On Lockdown with Shia LaBeouf #TAKEMEANYWHERE

Lockdown from a window inside the Boulder Museum of Contemporary ArtShia LaBeouf and I hung out last Sunday.

The afternoon stretched to more than three hours when two shootings occurred right outside the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. I thought it was some rude person tapping on the wall. Nope. Police crime taped the area and placed everyone in the building on lockdown. Most of us were pretty oblivious.

My interest in Shia’s talk began when local newspapers reported tweets of GPS coordinates for his next art installation, #TAKEMEANYWHERE. I checked it out. Using Google Earth, each photo depicted roads, intersections or land formations. Every day at noon, I checked out his tweet with the latest. Yesterday’s was 41°09’30″N 104°39’32″W. It was very cool. I was hooked.

If you thought Shia LaBeouf had a nervous breakdown, think again.

The team of LaBeouf, Nastja Ronkko, and Luke Turner have been constructing art installations for two years. They spoke at MediaLive – Corruption, after a week of installations by other artists at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

Shia LaBeouf and Susie Lindau at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

They would like to add sincerity to communication in a way that makes you think, emote, and change your perception of the world in some way.

Transparency is their other goal.

Everyone is treated equally. They don’t give their friends or family a heads up about their latest art installations. Everyone finds out at the same time on Twitter. Instead of working in a bubble, the audience becomes a key element in their work. They have no expectations. Shia LaBeouf’s handle is @thecampaignbook. That’s where you can catch up with their latest installation and you could become a part of it, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The talk included very revealing remarks from LaBeouf.

With an animated and extroverted personality, like yours truly, he talked about growing up in Los Angeles in a black section of town where he got beat up a lot. It didn’t help that the “Chia” Pet was popular when he was a kid. You can imagine. He claims that he is pretty uneducated and went into acting to survive. His father is a blue-collar worker and doesn’t believe acting is anything more than a hobby. He has never seen any of his movies. I’ve rarely heard anyone talk so openly. That’s sincerity.

Remember when Shia wore a paper bag over his head?

“I’m sorry. I’m not famous anymore.” Everyone, including me, thought it was a cry for help. Nope. It was one of the group’s collaborative events and his reaction to being busted by Daniel Clowes. You see, LaBeouf used Clowes’ screenplay and made a short film without citing him. Then he won an award at Cannes. “I fucked up,” Shia said, several times. Wearing the paper bag was his apology. Clowes reacted with a Cease and Desist.

I'm not famous anymore bag worn by LaBeouf in slide show at talk in Boulder

The team rented a room. Curious people waited for hours to speak to Shia. He didn’t say anything, but he did cry on occasion showing that you can still be a man and show emotion after doing something regrettably stupid. It made me think about how most of us react when making mistakes. That took courage.


I perused LaBeouf’s site called The Campaign Book. They have orchestrated several artistic media events in the last two years. One of my favorites took place in an art gallery. The team wore headsets and sat in front of laptops. They asked people through social media to #TouchMySoul and took calls, broadcasting them inside the room while spectators looked on. One of the people who called hadn’t spoken to anyone in weeks.

Another call was from a man upset at Labeouf for misusing his fame. He felt he should head up a cause to aid people instead.

LeBeouf, Ronkko and Turner #Touchmysoul

After his rant, Shia asked, “Do you think people need to be listened to?”

“Ah, of course they do.”

“And what do you think is going on here?”

“You’re listening to me.”

“Have a good day.” Shia ended the call.

Boom. That’s what connection is all about. We need to be listened to. That’s why so many are addicted to social media. The likes, adds, or whatever the interaction, boosts endorphins because of those connections. That’s not a bad thing.

Susie Lindau with Luke Turner and Danny Lindau
Danny and me with Luke Turner.
How can we become more sincere?

By really listening. Shia thinks everyone has a right to disagree too. It’s all a part of the exchange. The bottom line? Keep reaching out to communicate.

Another favorite of mine is #STARTCREATING. They had it written in the sky and then recorded#start creating sky written people’s reaction.

After the talk, I asked Shia if his “very sincere public apology” helped him to forgive himself and if the healing process was helped or hurt by it.

He said, “It definitely helped.”


