Not so Dumb Starbucks may be quite a smart performance

Dumb StarbucksA recently opened store  offers coffee under the name Dumb  Starbucks.  it has considerable visual similarities with the well-known coffee brand.  It may be a case of blatant passing off.  Or it may be a smartly judged piece of performance art 

From a distance, the store in Los Angeles  looks like a Starbucks coffee shop. Except the premises are labelled Dumb Starbucks.  Coffee in cardboard cups of  familiar-looking colours is offered.

The people behind it claim the product to be performance art.  The argument is grounded in the principle of fair comment in a parody performance.  The case is strengthened by cleverly built-in features.  The coffee is given away not sold.  Those responsible have a track record of TV comedy spoofs.  The Dumb Starbucks logo is consistent across the set including those coffee cups.

There is an interesting blurring of the line between art and reality, which is sometimes a deliberate effort on the part of the artist.  Even this blog post could be seen as either a comment on a possible legal issue or as a review of a piece of performance art…

To go more deeply 

Later it emerged that performance  comedian Nathan Fielder was behind the rather successful stunt

See the gastronomy site which alerted the world to the Los Angeles pop up store

The ‘store’ was quickly shut down after only an hour. The @DumbStarbucks twitter account appears to be inactive [6am GMT February 11th 2014]

 

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