rating: +30+x


The following object is being currently subjected to experimentation, sponsored by the Educational Research Grant Program. As such, the information within is to be considered outdated. Expect an update within the near future.

For further information contact the Eduskip Division.

— Maria Jones, Director, RAISA

ITEM #: SCP-6280




ITEM: SCP-6280




Special Containment Procedures:

SCP-6280 is secured within a low-priority storage locker in Site-77. The object shall remain inside a fully opaque envelope at all times, except during testing.


SCP-6280 is an object with a strong memetic effect, which influences human perception on a highly individual basis. The object is described differently by all observers; in some cases even a single individual may give conflicting descriptions if exposed to the object more than once. As a result, the exact physical properties of SCP-6280 are unknown. For example, any attempt to record its size results in conflicting measurements, even if taken at the same time and with identical equipment.

The one exception is the composition of the object, which has remained consistent every time it has been analyzed. Therefore, it has been deemed that SCP-6280 consists of the following:

  • A canvas, which has been recorded to be anywhere between 5x7 cm and 32x48 cm in size.
  • Oil paint, which has been applied to said canvas. There has been, however, no consistency in the identified pigments.

As such, it can be assumed the object is a painting. This is an assumption which matches all descriptions reported by observers. The contents of said painting are, however, likewise dependent on individual perception. Subjects report a wide array of art styles, techniques, and color palettes. Despite this, all observers agree that the painting is in a state of incompletion.

The object has a weak compulsion which causes observers to become interested in examining it with care. During this process, observers may begin experimenting foreign thoughts which interject their own inner thought process. These manifest as sentences in either Dutch, French or broken German. This effect occurs even for subjects who do not possess an active inner speech, and these subjects will be capable of understanding the thoughts despite not speaking said languages. Observers will also not recognize these thoughts as foreign until they have ceased looking at the object.

The memetic effects of SCP-6280 can, in some cases, extend to items which are perceived as linked to the object. Most notably, if the object is displayed next to a museum label, the contents of said label will likewise be perceived idiosyncratically. This effect ceases as soon as the subject stops simultaneously observing both the label and SCP-6280. Therefore, no exact information such as title or year of publication can be obtained by this approach. The one exception is authorship, as the object will invariably be attributed to Dutch painter Johannes Van Hedel.1

Addendum SCP-6280.1 - Experimentation Samples:

The following is a list of different interpretations of SCP-6280, as perceived by observers. A CRD (Cognitive Recording Device) was used to document each subject's individual perception of the object, as well as the thoughts that manifested during exposure. Said thoughts were accordingly translated.

Test #0005

Date: March, 1976
Supervising researcher: Dr. John Brooks

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Lady by the Canal (1874)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Manifested Thoughts:

“The sunlight shines softly through the canopies of the trees. The wind blows delicately as spring begins. And the water in the harbor glimmers like a million stars. Am I capturing any of this beauty? I think it's acceptable, but… what would Monet think of it?”

“Something isn't right, it needs more work. I think it's the reflections? Maybe? Yes, yes that's it! My brush strokes do not portray the simple beauty of the sunset over the lake, not yet.”

“This painting will make me popular.. I- I hope it will… I… It doesn’t have to. It's just… It’s my first show. I want to make sure I’ve got… it. Whatever it is."

Test #0006

Date: April, 1976
Supervising researcher: Dr. John Brooks

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Self-Portrait after the Dance (1906)
Fin-de-Siècle Museum, Brussels

Manifested Thoughts:

“I’ve never felt more invigorated, more free. We danced and danced for hours in a pure celebration of human physicality. And he, he smiled at me… Here I am, at last, in the city where art is born. I am ready to finally be happy.”

“It’s not bold enough. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong but… I will figure it out. I know I will. Maybe it's not the movement, maybe it's the colors. It needs more vibrant colors. Yes! I will try that next.”

“I had never tried painting myself. I'm not sure how to feel about the result. It doesn't look right.”

Test #0009

Date: December, 1999
Supervising researcher: Dr. Amanda Ward

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Vase of Tulips (1909)
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

Manifested Thoughts:

“Nothing like a meeting with my colleagues. We all painted the tulips I gave to Olivier. So many varying points of view, but all so beautiful. I wish I could somehow imprint this moment in a single piece of never-ending complexity… huh… I may be overthinking this a little.”

“Marcel said this current is dead, that we have to move on to the next big thing. I try to break down his thoughts, but I simply cannot understand him. Art is simply expression, it's timeless.”

“I just… want to make a piece that someone else finds important. Make them feel… something. What I felt the first time I visited a gallery.”

Test #0011

Date: August, 2017
Supervising researcher: Dr. Amanda Ward, Jr. Researcher Elin Miller

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Drought (1921)
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

Manifested Thoughts:

“Armand said this one is too dark, too brooding. The critics will bash it, the public won't buy it. What I hate most is… he is right. Why must we be bound by these chains?”