Those GPS coordinates spelled out #TAKEMEANYWHERE. The team was commissioned by The Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and The Finnish Institute in London and will travel from May 23rd to June 23rd.

LaBeouf, Ronnko, Turner GPS Google Earth #TAKEMEANYWHERE
That’s an E.

Each day at noon they will tweet their GPS coordinates. Whoever picks them up first can take them anywhere. The first day, they were near Estes Park. The first person to arrive drove them to Oscar Blues in Longmont. The next day, they tweeted a location north of Fort Collins. The last time I checked, they were in Nebraska. 41°09’50″N 96°08’15″W

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 8.47.46 AM.png

LaBeouf, Ronkko and Turner use social media to hitchhike across the US.

Check it out. Maybe they’ll hitch a ride with you! I once hitchhiked in a very unconventional way.

Nastja Sade Ronkko and Susie Lindau at BMoCA
A selfie with Nastja Ronkko.

Shia still conversed with people after the museum’s doors reopened and we were free to go. He answered questions, had pictures taken and signed autographs. He was patient, relaxed, and took his time with each person even though there was always a crowd pressing in around him.

What about the lockdown?

Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art

Apparently, some crazy dude fired several shots into the Boulder Creek outside the Public Library. Then he aimed at police so they shot him. Minutes later, more shots were fired outside the museum. They haven’t found that shooter yet. How weird was it that we were inside celebrating positive communication while crazy maniacs shot guns right outside? Since we were on lockdown, we had more time to communicate. Bonus!

On Lockdown.png

The Campaign Book site. Be sure to click on hashtags to check out their installations.

@CampaignBook on Twitter


Click on my home page for more Wild Adventures 

Twitter – @susielindau

Did this surprise you or did you know about Shia’s art?

60 thoughts on “On Lockdown with Shia LaBeouf #TAKEMEANYWHERE

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  1. So interesting! I suspected he was trying to make a point with his past behavior. It certainly got people talking, and like you said, communicating is a good thing. I love the “start creating” line. That’s what life is all about.

    How scary about the shooting. I’m so happy you’re all safe!


    1. We are safe! And no casualties other than the shooter.
      Shia was nothing like what I expected. He was brutally open and honest. It’s a very cool thing they are doing in incorporating social media, video and people to make a statement even if it seems understated.
      Check out their site and videos. The #startcreating one is super cool.
      Thanks for stopping by, Darla!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so cool! I had no idea about Shia’s artwork! It’s so creative and fun how he’s sending everyone sort of on a “scavenger hunt”!
    Super fun and interesting to read!(:


      1. But what you saw at the museum could be a facade, too.

        Actually, he seems right up there with Marina Abramovic and the other performance artists…all are a tad weird. O.o


  3. Never heard of this. Fascinating. If the media would devote more time to covering the uniqueness + human-ness of celebrities, we’d all be better off. Case in point. Wonder if this art installation will find its way to the midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree! I’m so glad you got my point, Ally!
      I just checked their latest tweet and they’re in Nebraska. If whoever picks them up heads in your direction, they could end up in your neighborhood! I think the completed installation will be a video. Check it out the newest coordinates. They are tweeted every day at noon, Mountain time so far. – https://twitter.com/thecampaignbook

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You know.. he did what he did- the way he wanted to do it. It is not up to us to rationalize it. Of course that is how I look at everything. Isn’t bad publicity still bring awareness? I guess it’s up to each to decide.
    But that is just moi.:)


  5. What a fascinating juxtaposition in this post, Susie–Shia inside the museum and the shooters outside! I especially like the points you make about communicating.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gail! I’m so glad we went. I had no idea he would be so accessible to the crowd. What I loved was that he “showed” how they felt about communication. Pretty cool.

      The shooting was surreal. Later, we were relieved to hear they were caught. No one seemed that concerned. We were all in a positive energy bubble! Great to “see” you!


  6. Susie, your life is one big adventure. A fascinating encounter with a complex individual, but I suppose we all are somewhat complex. Fortunately, the unusual circumstances presented you a wonderful opportunity to spend more time with Shia and to have a interesting discussion. Not a bad thing. Celebrity insist on attention (to promote), but drives one (to seek privacy), and yet celebrity’s every move is exposed to public scrutiny. It can’t be a real comfortable position to be in, but I can see why the lure of celebrity would be an intoxicating break that would allow someone the money to indulge their ideas and passions, which otherwise might not be possible.


