Redbot Loves You! Removable art project comes to Long Beach
2009-10-16 · By Editor
For decades, Long Beach, California has left an indelible mark in the pop world of urban-cool and street art. Long Beach-based international icons Jesse James, Snoop “Doggy” Dogg and Sublime have shared the city’s community-driven do-it-yourself, anti-establishment ethos with millions worldwide.
Leave it to Long Beach, then, to build Redbot Loves You! and the Redbot Kit.
“A couple years ago, I was getting really dissatisfied with street art on an ethical level, that anyone else would have to pay for cleaning up my personal expression of street art,” said local activist Jon, onehumanbeing (a.k.a. Jon Christopher). “I was looking for ways to create street art without costing anybody any money.”
Instead of rebelling against the status quo, his creation Redbot rebels against broken community — against the disenfranchised neighborhoods, selfishness and isolation that often shadow Southern California’s urban landscapes.
Jon created Redbot Loves You! with a deceptively simple model: Graffiti on a magnet. Easy come, easy go. Redbot is sticker paper on thin cardboard with magnet-backing — good times, cheap and legal. The inventive outdoor magnets are popping up around Long Beach like a red robot army of art.
Redbot seeks to renegotiate ownership of public spaces. Like typical graffiti from aerosol cans and markers, a Redbot claims its “canvas” with the “owner’s” signature. But with Redbot, viewers retain power to re-define the “marked” space by removing Redbot or placing it somewhere else.
“If you see a Redbot, take it home,” says Jon. “Make it your own, put it someplace, take a photo of it, and share your photos on the web.”
And, in keeping with Jon’s original impetus of street art with respect, Redbot comes with ethical guidelines:
- Only place Redbot in a public space
- Do not deface other peoples personal property with Redbot
- Do not place on stranger’s cars, buildings, doors, desk, refrigerator, etc without their permission.
- Go forward in love!
More than that, Redbot is built to transmit love. According to the Redbot Ownership Guide, Redbot is built with “love vibes.” Give “love vibes” to Redbot when you open your kit, and every time you see Redbot later, it will love you back.
After Jon, onehumanbeing introduced Redbot and Redbot Loves You! to Ryan Smolar, local entrepreneur and creative marketing consultant, Smolar had to act. “I saw something incredibly ‘Long Beach’ about this,” Smolar said. “Redbot is honest street art that is strangely, happily, renewable and anti-destructive.”
Smolar introduced Redbot to Craig Watson, Executive Director of the Arts Council for Long Beach, and Blair Cohn, Executive Director of Long Beach’s Bixby Knolls Business Improvement District, who quickly embraced it. Redbot Loves You! is now a partner with GLOBAL: Greater Long Beach Arts Lab, a month-long celebration of arts and culture in Long Beach as part of National Arts and Humanities Month, and plans are underway to introduce Redbot to the Bixby Knolls neighborhood.
See Redbot in Long Beach: http://www.globallb.com/index.php?p=redbot.
Get your Redbot at RedbotLovesYou.com.