Sony's Streetart Desaster
Disclaimer: I have no insight into Berlin's streetart scene, what follows are my personal impressions from what I can see.
We have a pretty active streetart scene here in Berlin, especially in the district I live in (Mitte). Nearly every day you can discover new stencil graphics, cutouts or other creative uses of the public space.
A few weeks ago I noticed a few new graphics, mainly cutouts and stickers showing the outline of Sony's PSP. It was obvious to me that Sony (or their marketing) tried to jump the streetart bandwagon using it for advertising. I was annoyed but didn't care too much anyway.
But Sony's marketing guys not only plastered the streets with their ads, they also rented an out-of-business store (ironically a former sex shop) to make it a “PSP Streetart Gallery”. Creating a gallery for streetart is stupid enough, but placing an advertising gallery right next real art galleries (there are about 5 or 6 in the same street and many more in the surrounding) will probably not create a friendly neighborhood.
Well, a few days later the first stone was lying in the window. Today I saw there were a few more smashed windows. But there was another thing that was new: Sony added a poster describing the project, claiming that is done together with famous streetartists:
We asked national and international Streetart artists to participate in this project – motivated by the idea of getting more people into Streetart and customizing this art form to the public.
Oh-kay… I thought streetart to be public per se, but it looks like you need a big company advertising it's gaming gadget with it to make it really public
I don't know what Sony hoped to gain from this, but to me the outcome looks disastrous: the target audience is annoyed (I consider myself as target audience: gamer, gadget lover, streetart fan), their gallery windows are smashed, their “art” is ripped from the walls and their website doesn't seem to get much buzz (judging from the few comments).