    1. Yes! It was a great opportunity to spend more time at the museum.
      Actually, the team was commissioned by two museums for their latest installation. I can’t wait to see the end product. Most celebs are in their own little worlds, but a few have sought out other ways to make a difference. His is a very subtle path. They are definitely using his celebrity status, but they haven’t gone out of their way to contact the press. It’s all about transparency and using Twitter for all to see at the same time. Very cool!


  7. Talk about a wild ride! What a crazy day. And how absolutely cool to learn more about Shia. I really didn’t know much about him, other than seeing a few of his movies. Talk about a true artist. Very cool.


    1. Thanks so much, Susan! I was amazed there weren’t more people there, but that’s the cool thing. They don’t contact the press or use Shia’s celebrity in that way. It’s all very organic. They didn’t even tweet out the date of their talk. There is something to learn in this understated way of involving others in their journey. We are inundated with social media buzz. Instead of blasting out what they are doing, they set up a mystery and hooked people in a more subtle and creative way. I agree. He is a true artist!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’d read about Shia’s work. Every once in a while there are celebrities who seem to step back from Hollywood and do something creatively honest and grassroots and it’s often portrayed as the artist having a breakdown or being rejected by Hollywood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know anything about his work.

      Some of the comments reflect that same negative attitude. It must be frustrating when a huge wave of condescension hits and you are only one voice in defending yourself. He’s a very out-going guy and yet he did the opposite when he wore the bag over his head. How cool is that?
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the idea of searching for art.
    Sad the mania of the big world has found Boulder. I rmember when the police blotter there said things like “Stopped boy from hitting racoon (or some large furry animal) with a stick” and “Responded to call. Stopped drunk kid from complaining about big rocks in the road…finally got him to realize he wasn’t on the road with his bike…”
    But the majority with that positive energy rules (and rocks)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve got to follow them. They do the coolest installations! Leading up to this one as intriguing as a mystery novel. I couldn’t wait for noon to arrive so I could get the next clue! I figured they were spelling something out. It was a great way to get attention without bopping us over the head with it, like most people.

      The shooting was very surreal since it just doesn’t happen here. The best part? They caught both men and the only one shot was the shooter. I’m still feeding off that positive energy!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I know! We are spoon fed so much crap too. It’s refreshing to see something pure and honest. Can you imagine driving them? I’d probably make a whole lot of wrong turns. Ha!


  10. I always thought he got a bit of a raw deal as an actor … but didn’t know anything else about him. Nice you got to see the man inside the bag. 🙂 … and a human being is dead. 😦


    1. I guess Shia’s doing really well. Someone asked if he had been hurt professionally by these art installations. He said it has made him a better actor and better roles have come his way. He was just recognized for a new movie at Cannes. I’ll be watching!
      Yep. That shooting was extremely out of the ordinary. Boulder is a pretty sleepy town. I think the man was on something and didn’t know what he was doing. He had an addiction problem. So sad…


  11. Dude how cool is that to have that type of conversation/engagement with someone who does creative stuff outside their acting gig. A lot of media outlets talked a lot of trash about him and his behavior and I just didn’t get why they were hating on him so much for doing something out of the box, maybe some of the stuff was out there, like the bag thing, but just because it was different didn’t necessarily mean it was bad. I really enjoyed the skywriting thing because I actually SAW it in the sky and was able to take a pic. Plus I even posted about it, how weird is that! Totally inspired me. Sorry to hear about the shooting stuff outside though, glad it didn’t end up going inside your event and that you guys were safe.


    1. It was super cool, Guat! I really enjoyed the whole experience and we were standing for a long time! I think when people don’t fit into little boxes, people like to judge them. Other than the bag, I think their pieces are pretty self-explanatory. They are trying to personalize their communication in a very distancing world. I can’t wait to see what they do with all the hitchhiking and GPS points. I haven’t checked to see if they’re still spelling stuff out. I’ll have to see!


