Some call it “The World’s Shortest Photo Exhibition” but I call it Steal My Photograph! (SMP). It’s a travelling, interactive exhibition where I literally encourage an audience to steal my framed photographs in a public environment. Above is the official video containing highlights from SMP London. Below it is the online teaser video for the SMP London -event.

Teaser video, SMP London (2013).

SMP marked my first attempt at breaking through the attention barrier. To my amazement the art thieves nabbed all of the art in 30 seconds! We filmed the whole thing. As a marketing strategy, it was nothing if not fresh. This got me press! I also shared conversations with the participants and the dialogue continued to simmer on social media.

Brilliant ideas can spread like wildfire over the Internet but brilliant ideas needn’t be in service of a BIG production. Modest and memorable works just as well. What matters is that your idea is original. Sometimes you don’t have to be the biggest and best, if you are the first. The video above shows the unexpected art thefts that took place at SMP Barcelona (2013).

On occasion I coordinated SMP events to coincide with local art festivals and local volunteers helped me organise more thefts. SMP showed at “Infecting The City” in Cape Town and at “The Night of The Arts” in Helsinki, both with great response.

In the video highlights you’ll see audience-members react to being permitted to steal art. This moment and this realisation is an emotional turn, and I think that helps the event — and my name behind it — stay in the memory. The goal to marketing is to embed in people’s memory, and I think SMP does a fine job in this department.

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