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ZAP_table_pattern_with_scale.jpg Sean Ragan writes:

This is a coffee table incorporating a tiled “space invaders” motif. Several years ago tiled space invader sprites began showing up as graffiti in major western cities–Paris, London, New York, etc. It may never be possible to accurately say who was really first, but the British graffiti collective at has a well-established presence. “Space Invader,” of course, is a clever double entendre in the graffiti context; as the subject of the graffiti is a videogame “space invader,” so too is the medium of graffiti an invasion of space. My coffee table’s not nearly that clever. It does achieve a nice contrast between sense and style through the use of handmade Mexican Talavera tiles. These tiles, like most handmade artifacts, are imprecise and show significant natural lumpiness and variation. The depiction of the precise, orderly, pixellated image of the space invader sprite would be boring if executed in precisely manufactured injection-molded bathroom tiles from the big orange store. The slightly uneven tile heights and lightly meandering grout lines lend a warmth to the image which would otherwise be lacking.

becky stern headshot Space Invader coffee table

Becky Stern

Becky Stern is director of wearable electronics at Adafruit Industries. Her personal site:

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