  12. Oh what fun! (Not the shooting part). I love when celebs do real interactions with people rather than maintaining an aloof distance. Over here, Gary Barlow (do you know him? From Take That?), has been for the last year or so, just turning up at normal people’s events on an impromptu basis – weddings, birthdays etc, without them knowing he’s coming, and just singing a few songs for them! (I think lots of people tweet him asking him to come because they know he does this but of course he can only do a very few of them). Last weekend he started doing a few songs in the middle of a shopping mall (the shopping mall owners obviously knew as there was a piano there for him), but at first he wore a mask of himself, so people thought it was someone pretending to be him, and then he removed the mask, and it was him!


    1. That is so clever using a mask to throw everyone off! I don’t know him, but I’ll be sure to Google and check out his IMDB. It is unusual for celebs to do anything involving fans let alone welcome them! I worried about them today. They always give their coordinates at noon and it was close to 3:00 when they tweeted them. I had hoped they didn’t get mugged! Pretty scary out there…


  13. What an interesting experience! Great that you and Danny opened yourselves up to art and relating in a whole, new way. And I’m so glad nobody was hurt except the shooter.


    1. Me too! It was super cool. I had no idea what to expect, but I had no idea how small the crowd would be and how easy it would be to talk to them afterward. He’s nothing like the Hollywood stars I’ve met in the past!


  14. I’m not really convinced he hasn’t also been unwell. You can’t paint everything as performance art. Glad you got the chance to hear some interesting stories, and I’m glad you were all okay in the end – scary!


    1. Thanks! It was pretty crazy. We were under the impression they had caught the second shooter, but they haven’t! You’ll have to check out their site. It’s pretty cool what they’re doing to connect in a personal way. Click on any of the hashtags on the left side to see their projects. http://thecampaignbook.com/
      Thanks for stopping by!


  15. I really want to support what you’re saying. However, the power of celebrity needs to be acknowledged. It clouds the judgement of the fans and the celebrity. If Shia LaBeouf took the plagiarism of the work of Daniel Clowes seriously, he would have immediately cooperated and removed the work from view and come clean. He literally copied and pasted in this case. Word for word! Daniel Clowes created a short work entitled, “Justin M. Damiano.” Shia LaBeouf stole that, literally word for word, and attached the title, “Howard Cantour.com.” Daniel Clowes was NOT CREDITED. Daniel Clowes was never asked permission to use his work. And Shia LaBeouf attempts to deflect the situation by apologizing for not being famous anymore??? No, this is all wrong. It’s not cute. And it certainly is not art.


    1. I get it. That’s your opinion and I respect that, but it’s not the only work that was done by the group. It was a starting point and they have come up with some pretty cool projects in two years. http://thecampaignbook.com/
      I graduated in Art from the UW-Madison and learned about performance artists like Vito Acconci who masturbated under a false floor in the Sonnabend Gallery in New York. Yep. Art has always been up to interpretation. I like Shia’s public humiliation a lot better than than “Seedbed.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll say this, if some good should come from these art projects, that’s nice. I come from a similar academic background. I see these ongoing projects as a repositioning until something works. I don’t think dismissing Daniel Clowes is a good idea. His case is quite legitimate. Lastly, I am glad you are safe. That whole story you posted is pretty wild stuff.


          1. I here you. It is really quite story. It would be interesting to do a follow-up. I went to the University of Houston. I studied various subjects. I ended up getting a BFA in Painting and a minor in Creative Writing. I don’t regret it one bit; some things are priceless. Of course, I also learned a lot out of school and continue to do so. I really appreciate what you are doing. It is an art form in itself to maintain a good blog.


            1. Sorry it took so long to get back to you! It’s been a Wild week. Thanks so much for your kind words!

              It’s so cool that you got a BFA and minored in creative writing. I had a high school teacher who told me to go into writing, but my dad was a fine artist, so I grew up surrounded by art. It just seemed natural. Here I am, decades later, writing books! Ha!

              I love your idea of a followup. I haven’t checked to see if they’re still spelling through GPS locations. It will be 30 characters long at the end of the month, if they are.
              Have a great weekend!

              Liked by 1 person

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