Posted in design and architecture, electronic imaging and displays, engineering, museum

Cell phone graffiti

It’s much prettier than it sounds.

Jurgen Scheibel, or “MobiLenin”, has followed in the footsteps of installations artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, but on a much smaller scale and using more modern materials.

An artist and computer engineer studying Ubiquitous Computing at University of Art and Design, Helsinki (UbiLife project), MobiLenin wrote his own application that turns his mobile phone into a digital ‘spray can.’ He then uses his cell phone and a portable projector to project large swaths of color onto such buildings as the Guggenheim, Sydney Opera House, London’s Big Ben, United Kingdom’s Parliament house, and the Tate Modern museum in London. See him paint the Guggenheim here.

Reuters video news coverage of MobiLenin. He can also capture photos and use them as part of his murals. MobiLenin also offers tutorials on how to write such programs on his website, as well as pictures of some of his work.

I find his use of a projector and modern portable technologies to create a temporary yet bold installation on famous landmarks a wonderful combination of technology and artistic endeavour. I also think it’s wise and appropriate that he is making the technology he uses to create public art available to the public.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.