Yes I know. The holidays are over, and I am a little late wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas.” But I promise I have a point. May I present, “The Cardiff Kook.” Originally, this Statute was designed by Matthew Antichevich and is officially titled, “The Magic Carpet Ride.” It was presented in a little surfing community in the town I grew up in, Cardiff by the Sea (located in Encinitas, California). Well, his “ballerina like pose” has not gone over well with the surfers of the community, and since been given the title, “the Cardiff Kook.” This is all in good fun. No one has yet to damage or defile the statue in any way as to cause financial burden to the city of Encinitas.
When I was visiting my parents for Christmas, I went with my mother to a grocery store by the beach. To our surprise someone had put together a whole calendar of the Cardiff Kook. We flipped through it and laughed at how the people had dressed it up. As we pulled out of the shopping center, we drove by the statue and it was dressed as you see it above (very festive). Now, this really got me thinking, there has got to be more than what meets the eye. If someone is putting out a calendar, I wonder if the pranksters coordinate (by means of social media perhaps…) So I looked into it.
While I researched, I found that not only had traditional media gobbled up the story of the Cardiff Kook, but social media had too. I looked up the most popular forums of social media. Facebook had a page. What I loved about the page on facebook was that it is a great place for discussion. The page may not have as many fans as the media tends to make one think, but there is a lot of interaction happening. People post pictures, and the Kook asks for pictures to be taken when he is dressed up. The Kook even encourages people to dress him up. It is also a place for people to suggest costumes for the Kook, and one person identifies that he dressed up the Kook. Wonderful page interaction.
Yet, while no one has started a Twitter page for the Kook, search “Cardiff Kook” on Twitter and you will seen plenty of people tweeting about it. Same goes for Youtube. Plenty of videos feature a brief history or slide shows of the Kook’s best costumes.
The main reason for me writing about this/telling you about a silly statue in my home town, was to get a couple points across. Again, the power social media can have on a product. In this case a statue no one would think twice about has gotten articles written about it all over the country because it has taken on a personality of its own in different social media outlets (especially facebook). Two, I was really after a way of seeing how the pranksters connect, yet I still was unable to find an outlet (most likely for legal reasons). However, if there is one thing these pranksters have done, they have brought together a beach community, sold a product (the calendar), and promoted tourism (people want to go there to see the statue).
This all raises many questions. What does Antichevich, the statue’s creator, think about his statue being dressed up to be poked fun at all the time? I found a forum where people can post their thoughts. For that matter, what do you think? Do you think it is funny or would you be upset if your art/work was being treated this way? Have a safe and happy New Year. I’ll see you in 2011