Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker sculpture at Wellesley College: 5000+ articles, 800 TV broadcasts, one cultural event (2014)

But how did this happen?

Summer 2014

This is a special focus on the media coverage of Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker and the international media frenzy resulting in over 5000+ articles, many in top media, and around 800 TV broadcasts in 96+ countries.

In this focus, the extensive media coverage compilation is a case study that shows an example of the current state of art in the age of mass/Internet media. In particular, the coverage shows how far and wide an art story can travel when journalistically packaged in a certain way and when pushed through various news distribution channels. Diverse photo-based and Internet-based video distribution— and social media— are key elements. The interviews capture the thoughts and feelings of the artist and media relations consultant to the project shortly after the full-on media frenzy. Questions and debate remain to what extent the media coverage is of marketing and financial value, and how artists and art organizations can leverage such coverage to their benefit.

As always, those outside a project may interpret motivations, actions and results in a way that doesn’t reflect the reality of a project internally. It seems that the "perfect storm" resulting in massive media coverage could easily not have happened. But it did, and in a truly spectacular way.

Articles in our special focus

sleepwalker wellesley tony matelli
Tony Matelli. Sleepwalker (2014). Installed at Wellesley College (2014). Overall: 70 in. x 48 in. x 26 in. Courtesy of Tony Matelli and Marlborough Chelsea. Photo: J. Kennard.

> "Media push and pull: Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker and the ’creepy statue’ controversy" (partnered with Sculpture magazine)

Case study - media compilation
> "Over 5000 articles in 96+ countries report on Tony Matelli’s Sleepwalker at Wellesley College: An artdesigncafe media coverage compilation"

> Tony Matelli interview: Sleepwalker and massive media coverage"

> "800 TV broadcasts, over 5000 articles, in over 96 countries: Interview of Nina Berger" (media relations consultant to the Davis Museum at Wellesley College)

> “’Wellesley and Matelli hit a grand slam’: A media coverage evaluation" by PR researcher/practitioner Les Roka

> "Can artists and arts organisations leverage a media frenzy to their benefit?" (A conversation between the former and current directors of Manchester’s Castlefield Gallery)

Sleepwalker media coverage: The remixes

Fall 2014 release

Click the following link to go to the overview page of Sleepwalker media coverage: The remixes.

Additional information

> Tony Matelli at Davis Museum, Wellesley College (2014) (press release)

> Tony Matelli interview: Human echo (This interview, published in the January / February 2014 issue of Sculpture magazine, was sold at the Davis Museum counter throughout the duration of the exhibition)

> As always at Art Design Publicity, we highly recommend referring to our critical media analysis schematic diagram when assessing any writing on art or design. It illuminates the artist-media relations-writer-editor process and the legal aspects embedded underneath.