Futurama, a renowned animated science fiction sitcom, has entertained audiences since 1999 and has amassed a cult following. One of its most memorable episodes for urban art fans is Season 7, Episode 4, titled “Proposition Infinity.”
This episode features Bender Bending Rodríguez, one of the show’s main characters, as a street artist who puts up tiled portraits using the same mosaic technique as Invader, a renowned French street artist.
“Filthy urine-soaked walls have been desecrated by a mysterious tile-work graffiti artist.”
Urban art fans have already clocked that this must be a reference to the only graffiti tile artist they know and that it is French artist Invader! Female host Linda continues …
“Police have no leads as to who’s behind this innovative surge of public art”
Linda references the elusive artist Invader, who is on a mission to invade the world with his artworks, pushing the boundaries of graffiti with his innovative tag. Then we hear the wonderful Robot Bender …
“That is one sexy bridge apartment …it’s knowing precisely where to strike”
Futurama episode Proposition Infinity (Season 7, Episode 4). Image copyright Futurama
Urban art fans quickly recognise that the artist is referencing Invader, known for his signature style of creating graffiti using small tiles. In his pursuit to emulate Invader’s style, Bender gets carried away with his invasion and ends up placing his tiles on the back of the robot police named URL.
” Well, well, read him his rights”
The tile graffiti reference is a nod to the French artist’s innovative mission to invade the world with his artworks. Bender even encounters a Shepard Fairey-like Nixon/Obama poster, and instead of ‘HOPE’, it says ‘DESPAIR’, adding another layer of urban art references to the episode.
In the rest of the episode, Bender leads a campaign to make robosexual marriage between humans and robots legal on Earth. From Futurama’s “Proposition Infinity”(Season 7, Episode 4) Jul 9, 2010.
Interestingly, in a parallel universe, Invader himself gets arrested! In April 2011, the Los Angeles Police Department caught and arrested two French nationals vandalising buildings with “buckets of grout and pieces of tile” near the LA Museum of Contemporary Art’s Little Tokyo gallery. As reported by the LA Times, one of the vandals seems to be the famed Invader. Futurama might have predicted the future, and Invader’s arrest in California was on the cards!
Season 7, Episode 4
For fans of Futurama or Invader, watching Season 7, Episode 4 of Futurama is a must. You can subscribe to Hulu to watch the episode or buy it on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple TV. Purchase the episode on Amazon UK here.
To read more about Invader’s New York mission, read more in our blog here.