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Sticky Note Art is a collage-making technique that involves using sticky notes to create large-scale murals that appear as if they are pixelated artworks from a distance.
In Fine Arts
In 2001, artist Rebecca Murtaugh covered her bedroom in sticky notes, using neon ones for her most prized possessions and traditional yellow for the walls. Titled “To Mark A Significant Space in the Bedroom,” it took six days and over $1000 to complete. She went on to complete several other sticky note installations.
Three years later, Duncan Wilson and Sirkka Hammer completed another sticky note installation. Called Pixelnotes, they created a wallpaper from four layers of gray sticky notes on top of a bright wall in their workspace. As people used the notes, shapes developed based on which sections were being torn off, similar to an art technique known as Décollage. Sticky notes have even made their way to the walls of the Museum of Modern Art in 2004 as part of Paola Antonelli’s exhibition Humble Masterpieces.
In College Life
Sticky note art in everyday life stemmed out of creative collegiate pranks. One of the earliest documented instances is an April Fools Day prank staged at the M.I.T List Center Media Test Wall in 2003. Photographs from the event were uploaded via M.I.T Hacks’ gallery page. 8] Several students put up a Trogdor mural made out of 2550 yellow and blue notes.
Engineering students from the University of California Santa Cruz have completed two different Nintendo-themed sticky note murals. The first was a Mario-themed scene put up on May 21st, 2005. It spanned across four floors of a campus building.
Inspired by the UCSC students’ Mario sticky note mural, another group of engineering students put together a Donkey Kong inspired mural on the same building in April 2007. It took approximately 6400 sticky notes and five hours, which they chronicled in a time-lapse video:
Post It Wars
In March 2011, travel website Expedia employees put together sticky note murals on the windows of their Seattle offices. The trend spread across 108th Street, drawing participation from employees from DreamBox, Apptio, and Waggener Edstrom. The phenomenon was covered by Geekwire and local news station K5.
A second sticky note war began in September 2011 when an engineer at SEOMoz named Drew Bennett created a Post-It space invader on his window. this time with the competition spreading across Pine Street. This round’s participants included PlacePlay and Cheezburger, according to an MSNBC In-Game report.
In May 2011, several French businesses began creating competing murals on the windows of their buildings, viewable from outside. The impromptu war began in the Montreuil office park by members of Ubisoft. Their neighbors across street, BNP-Paribas bank’s IT group, saw Ubisoft’s creations and decided to one-up them. The window competition soon spread to the business districts of La Défense and Issy-les-Moulineaux. An official Facebook page and Tumblr were made to share photos of the murals and to encourage competition.
Media coverage of “la guerre des Post-it,” or Post-it War began in France with galleries on L’Express and Ladefense.fr’s official Facebook page. By August 2011, the war received global recognition with articles on Yahoo! Tech, Geekosystem, Juxtapoz, and The Daily What.
“Post it note art” has been searched since 2008, but search peaked in August 2011 at the beginning of the French Post-It War.
Rebecca Murtaugh – To Mark A Significant Space in the Bedroom, Right view
MSNBC In-Game – Post-It Wars: Space Invaders attack Seattle street