Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Art (and Anarchy) of Shopdropping





Shopdropping is a fascinating phenomenon that's appeared in cities around the world. Also known as reverse shoplifting, it involves leaving objects in stores where they're bound to be discovered by other shoppers. Some shopdroppers replace the labels on tin cans with small works of art. (Shown above.) Other shopdroppers leave political messages, inspirational notes or their own CDs or pamphlets.

While I'm not too fond of having other people's politics forced on me, I love the idea of discovering art in random places. If I were to find a can with a beautiful work of art on it--or a secret message inside my egg carton--I think it would probably make my week.




Of course, the world's most famous "shopdropper" is the artist Banksy (whose works have received a great deal of attention on this blog). Some of his most famous stunts have involved hanging his own subversive artwork (above) in museums while the guards aren't watching.

See him in action below!




You can read more about shopdropping here and here.

21 Comments:

Blogger Kitty said...

I'd love to do that ANY day!

2:15 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

first?

2:21 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

THAT IS HILARIOUS!! I'd love to do that sometime. :D lol. But I hope that wasn't permanent glue he used...How do we know this is Banksy?

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one day i think im gonna write a poem and put it in a library book w/ my e-mail adress to see if a complete stranger liked it. thats kinda shopdropping, right?

2:48 PM  
Blogger Invisible Turtle said...

Ooh... sounds fun. It'd be fun to make someone think a store was haunted... like leave cryptic notes and old clothing in the local CVS!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Invisible Turtle said...

Anonymous: That's library-dropping. Ooh... there could be different genres, like in music and books! library-dropping, restaurant-dropping...

2:57 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh my gosh that is SO COOL. And it's very interesting how he can do it in an obvious way where there's tons of people...yet no one notices.

I'm going to do that.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Earth Day everyone!
You know, something that annoys me is when people call it "Green up Day". Well, not the fact that they call it that but what it makes people think. It makes everyone think to pick up trash and recycle. This is true,but I think Earth Day is also about helping other people. Humans are part of the earth too, right?
~Spiffy

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, Spiffy.

Kiki/Ananka/Kirsten: I was wondering if perhaps you found some way some strange person celebrates earth day. If you did, I would LOVE to know about it!

Very interesting...I like it! I wonder what people think when they find that type of stuff!

~Skyla

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Emily (E.J.R.) said...

Yes Happy Earth Day. . .
Oh I so want to do that I love to paint great things lie that. . .
I just love your picture Erin (cool)

6:22 PM  
Anonymous dangerous said...

happy Earth day everyone!! That is so amazing! i am going to go to the smithsoniam or something and put up some random artwork, it sounds like so much fun!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Raph said...

Remember the Matchbox Project? It's kinda like that, but on trains.

Oh, and I'll definitely be doing this "shop-dropping" soon. ^^ I'm going to try and set up something where the person who finds it leaves it for another person, or makes something similar for another person and shop-drops it too. Should be fun. If it works...

7:56 PM  
Blogger Foofoo said...

that's so cool! do the guards ever notice? and nobody else seemed to notice either!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Mai Selffe said...

I do that at school-I put weird messages and stuff, but I don't do that anymore, I shop-drop sometimes, I put weird notes like 'if the moon is made of cheese, the sun is made of socks.' and add pictures with them.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

Shopdropping sounds like a lot of fun! ^_^ One of my best friends is planning to do it sometime {we're both in 6th grade}, like a random note somewhere.

SHOUT-OUT TO BANSKY: You are my hero! XD I love how nobody pays attention to him when he's adding all these random artworks to the wall! ~_^

P.S. We recently learned how to play the Pink Panther thing in Orchestra, LOL, so when I watched the video, I was all "OMG!" and started playing along with it. =)

11:50 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Cool! I've seen that at libraries, never at stores though.

Here's a link with a picture of a really cute lemur (hope it works): http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Managua/photo//080419/481/8d2f846f830540169bb16b0a44447915/#photoViewer=/080418/481/7a9800a3aa364bec8f395bdcb233b11b

I have a vocal techniques recital (singing, in front of people, ah!!!!) and I am singing Over The Rainbow (E b key). I like it because there are a bunch of high notes.

12:36 AM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

When I go out I'll SO do that!!!!!! Market Basket, here I come...

7:32 AM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

ALSO: To Kirsten, I talked to the Otis Library people yesterday. They aid that the were going to try to plan something!

7:33 AM  
Anonymous ss chick said...

thats so cool! i wish wyo was cool enough to have shopdroppers. i'll have to keep an eye out for them in the rose city.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Persephone said...

My aesthetic friends and I do that sometimes. We feel that the mainstream should see our paintings and learn to appreciate Gothic art. [For us] it's a Goth thing.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Persephone said...

Although we don't call it shopdropping.

7:13 PM  

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