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Toshibas new "Chairs in space" looks like Simon Faithfull's escape vehicles

 
 

Toshibas new "Chairs in space" looks like Simon Faithfull's escape vehicles

Toshiba have gone all out weird and send chairs to space in their new campaign to support Toshiba’s SV REGZA LCD TV and Satellite T series laptops. When you can watch TV anywhere, where do you want your easy chair to be? Doing a ballon-boy? You got it.

As many have nudged me, people think this looks a lot like they're quite inspired by Simon Faithfull's "Gravity sucks" exhibition. Lets compare shall we?

Now, On Toshiba's own website, as they have heard these questions, Toshiba responds:

Toshiba's new 'Space Chair' ad was inspired by a sub culture of scientists and artists who send objects to the edge of space using weather balloons. Grey London collaborated with a number of talented individuals, including British artist Simon Faithfull, to re-create the concept of launching a generic chair into space, and by using their own HD cameras, to demonstrate how Toshiba technology can take something ordinary and make it extraordinary.

So before you fetch your pitchforks and torches, Simon might have gotten paid for his collaboration. Lets hope so. (Or sharpen the pitchforks anyway, just for that "trying something that's never been done before" line in the "making of space chair" video)

Update - greenface made an interesting comment below

Simon Faithfull: "I was not "absolutely part of the team" as Matt McDowell has recently suggested - the first time I saw the Toshiba film myself was when people started sending me the YouTube link. I did help with the underlying themes and ideas behind the advert in that I had one meeting with Grey within which we discussed the possibility of re-staging my artwork 'Escape Vehicle no.6' during my recent exhibition at the British Film Institute. The idea was that this would be a large, live public event in the centre of London and later there would also be an edited version for TV functioning as an artwork/advert. This subsequently didn't work out and I can't really say any more for legal reasons."

Adland: 
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Comments

Why not credit the original artist if you're not adapting his work in anyway ? What did the creative team actually do on this one ? Watch the video ? Show it to the client ?

Oh, you built a balsa chair - right..

I second this question.

Perhaps it's all part of a master plan, nothing spreads an ad as quick as a little controversy like the classic: OMG! RIPOFF! ones. Remember Sony Play-doh Bunnies were hotly talked about as quite possibly ripping off artists Kozyndan - see their bunny wave (I love that one).
Since they didn't breathe a word of Simon's involvement in this ad in the first release it seems almost.. planned.

Didn't consult the 'psycho'-acoustic rule book. The longer cycle in the original audio is neutral while directing you to look, an artist indeed.

The newer one? Threw the audio out replacing it with a annoying buzz.

I prefer the audio in Simon's escape as well.

Via: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/29575/making-of-toshiba-space-chair

"Although elements of the stunt were original, the Space Chair is in fact virtually identical to a work by UK artist Simon Faithfull, as commissioned by the Arts Catalyst in 2004, called Escape Vehicle No.6 - a film which was recently shown at the BFI Southbank. Thankfully, the original artist was involved in the project second time around.
"Simon was absolutely part of the team. We were obviously inspired by what he had done", answered McDowell when questioned about the 2004 recording, but how does a company which prides itself on innovation align its slogan with a project that is clearly a near copy of something done 5 years ago?
"We weren't saying that the innovation was sending the balloon up. No one had done it in HD before and not as an advert before. We didn't use a music sound track or any celebrity voices. That's the innovation. The fact that we created it as an advert".

Simon Faithfull: "I was not "absolutely part of the team" as Matt McDowell has recently suggested - the first time I saw the Toshiba film myself was when people started sending me the YouTube link. I did help with the underlying themes and ideas behind the advert in that I had one meeting with Grey within which we discussed the possibility of re-staging my artwork 'Escape Vehicle no.6' during my recent exhibition at the British Film Institute. The idea was that this would be a large, live public event in the centre of London and later there would also be an edited version for TV functioning as an artwork/advert. This subsequently didn't work out and I can't really say any more for legal reasons."

Wow, the plot thickens.... Where did you get this quote from? The only other place I find it on the web is as a comment at The Inspiration Room (formerly known as Duncan's TV Ad Land)

I googled that quote and got two hits, The Inspiration Room and Adland. Where else has this been said greenface? I believe that they ripped Simon off, I know advertising, that is the way it goes even though it might not have been intentional. It even sounds like they tried to get him involved but somewhere along the way that failed, which is a better effort than most agencies would do.

The audio on the Toshiba video is from a APRS packet beacon which i assume was attached to the balloon to track its position so i decoded the packets and this is what i got...

Fm FLIGHT To APT311 Via WIDE2-2
(C) Simon Faithfull

Fm FLIGHT To APT311 Via WIDE2-2
!0000.00N/00000.00EO000/000/A=000000

I don't know if Simon Faithfull knew about this one, but in 1960 the US Air Force beat him to it! Called "Project Man High" the USAF built a MANNED "escape vehicle no. 6" with a big weather balloon and open gondola with Joe Kuittinger riding in the chair in a space suit with parachute. He bailed out at 102,700 feet, approximately the altitude of either unmanned space chair. That video is also on YouTube along with both the others.

Given the time, the USAF was studying the effects of such altitude on the human body barely before the space program started. Definitely not motivated by art.

Joe Kittinger has titanium balls. I've watched this film so many times, and I still get that bad "aaah, I'm falling!" pinch in the middle of my gut for the entire five minutes. *vertigo*

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