Banksy (1974 -- ) is a graffiti artist from Bristol, UK, whose In May 2005 Bansky's version of primitive cave painting depicting
artwork has appeared throughout London and other locations a human figure hunting wildlife while pushing a shopping cart
around the world. Despite this he carefully manages to keep his was found hanging in the British Museum. On 4 August 2005, the
real name from the mainstream media. However, many news- BBC reported that Banksy had painted 9 images on the Palestin-
papers assert that his real name is Robert or Robin ian side of the Israeli West Bank barrier, including an image of a
Banks. Banksy, despite not calling himself an artist, has been ladder up and over the wall and an image of children digging a
considered by some as talented in that respect; he uses his hole through the wall
original street art form, often in combination with a distinctive Banksy has also self-published several books that contain
stencilling technique, to promote alternative aspects of politics photos of his work in various countries as well as some of his
from those promoted by the mainstream media. canvas work and exhibitions, accompanied by his own subver-
Some believe that his stencilled graffiti provides a voice for sive and often witty writings. His first book, published in black
those living in urban environments that could not otherwise and white, is Banging your head against a brick wall followed by
express themselves, and that his work is also something which the full color Existencilism. In 2004 he published his third book,
improves the aesthetic quality of urban surroundings; many Cut it Out, and 2005 saw the publication by Random House of
others disagree, asserting that his work is simple vandalism (a Wall and Piece.
claim made by at least Peter Gibson, spokesperson for Keep A common technique in Banksy's art is to play on the perspective
Britain Tidy), or that his (apparently left wing) beliefs are not and edges of the item on which he is stencilling. Examples
shared by the majority of the inhabitants of the environments include 'trapdoors', 'criminal rats', photo opportunities and 'peeing
that he graffitis. This political purpose behind his vandalism is soldiers
reminiscent of the Ad Jammers or subvertising movement, who Performing a whois lookup on Banksy's website reveals that the
deface corporate advertising to change the intended message registrant is Stephen Lazarides, a photographer. It has been
and hijack the advert. Banksy does, however, also do paid work suggested that Lazarides is Banksy also going under the name
for charities (e.g., Greenpeace) as well as demanding up to of gHOSTbOY. However Lazarides is actually Banksy's manager
£25,000 for canvases. It has also been alleged [citation and Banksy has gone to great lengths to conceal his identity.
needed] and denied  that Banksy has done Whilst creating artwork for Wall of Sounds's quot;Two Culture Clashquot;
work with corporations such as Puma. This has led to him in Jamaica a number of photographs were purportedly taken of
being accused of being a sellout and a careerist by other artists him by the event's official photographer, Peter Dean Rickards.
and activists. Due to the shroud of secrecy surrounding his real After the pair had a number of disagreements, Rickards later
identity and his subversive character; Banksy has achieved sold the supposed photos of Banksy to the London Evening
somewhat of a cult following from some of the younger age Standard. Rickards then published an article on a website entit-
group within the stencilling community. iled quot;Just who the fuck is Banksy?!?quot;. There are arguments for
In 2004 the Space Hijackers gave out spoof vouchers outside a and against the veracity of the photographs.
Banksy exhibition to highlight the artist's ironic use of anti-
capitalist and protest imagery while doing work for corporations
and art galleries. Another of Banksy's tricks involved hanging a
piece of his own art in London's Tate Modern, and as of March
2005, the New York Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan
Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the American
Museum of Natural History.
Futura 2000 (born 1955) is an internationally acclaimed graffiti
artist. He started to paint illegally on New York's subway in the
early seventies, working with other artists such as ALI. Futura
2000 began painting quot;legallyquot; as the live on-stage backdrop
painter for The Clash's 1981 European tour. More recently, he
is a successful graphic designer and gallery artist. One of the
most distinctive features about Futura's work is his abstract
approach to graffiti art. While the primary focus, during the
1980s, of the majority of graffiti artists was lettering, Futura
pioneered abstract street-art, which has since become more
popular. Conversely, his aerosol strokes are regarded as differ-
ent from those of his peers, as they are as thin as the fine lines
achieved only through the use of an airbrush.
While he is an infamous graffiti artist, his most prolific work is
as an illustrator and graphic designer of record sleeves, first
becoming involved with The Clash; producing a sleeve for their
quot;Radio Clashquot; 7quot; single and handwriting the sleeve notes and
lyrics sheet for their LP Combat Rock. Years later James
Lavelle resurrected his career by getting him, alongside Ben
Drury, to produce the artwork for several releases on Mo' Wax
records; this also led to Futura producing the imagery which
has largely defined James Lavelle's unkle project.
