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January 25th, 2004

Nike throws in the towel
...and withdraws case against European art project

In December there was still uncertainty about the final outcome of the lawsuit filed by Nike International against Public Netbase for producing 0100101110101101.ORG's art project "Nike Ground -- Rethinking space". For several weeks, the fate of the renowned Vienna-based net culture platform hung in the balance, its continuing existence threatened by the court action. But we can now confirm that the sportswear company has yielded under the pressure of international public and media attention generated by the action.

"We won! -- declares satisfied 0100101110101101.ORG spokesman Franco Birkut, -- and our victory is proof of at least one thing: the famous "Swoosh" logo belongs to the people who actually wear it every day. These commercial giants think they can beat anyone who annoys them, and they're unable to distinguish an artistic or critical project from unfair competition or commercial fraud. Nike was not the target of our performance, they are just one amongst the many tools we use to make our point. We were not against them, but they reacted in such a hasty and unseemly way, with no style at all. In the end it was a pleasure to play with Nike: the bigger they are, the harder they fall!"


In mid September 2003, 0100101110101101.ORG started a surreal art project called Nike Ground, a "hyper-real theatrical performance" built around a fake guerrilla marketing campaign: Nike was supposedly buying streets and squares in major world capitals, in order to rename them and insert giant monuments of their famous logo. A 13 tons hi-tech container was installed in Vienna, the first city to host a "Nike Square", as part of the action.

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