In 2002, Wayne Ashley was hired by Bob Greenberg and R/GA to curate a web based art project for NikeLab. Working together with the R/GA team Ashley invited 40 artist to respond to one of six briefs coinciding with the launch of a new line of sneakers, watches, and mp3 players by Nike. Finally Ashley and R/GA selected 6 artists who created interactive web envionrments and artworks that were featured on the Nike website.
These artists included: Eboy, Edwards Churcher, Manny Tan, David Lawrence, Le Ciel Est Bleu, Joshua Davis, and Yugo Nakamura.
Ashley created the RFP and brief and asked the artists to consider the following:
“When Nike sets out to promote a new line of products, its design and marketing teams usually come up with the concept first, and then find the appropriate artist, film director, or graphic designer to execute it. The Nikeproject seeks to reverse this process. By commissioning some of the most creative and innovative designers in the field of interactive technologies, Nike is seeking to present a multiplicity of aesthetic languages rather than any preconceived singular experience or campaign. We want you to employ your own unique sensibilities in order to construct a new lens through which visitors encounter the online Nike experience. Technical virtuosity, visual play, and exploration are the valued ends.
We do not want you to literalize the product in your work, or create a conventional ad. The idea is for us to collaborate with you on creating a unique piece of art that evokes what’s compelling about the selected Nike product. The goal is to stimulate people’s curiosity in two directions: deeper into the online experience, and learn more about the Nike product.”