This morning a crowd of slightly jaded journalists shuffled quietly into an East London warehouse for the unveiling of the enigmatically titled Green Box Project from the Becks lager people. Build up to the announcement last week was low key to say the least, so it was with some surprise that we found Sir Nick of Knight, fashion photography's only confirmed living legend on stage to announce that he was one of a handful of worldwide judges (or keyholders as the PR blurb describes them) responsible for not only creating a unique piece of public art for the brand but also deciding which ideas from the art community would receive funding from the Becks people to have their work/ideas incorporated into the project.
Now, we know what you're thinking, its all just a big publicity stunt designed to make a booze brand look arty, and to be honest we were thinking the same thing as we sat in the dark drinking non-alcoholic Becks at 10 AM, but it seems that this may be a genuinely open and reasonably democratic opportunity to participate in a worldwide art event. So here's the speil....
Becks have placed a number of 2m sq. green boxes in London, Manchester, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Rome and Milan, which are technically plinths for art pieces commissioned by the lager brand. But what is interesting is that the art contained within each box can only be viewed through Becks' augmented reality app for the iPhone & iPad.
So in layman's terms, if you find a big green box in the street you can only see the art 'within' through your phone, which means that the art is not constrained by the box. As an example the Becks people have kindly supplied the image above of the Statue of Liberty, we assume that she's holding one of the green boxes and this is the view through the phone screen.
Clever? Perhaps. We need to see it in reality (if thats possibly when viewing augmented reality) but what we find interesting is the openness, YOU can put forward your own art idea for consideration by the judges and may have your work funded and shown through the Green Box Project in one of the featured cities during the 3 year run of the project.