During the 90's he was involved with clothing companies such
as GFS, Subware and project dragon. More recently much of
Futura's artwork has evolved into the production of highly col-
lectible toys, sneakers; and a diverse range of creative media.
Working with Recon, Nike, North Face, Medicom Toy, Under-
cover, Supreme, Levi's, and A Bathing Ape.
Futura also designs his own clothing label futura laboratories
with a store located in Fukuoka, Japan.
Who are you ? How do you go about an invasion?
I'm Invader (that's my alias). I always appear masked in public, so no one knows my Do you make the Invaders in advance? It depends. I've developed all kinds of techniques
face. Some people call me a polluter, others say I'm an artist. I prefer to think of myself so I can adapt to different contexts, like how busy the spot is, when the invasion takes
as an invader ! place, the size and weight of the Invader, how high up the wall it's going to be, etc. It
takes at least two weeks to invade a city. I don't just put up a couple of Invaders in the
What's the Space Invaders project about? center then go home. I set out to cover the entire city.
The idea is to quot;invadequot; cities all over the world with characters inspired by first-generation
Have you ever run into trouble with the police?
arcade games, and especially the now classic Space Invaders. I make them out of tiles,
meaning I can cement them to walls and keep the ultra-pixelated appearance. Sometimes, but that's part of the game. Then it's a case of quot;go to jail and miss three
How many people are involved?
Do you keep a record of all your Space Invaders?
Just me. In the eight years I've been working on this project, I've traveled to 35 cities on
all five continents with the sole intention of quot;invadingquot; them! Having said that, people have Yes. Because they're all different, they're all numbered, photographed and carefully
sent me photos of Space Invaders in towns I've never set foot in! I see it as a positive indexed. Some of this information is given in the quot;invasion guidesquot;, each of which
thing, a kind of tribute. I did consider setting up a group strategy but it's a hard thing to retraces the history of a particular invasion. The first two volumes are for Paris and Los
delegate. So while I don't encourage this kind of copying, I don't especially condemn it Angeles. I'm working on the next ones.
What are the quot;invasion mapsquot;?
What made you choose Space Invaders as the main character for the project? Street maps are an important part of my invasions. For every city I invade, I make a note
Lots of reasons. I see them as a symbol of our era and the birth of modern technology, of where each Invader is on a map. After certain invasions, I've drawn up an quot;invasion
with video games, computers, the Internet, mobile phones, hackers and viruses. And mapquot; which is a kind of record of how the invasion happened. This map is then printed
quot;space invaderquot; is a pretty good definition of what I'm doing... invading spaces! and distributed in the city in question, and sold in the Space Shop. So far I've produced
15 quot;invasion mapsquot; (out of 35 invaded cities).
How do you stick them down?
Are all the Space Invaders photos online?
Do they ever get damaged or stolen? I use extra-strong cements. Nothing lasts for ever,
but if a thing's worth gluing, it's worth gluing well! It has been known for a disgruntled No. Only a fraction of them are on the site. You can see a lot more on photo-sharing
building owner or the council to tear down an Invader. As for quot;Invader thievesquot;, nine times sites like Flickr.com.
out of ten they end up with a few broken tiles; they're too fragile to be prized off in one
Is there a political message?
The act in itself is political, as 99% of the time I don't have authorization. Otherwise, it's
How do you choose your spots? more an experiment than a protest. Obviously there's the gaming aspect too, as I've
I go everywhere in the city, and I watch carrefuly. A spot is like a revelation... it jumps out spent the past eight years traveling from city to city with the sole objective of getting a
at you. maximum score.
Taito Corporation owns the rights for the original game. Have they taken action How does your scoring system work?
against you? It's very straightforward. Each Space Invader is worth between 10 and 50 points
No. They might if I invented a game and called it quot;Space Invadersquot;, or made t-shirts with depending on its size, composition and where it is. So each invaded city has a score
the original desing on them, but that's not my intention. Also, my Space Invaders have that's added to previous scores.
evolved away from Taito's, as I've combined the original four characters to create thou-
Are you still invading?
sands of variations.
Absolutely. Not a week goes by without new Invaders appearing.