Marketing Innovators (SoDA), funded by Adobe. Adobe’s solutions also enabled development of the project across multiple platforms and operating systems.
The Street Art Project is the brainchild of London-based creative Vassilios Alexiou, who specialises in working between the blurred boundaries of digital marketing and product development, and who curated a street art community for over a decade.
Called ‘Vandal Squad’, the online platform has housed millions of pieces of work and sparked lively discussions about real-life versus online graffiti skills.
How does the app work?
The Street Art Project relies on geo-location technology and the necessity for artists to visit a location and capture it on their smartphone.
Artists snap an image of the building they wish to apply their art on, which is assigned a geo-tag on an interactive map.
Artists then either choose an existing image to superimpose onto the building, or select one from Behance, an online portfolio for creatives.
Artists can create in real time, in front of the building, or work later, in the comfort of their studios.
The canvas can be skewed or rotated, before one of 15 filters are applied to create the realistic effect of the art appearing to be part of a real location.
There is also a Hall of Fame where viewers can see others’ work - under pseudonyms - plus a facility to search the most viewed/liked murals. Artists who want to be found or followed will be able to ‘tag’ themselves, in the future.
Vassilios Alexiou explains, “The Street Art Project connects digital art with the streets, avoiding law enforcement issues. It enables artists to create a dialogue between their work and the locations they travel to. You can’t just paste your digital work on the Great Wall of China –you need to travel there and do it via the app.
“We aspire to make location important again for art – like graffiti did for art in the 1970s.”
Chris Buettner, SoDA’s executive director, says, “The Street Art Project is a prime example of the innovative and exciting work being supported through the SoDA Innovation Challenge. The prize encourages top digital agencies and production companies around the world to take risks in melding the digital and physical.”
He concludes, “The Street Art Project is a smart, rich mobile experience that’s free and encourages creativity across the globe.”
$25,000 was awarded via the SoDA Innovation Challenge to develop the Street Art Project, which encourages all entries to use Adobe technologies. It used Adobe AIR, which enables developers to use the same code across multiple platforms and devices.