This all white installation at the State Library last week was a natural draw for the likes of me.
So I was surprised – as I’m sure others were – to see the plinths represented of the number of people expected to die in a vehicle accident in the State between now and Christmas.
That simple description suddenly filled each object with a completely different weight.
A slightly lighter, but just as intentionally hard hitting, piece of public service art from the Metro team in Melbourne has had major international success.
But there have been some detractors – the youtube video was banned in Russia for ‘giving young people the wrong idea about ways to die’. (I can see that dark winters and this type of light hearted dead jelly baby thing would not be a good combo. Ruby Wax once joked with a Russian diplomat stationed in Melbourne that it must have been the most culturally weird thing for him to be in a place where the sun mostly shone and the constant response to any pending disaster is ‘No worries mate.’)
I’m sure this campaign could have come in handy to teach my kids not to put forks in a toaster or play with stingy things so I think the marketers will have made an impact on little kids, setting them off on the road (sic) to risk awareness with this tune forever in their heads.
The Dumb Ways to Die campaign was so successful – it even has its own wikipedia page *http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumb_Ways_to_Die
website http://dumbwaystodie.com/ and game app
and was awarded this year’s Integrated Grand Prix at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.
For both the somber and the silly – it’s good to see creative minds at work trying to tackle the standard patriarchal messages about the risks that we often take.
Will they have a lasting impact in a country doomed to live and die by the car? We’ll hope so – even though we know these are complex issues without simple solutions.