Invader – his pseudonym – was born in France in 1969. He invades the world with pixelated square mosaics of aliens, inspired by arcade game ‘Space Invaders’ (released in 1978).
Tens of cities around the world have been invaded since the start of the project in 1998. 2000 to 3000 characters are pastes up in over 80 cities worldwide (Paris [France], Barcelona [Span], Istanbul [Turkey], London [UK], Bangkok [Thailand], Tokyo [Japan], New York [USA], Melbourne [Australia], Sao Paulo [Brazil]…). Not a week goes by without new Space invaders appearing.
The choice of the spot is the longest aspect of his work. He goes everywhere in the city and watches carefully. The spot is like a revelation; it jumps out at him. He works alone and cements each ‘Space invader’ on his own.
Once the character is glued, he records it carefully. For every city he invades, he makes a note of where each ‘Space invader’ is on a map (‘Invasion map’); each invader is numbered, photographed and indexed carefully on an Invasion guide, which retraces the history of a particular invasion.
He has also set up a scoring system. Each ‘Space invader’ is worth between 10 and 50 points depending on its size, composition and location. Each invaded city has a score which is gradually implemented with new ‘Space invaders’ being installed on its walls.
Since 2005, he has used the Rubik’s cube to give volume to his characters. The game made from colored squares allows him to multiply options.
The project proves so popular that fans have cements mosaics inspired by Invader in towns the artist has never set foot in. He sees it as a kind of ‘tribute’, however he doesn’t want to set up a global group strategy. Some of his invaders get damaged or stolen: “nine times out of ten they end up with a few broken tiles; they’re too fragile to be prized off in one piece”.
Invader: « The idea of the ‘Space invaders’ project is to ‘invade’ cities all over the world with characters inspired by first-generation 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.
I see Space Invaders as a symbol of our era and the birth of modern technology, with video games, computers, the Internet, mobile phones, hackers and viruses. And ‘space invader’ is a pretty good definition of what I’m doing… invading spaces!
The act in itself is political, as 99% of the time I don’t have authorization. Otherwise, it’s more an experiment than a protest. Obviously there’s the gaming aspect too, as I’ve spent the past eight years traveling from city to city with the sole objective of getting a maximum score. »
On August 20, 2012 Invader sent Space-One in the stratosphere: his first artwork to travel in space. From this project, called ‘Art4Space‘, he has made a 25 mn. movie screened in several cities: Paris, Tokyo, London, New York… (learn more about ‘Art4Space’ mission).
Invader wants to remain anonymous: he never unveils his face and appears always wearing a mask. Film director Raphaël Haddad followed the artist on a 14 minute-video named ‘In bed with Invader’.
Lean more: www.space-invaders.com