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In 2003, Klutz Press published a hobby book titled Googly Eyes, which was composed of photographs of googly eyes on household objects, complete with a bag full of different sized eyes to create your own. One of the earliest photos uploaded to Flickr documenting this practice was taken on August 12th, 2005 by Royce Williams as part of his Drive By Googly Eye Project (far left). In December 2005, a Flickr pool was started to collect these types of images but did not define where users could place their googly eyes.
In 2009, an artist named Tommy posted a series of three photos on his blog from a project he abandoned titled “Things With Googly Eyes on Them.” He had purchased the domain name but never went through with the project. Since then, images of googly eyes on objects were collected on various single topic blogs including All Googly in 2009, Googly Eyes on Stuff, We Love Googly Eyes and Googly Eyes on Things, each in 2011.
Eyebombing.com was registered on October 25th, 2011 to two Danish artists looking to “define and refine” the practice of placing googly eyes on things. The site placed two restrictions on what type of photo would be considered “eyebombing”: the images could only consist of wiggle eyes on inanimate objects found in public space. They began posting these photos to Tumblr, Twitter and Flickr on October 28th.
Laughing Squid was the first site to pick up on Eyebombing on December 2nd, 2011. That month, a personal blog The Popular Uncanny and Gawker also looked into the fad, noting previous projects that were similar but were not limited to public spaces. In 2012, Eyebombing was also featured on The Mary Sue, design blog Core77, craft site Make and Takes, personal design blog FlutterFlutter and The Pioneer Woman.
While “Eyebombing” does not have enough search volume, search for “googly eyes” saw a large jump in April 2008 before it hit an all-time high in December 2011.
iamnotagoodartist – Abandoned Projects: Things with Googly Eyes on Them
Laughing Squid – Eyebombing, Humanizing the World, One Googly Eye at a Time