Fun_People Archive
7 Dec
Giant has a Posse

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Thu,  7 Dec 100 16:56:27 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: Giant has a Posse

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Forwarded-by: Kevin Johnsrude <>

A social and psychological explanation of

The GIANT sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in
Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as "the process of letting
things manifest themselves." Phenomenology attempts to enable people to
see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things
that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.

The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's
environment. The Giant sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring
people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their
surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or
propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and
novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration,
nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail.
The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to
contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because Giant has a
Posse has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of
those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their

Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing,
recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual
pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR
CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker's persistent
presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions.
Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them,
considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic
considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American
society is assaulted with daily.

Another phenomenon the sticker has brought to light is the trendy and
CONSPICUOUSLY CONSUMPTIVE nature of many members of society. For those who
have been surrounded by the sticker, its familiarity and cultural resonance
is comforting and owning a sticker provides a souvenir or keepsake, a
memento. People have often demanded the sticker merely because they have
seen it everywhere and possessing a sticker provides a sense of belonging.
The Giant sticker seems mostly to be embraced by those who are (or at least
want to seem to be) rebellious. Even though these people may not know the
meaning of the sticker, they enjoy its slightly disruptive underground
quality and wish to contribute to the furthering of its humorous and absurd
presence which seems to somehow be anti-establishment/societal convention.
Giant stickers are both embraced and rejected, the reason behind which,
upon examination reflects the psyche of the viewer. Whether the reaction
be positive or negative, the stickers existence is worthy as long as it
causes people to consider the details and meanings of their surroundings.
In the name of fun and observation.

Shepard Fairey, 1990

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