Being an artwork, Real customer participation.

I read an article in our local Dutch newspaper (NRC) today about ‘Work no. 850’ by the artist Martin Creed in the Tate Britain. Every 30 seconds a single runner will sprint the length of the empty Duveen Galleries. This performance/exhibition started on the 1st of July and it the English media gave a lot of coverage about. (The news of this artwork reached the continent by Carrier pigeons today so now I can blog about it). But whatever you think of this artwork one thing struck me that there is a special website where you can apply to run, or in other words, to be part of this work of art.

From a marketing view I think it is rather brilliant. First this artwork is very controversial, a lot of free publicity guaranteed. Secondly this is really reaching out to your Audience. No more passive art consumption, everyone has a chance to be a part of this collaborative artwork. I think for most runners this work of art is a memory they would not easily forget. In this way it enhances the bond someone has with this museum.

For more information watch this Youtube clip from

N.B.: People get paid to run. I wonder if they would have managed without paying. Or maybe even the other way around. Let people pay to run.