Eyebombing Downtown Colorado Springs

Eyebombing is the act of placing googly eyes on inanimate objects to animate and anthropomorphize them. I got the idea for eyebombing from a blog on Cubed by Patrick Sisson called “101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City”. As far as I could tell, no one had done it yet in Colorado Springs, and it seemed like the perfect way to liven up the city. The goal is to provide little opportunities for momentarily breaking someone’s every day routine to catch them by surprise and put a smile on their face.

Me: being sneaky in an alleyway

My project involves common street art methods including guerrilla wheat-pasting and being deliberately sneaky to FUCK SHIT UP, but in a cute and wholesome way. Wheat-paste is a concoction of homemade glue that sticks to public walls super well. For fun and for assistance in being covert I brought along my friend, Alex, who also had some of his own artworks to paste in public. We watched each other’s backs for passerby’s and cops so that we wouldn’t get caught illegally vandalizing public property. Our code words were “vegetarians” or “vegans” for suspicious bystanders approaching and “7-Up” (like the soda) for cops. To further protect ourselves, we dressed the part in black hoodies and used the cover of night to our advantage — to our surprise Saturday nights are full of parties in downtown Colorado Springs near Tejon Street. We were there from around 11pm until 2am exploring and making little googly-eye-guys.

Prior to the excursion, my preparation involved buying googly eyes and printer paper for cutting out speech bubbles and cooking the wheat-paste (helpful intructions by Yumi Sakugawa below if you are considering trying this at home). Overall, the cost was low, and the preparation took about an hour. After preparing materials, it was time to go downtown and search for unique spots to bring inanimate objects to life. Based on their location and interaction with the space, I decided what they might say if they were truly alive and wrote in the captions of their speech bubbles on the fly. We thought some looked more like quirky characters without any words at all.

The process was organic and random to foster the idea that these beings came to life on their own. I would walk around until finding an object that calls to me and I would allow the objects to speak to me about what they would like to say. A lot of them decided to be parodies of every day consumer culture attitudes.

For this cute guy, a coffee lid littered nearby made for the perfect hat. He is positioned close to some coffee shops downtown that people are bound to rush to for their daily dose of caffeine to keep them working hard for more cash to buy more stuff!

Got any coffee?

This googly-guy lives in an alley behind some businesses where other graffiti and street art lives. I’m hoping he will become friends with the workers who take their smoke breaks back there.

Mr. Snuffleupagus

These two best buddies on the right side of an alley are comparing their body images and wishing to be more like each other, even though they are both so perfectly adorable in their own unique ways!

This lonely guy directly across from the round and square friends on the left alley wall is jealous of their freindship. Like so many of us, he just needs a little love.

And these two are just so cute and have so much personality for bikers and walkers to discover!

Bike Rack Noodlehead
Little Sunshine

My favorite part of this experience was connecting with random people on the street who were curious about what Alex and I were doing. It was funny to watch them watch us in confusion and then delight. Futhermore, it was a powerful and free-ing feeling to use the public space for my art as if I owned it. When I do this again (and I plan to do it again because it was so much fun) I will come back to document them in the daytime to see how they hold up. Unfortunately, it snowed on sunday morning, making it difficult to find them again. I will also bring a larger variety of other props such as thought bubbles and colorful yarn to make them even more exciting.

My dream come true would be for other citizens to start doing it too in reaction to mine, and maybe our googly-eye-guys can interact with each other in anonymous ways. That would be a fun way to have a conversation with the city and its citizens.

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Making stuff

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