Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
(Photo: Getty Images, Pascal Le Segretain)

Shia LaBeouf is one of the most enigmatic and mercurial celebrities in Hollywood history, always floating from one baffling artistic endeavor to the next without paying any mind to how his mysterious moves will be interpreted by those who are less magical than he is—or at least that’s how he wants to be seen. In reality, his mysterious moves come across as weirdly obvious, almost like they’re self-aware parodies of how an artsy person would behave. There was the time he sat in a room and did nothing, which many of us get paid to do every day, and the time he marathoned all of his movies, as if three of them aren’t legitimately great films that anyone would be lucky to see.

His latest performance art thing has been dubbed #TAKEMEANYWHERE, and it involves LaBeouf and prior collaborators Nastja Rönkkö and Luke Turner hitchhiking across Colorado. For the next month, LaBeouf will be tweeting out GPS coordinates, and whoever finds him first can pick him up and drive him wherever they want. Considering that a guy recently got punched in the face simply for looking like LaBeouf, the obvious “risk” here seems to be that someone will take this as the perfect opportunity to kidnap and/or murder him, but dealing with LaBeouf in person can’t be all that bad if he hasn’t been kidnapped or murdered during any of his other stunts. Maybe—maybe—Shia LaBeouf is actually a cool dude when you get to know him? After all, nobody who starred in a show as good as Even Stevens could be a monster.


Kidnapping possibilities aside, the most interesting part of this latest project is that it’s actually a callback to one of his earlier anti-publicity stunts. Back in 2014, LaBeouf got in trouble for a series of plagiarism scandals, culminating in a manifesto about “Performance a#RT,” and the basic concept of this hitchhiking stunt also already been done. John Waters wrote a book about doing this same thing on a larger scale, and—to bring it back to murder—there was that hitchhiking robot that got smashed up when it tried to get through Philadelphia (possibly in an ill-conceived attempt to hold back the constant threat of Judgement Day).

It’s hard to say if LaBeouf is aware of Waters or the robot, but Vice has a big story about his quest and the artsy justifications for it. Also, if you happen to be in Colorado and you see Shia LaBeouf on the side of the road, don’t do anything weird to him. That’s just what he wants you to do.

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