In a previous blog post I talked about the streetartist Invader and the great mobile game that he released in 2014.
If you have read this article you already know that I made a browser extension to extend the game and bring it to Chrome. Along the way, I discovered a couple of not-so-known facts about Invader and thought I would share them with you.

1. invaders Can be « reactivated »

While testing my Chrome extension I noticed something quite interesting. On Google Street View I could sometimes see invaders that magically reappeared after having been removed!
Concrete example with this one:

2008

2012

2019

Crazy right? Well, reading this article, there is apparently a non-official « reactivation team » who is fixing the dephased art. The article above is about the UK team, so I am not sure that the Paris reactivation waves are from the artist himself. One certainty though, the reactivated invaders give you points!

 

2. You can Find invaders more easily thanks to this Flickr group

While working on my Chrome extension I realized that some invaders were harder than others to scan. So, to make sure that every edge case was tackled I had to find a lot of invaders with their precise locations.
This is how I heard about this super useful Flickr group which lists the invaders and their geocoordinates.

Another tip I can give you to maximise the time spent hunting invaders is using the « go-back-in-time » feature of Google Street View. Sometimes invaders are simply gone and you will see this immediately on Google maps.

Finally have a look at this website that lists for every city the invader still there.

3. Dephased invader can still give you points!

Interestingly, it also seems like that some invaders which have been removed or dephased still counts!

For example the one in Rue Française in Paris is long gone but is still worth 20 points!

4. There is a secret webPage which shows all the invaders recently scanned

While inspecting the app’s requests I found out that you could actually see on this page the most recent invaders scanned.

5. Invader art has been banned from Bhutan

Throughout 2018-2019 I have been travelling to quite a lot of different places. For example, in November 2018 I made a stop in the amazing kingdom of Bhutan.
Funny enough, Invader was here too not that long ago! As highlighted on his website the artist left his mark in the country.
One problem though, when I actually found one of the spot, it seems like the invader was already gone.

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(By the way, did you also notice that the picture on Invader’s website has been Photoshopped? ;-).

So what happened? Well, after some researches I discovered that many inhabitants and fans were outraged by the art hanging on the wall sacred buddhist monasteries.
So, despite having the approval of the “chief” monk the art is all gone now.

Reply from invader himself:

“I know that some people will scream that it is disrespectful to have practiced my art in Bhutan. Personally I don’t think so! My practice tells a story, and I don’t know why I should deprive Bhutan from this story. I’m proud to have left my trace in that wonderful country”

6- Invader is in space too

I currently lived in the Netherlands and was looking at the ones that can be found in this magical country. This is how I discovered Noordwijk, one of the European Space Agency labs!

Also, did you know that an actual invader was brought to the ISS by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti’s Futura mission? 😉

 

7- Invader ready-to-use « Invasion Kit »

I actually heard about this one quite recently (while browsing the invader spotter website).

Since 2000, it seems like Invader has been giving away invaders kits so anybody could use them.

I have to say that I really liked the idea! However, as a majority of these invasion kits have been « signed » by the artist it also discourages the actual use of it.

Bonus: Scan invaders or die trying (don’t)

If you are living in Paris I bet you have already noticed that many invaders are visible directly from a car on the « Péripheriphérique ». Slight problem though, scanning them can sometimes be challenging (especially since the in-app Zoom is not always working!).

Good luck for example scanning this one!

So, my advice here would be to simply take a classic photo, find the geeocordinates later on and finally use the Chrome extension to actually earn the associated points. Risk free 😉