“The darkness in the corner of this room, it feels familiar.”

“It's not good enough yet, why can't I make it work? Mom said I had talent. Did she… did she lie to me? Why?”

Test #0034

Date: January, 2018
Supervising researcher: Dr. Amanda Ward, Jr. Researcher Elin Miller

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Fragments of a Drowning (1938)
Centre Pompidou, Paris

Manifested Thoughts:

“I cannot stop thinking about that dream. The faces in the fog, the tears from the sky, the frozen storm. It had not visited me since the great war, but now, it visits me every night. I wonder what that says about me?”

“Why can't I focus? Am I too over my head? Should I give up now? I feel like I’m becoming undone. A million pieces of me yet they are all dark, cold and dead.”

“Please, someone. Anyone. Does this piece mean anything to you?”

Test #0048

Date: July, 2021
Supervising researcher: Jr. Researcher Elin Miller

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Shapes in Descent (1933)
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

Manifested Thoughts:

“The trumpets cry gray melodies upon the sky. Up and down, down, down. My soul. This piece could use some color, but my mind only thinks in monochrome now.”

“What even are we? Just a collection of sights and sounds. We made up a reality out of pretty colors. Maybe… maybe it’s just me. Maybe I don't fit into this composition."

“Is that the frozen clock, or just another image filling the void within my heart. Tick tock. Three weeks with not one brush stroke. A couple smears and the piece would be done. But I know, three more weeks shall pass, and then some.”

Test #0051

Date: July, 2021
Supervising researcher: Jr. Researcher Elin Miller

Contents of Label:

Johannes Van Hedel (1904-1929)

Blue Triangle (1915)
State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Manifested Thoughts:

“Form. Pure geometry. Distilled back to the basics. Maybe this, I can manage.”

“My fingers, they won't move. Not even for this.”

“Tired. So tired… Let me rest… Let me sleep… Let me sink, beneath the calm surface. May the soft currents carry me home.”

Addendum SCP-6280.2 - Ongoing experimentation:

On ██/██/2024, Jr. Researcher Elin Miller submitted an application for an ERG.2 The application was accepted, and Jr. Researcher was awarded the grant. The application included a proposal for experimentation with SCP-6280. An abridged version of the application can be found below, which highlights sections relevant to SCP-6280. For the entire application contact the office of records of the Eduskip Division.

Applicant information:


Program of applicant:

PhD Visual Studies and Cognitive Influence.

Prior experience in Eduskip Programs:

  • Standard part-time higher education program - 3 years
  • Mentorship program under Dr. Amanda Ward - 3 years
  • Internship program at the Anart Studies Division - 1.5 years
  • Standard part-time doctoral education program - Ongoing


Project information:

Title: Assessing the roles of cultural and individual factors in idiosyncratic appraisal and interpretation of anart


Experimentation Methodology Overview:


Section B.2: Civilian exposure to SCP-6280. The object will be part of the exposition to be held at Cambridge University. During the initial setup, the object is to be the third painting in order of exposure. Afterwards, the daily rotation proposed in section A.1 shall be followed closely, as to avoid order effects bias.

The non-invasive CRD provided to each subject shall record the following parameters:

  • Conscious, and unconscious attitude towards the object, both measured using the Glass-Heiden scale.
  • The subject's individual visual perception of the object. This shall be analyzed closely to determine factors such as style, and technique. For details see section C.3.
  • In accordance with SCP-6280 testing protocols, manifested thoughts shall also be recorded, despite them not being of further relevance for the aim of this paper.

The results shall be paired to the archetypal personality profile of the subject obtained in section B.1, and to the results given in their survey detailed in section B.4.

In accordance with civilian exposure protocols, redundant safety measures are to be included to account for the nature of SCP-6280. These are to include monitoring of vitals, memetic transmission (waves type K and V), and eye movement pattern (clusters A,H and J). For details, see section B.2.


Specific Aims:


Specific Aim 4: Usage of SCP-6280. Out of the various objects that I had shortlisted as candidates, I am convinced SCP-6280 is the best option. Although SCP-6280 is not the only piece of anart which both influences and is influenced by spectators, the effect in its case is rather prominent. The object has been shown to manifest a wide array of styles from the modern and contemporary periods. Additionally, the current test samples provided in the file have all taken place with observers who belong to Eurocentric cultures. But limited testing with subjects of non-Eurocentric descent have shown potential for more variety in how the painting shall manifest. I believe this is of utmost importance, given the diversity in the pool of subjects I aim to procure.

Lastly, although not the main objective of the paper, I believe the reactive nature of the object could unveil new discoveries, were it to be exposed to a larger audience. It has already begun to display changes in recent years following a larger number of tests. For example, the completion percentage of the perceived painting continues to rise slowly. A significant increase in spectators could yield further changes to the behavior of the object.

If so, my main aim is to continue experimenting with the object to further study how a higher visibility affects it.


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