Post Internet Explorers
This mural by the Low Bros [“Low Brohs”] is called Post Internet Explorers, at 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Street North. The mural faces north beside a narrow parking lot, directly across from Drew Merrit’s close-up of a woman’s face, and an alligator.
The mural covers the entire wall, 120 feet wide and 25 feet high. The wall is built in seven sections, each a couple feet higher than the other, giving the top a jagged edge. That structure inspired the design, which is framed as a series of open internet browser windows and based on the development of the internet – from the initial idea of an open source community to the takeover of big corporations.
Each section is framed in light blue, with a black X in the top left corner – the kind of X that would close a website.
The left-most section is a detailed black-on-white bar code as tall as the wall, with 2019 in large black letters at the bottom. Spilling from the top left in a curve across the first three sections are a series of yellow emoji faces with crossed-out eyes and a circle for a mouth, the kind that used to appear as an error response, in early Microsoft Windows computers.
The next panel features a pyramid in shades of purple, with grey sides. It’s painted on a dark grey, angled floor against a blue sky with white clouds.
The panel to the right, features what looks like the round white-on-blue F of the standard Facebook logo, but with a white cross in place of the letter F. The background of this section is white, cut away like a puzzle piece, revealing the sky and clouds from the image on the left, spreading around the logo.
To the right of the altered Facebook logo is an American flag. Where the stars would be, are 20 squares with a white letter X against the blue.
From the center of this section, extending to the right into the next panel, is a can of soda, laying on its side with a translucent light green drink pouring out. The can is silvery white, with “Spirit” in blue letters over a red logo, and a blue and red yin and yang symbol. It resembles a Sprite or Pepsi can. The artists say this explores the intersection of art and advertising.
To the right of the flag, is a longer section of wall with a white background and a blue inverted triangle with two white curving quarter moons that form a circle. It looks like the AOL logo, but with “LOL,” below the triangle.
The next panel to the right is bursting with a boxy, grey, abstract 3-D wolf head, as tall as the wall. It’s squared-off and angular, as if it’s made of metal. The wolf’s long, rectangular muzzle is as big as a car, pointed up and to the left, and crossing over the AOL parody. The underside of his head is open, and pink, an empty space cut by dark shadows.
The lower edge of his muzzle curves like waves, also open so it’s clear that nothing is inside but shadowed pink.
The tips of its sharp, triangular ears are cut off by the edge of the roof. The wolf wears round, mirrored sunglasses with blue lenses. Only the eye on the right is visible, the left eye is blocked by the wolf’s upturned nose. The glasses frames are sharply triangular, and pink.
The wall behind the wolf is a blue sky with white clouds and three scattered yellow file folder icons, as on a computer desktop. This wolf is a recurring image in the Low Bros’ work.
The ear to our right mirrors the purple pyramid on the left side of the wall. Below that ear, a rounded cut-out opening lets a series of yellow tennis balls rimmed in gold flow out, curve up and continue to the top right of the mural. The balls are connected closely, like a caterpillar. They look like simple yellow faces with two dots for eyes.
The Low Bros feature tennis balls in much of their work, as an example of a sport that isn’t accessible to many people and explores white privilege.
The final section on the right runs into the brick edge of the building, beside the sidewalk. It’s painted like a white puzzle-piece with “LOW BROS” in red capital letters, stacked vertically, beside the brick. The puzzle piece has cut-outs that reveal the wolf’s blue sky section below, and a brown and green pattern resembling forest camouflage underneath, and below the puzzle piece.
The row of tennis balls emerging from the wolf’s skull crosses through the puzzle and curls up, like a worm emerging from a hole.
The artists say this work is, “Questioning whether the convenience and benefits, through homogenized platforms and algorithms, are worth the price we all need to pay.”
The Low Bros are two brothers from Germany. They completed this mural entirely in Montana spray cans, using a range of techniques including freehand, stencils, masking tape and vinyl foil.
video by Marcus Oania