SOUTH LOOP — A new installation artwork by anonymous artist, or art collective, "Bored," was found crushed to pieces within days of its appearance.
The piece, a red-corded phone atop a Chicago star, located at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harrison Street outside Columbia College, urged pedestrians to "pick up the phone" or dial the number 773-669-TURD.
Both the phone and the number played lyrics from Jay-Z — one in a robot voice, the other, according to South Loop dwellers, over a techno beat.
The phone was in good condition Sunday, but by Monday afternoon, it had been smashed.
Passersby on the prominent corner wondered if the disheveled remains weren't actually part of the installation. Others suspected college students up to late-night shenanigans.
"I don't know what would compel someone to break it," said Ryan Ebert, a television major at Columbia College. "It's unique — it was definitely something that got me to stop ... I thought I was going to pick it up and it'd be a fart sound."
Likewise, dozens of pedestrians stopped to lament the broken piece of art, some of whom had seen it before it was reduced to a dozen shattered fragments.
"What the f--k!" one man exclaimed as a small crowd gathered.
"I couldn't have said it better myself," Ebert said.
"Bored" declined comment.
However, a reported email response from "Bored" on the website Colossal in July 2013 about another project cast light on the impetus behind the art.
Wrote Bored: “The goal of this entire project has been to present something different than a stencil painted on the ground or a poster pasted to a wall. Something 3-dimensional that can be picked up, beaten down, kicked, yanked, grabbed, and broken. And if someone ever put forth the effort to remove it, like a weed it will always grow back. And if left alone it will evolve into something different.”
The piece is not the first and likely not the last for the anonymous artist. One memorable work from "Bored" appeared in Logan Square last year: an enormous stack of Monopoly "Chance" board game cards near Lula Cafe.
One of those cards read: "Carissa, will you marry me? — If yes, advance one block south to nearest church."
All of the art displays are signed "—bored".