Friday, February 26, 2010

Mr. Di Maggio Hard At Work

We saw Mr. Dimaggio's work a few weeks ago via streetsy. After checking his website we realized he had done more than a few ad takeovers and didn't look like he was planning on slowing down. We decided to contact him and see if this work was an intentional use of advertising space in an effort to cover the ads or merely a result of practicality. His response answers our question, and we look forward to seeing more ad takeovers happening soon.

"Milano is completely bombed with advs, this fact makes me sooo sick because the city is not big and there are billborads with gucci, prada and shit every 5 meters...people in milan is really influenced by advs trust me!!!!! I have started with the take overs last September because I think that is my little help to make Italian people think a lot more about what's happening around us right now!!!!"

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Mr. Dimaggio Ad Takeover in Milan

VIA Streetsy

Our sources in Rome tell us they are pretty positive this piece by Mr. Dimaggio, was put up over a framed advertising location in Milan. The source tells us that normally similar locations to this are used for political campaign posters in Italy. If the spaces are anything like the Affichage Libre in France, they are often co-opted by mainstream commercial ads for private use. In France the Debunkers Collective battles this type of illegal commercial usage monthly.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Flair Magazine-Interview With PublicAdCampaign

You often meet interesting characters on the set of fashion shoots, but Jordan Seiler has a really unusual story. A photography lighting technician, he is also a very busy artist. He created PublicAdCampaign, a project that promotes, as works of art, the illegal occupation of public spaces designated for advertising. His goal? To protest against the distorted use of public spaces by the part of corporations and to return them to the public.

How did you start?

On a whim. I was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design and when I went home to New York and ride the subway, I thought that I would prefer seeing one of my images there instead of advertising.

What’s behind PublicAdCampaign?

Lots of money is made through advertising in public spaces. Unfortunately, we artists cannot afford to pay to exhibit our art; we can only do it illegally. Also, I would definitely like the streets more if we eliminated advertisements: it would reduce the corporate control of these places. They would return to the public, which could use it differently, more artistically.

What is your latest project?

My latest project is National Bestseller.

What is it about?

We took over the advertising spaces in phone booths with the pages of some bestsellers. It wasn’t so much about sharing the content of the book as much as the desire to return this space to the public. Books are loved and shared by many people and so it is only right that they substitute the corporate messages. It is a more democratic form of information.

And the next project?

I’ll be working with over a hundred artists and activists: we will take over 130 advertising billboards around New York.

Is there a political message behind this protest?

We move illegally and without permits, so this too is a form of “opposition”. We want the city to be returned to the public. It would be great if everyone could use it to display new and creative ideas. Public space is one of the last democratic spaces, where each one of us has the same power and the same “value” as the next person.

Working in fashion, you must have worked on the set of advertising campaigns. Isn’t that a contradiction?

Advertising is a tremendous force that guides our desires and persuades us to buy things that we might not even have thought of. When this content is in newspapers or on television or the radio, we can ignore it. But if it’s displayed on billboards, then we can only be subjected to it and we become unwitting slaves to the message, incapable of choosing. I don’t have a problem with advertising per se, but with how it is imposed on us in public spaces. So working in this industry is not a contradiction since I’m not participating in the creation of its content.

Do you know of similar initiatives in Europe?

In France they are at the forefront of this type of protest. I don’t know if this also exists in Italy.

Paola Salvatore

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Clergy Can't Be Happy About This

A while back Charlie Todd of Urban Prankster sent me an image of a church in Italy that was under construction, and covered with a large advertisement. What was odd was that whoever was doing the vinyl wraps had gone through the trouble of first wrapping the scaffolding in a rendering of what the church would look like after construction was finished. My favorite Italian friend (sorry Diego), just sent me some more images of churches in Italy that are covered by large, garish, often offensive advertisements (in the eyes of the papacy). Again they seem to first be wrapped in renderings of the intended restoration. I asked her what the deal was, and she quickly wrote me back.
I mostly found out about the Venice restoration...the church was upset with the leggy chick. Apparently the money for the restoration is given by the City Office for Architectural Art (or something like that) and they raise money by selling ads. They can't actually do this on public buildings but can on Churches. They actually do approve which ads get put up and claim they had rejected this ad but...Anyway, the company that puts up the ads will pay a 500 Euro fine, which is nothing considering they will give about 650.000 Euro for the restoration. I'm still reading stuff
I understand outdoor advertising subsidizes public projects all the time but this seems like a bad idea.

San Simeon Piccolo on the Grand Canal in Venice
The bell tower of the Chiesa dell'Assunta in Positano
San Simeon Piccolo on the Grand Canal in Venice
Chiesa Trinita' dei Monti in Rome

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Monday, September 21, 2009

What Would Jesus Do?

I just spent from 4am to noon handing out copies of the NY post special edition and I am pooped. Before I rest, I had to post this image Charlie Todd of Urban Prankster sent me that he took in Vienna. A good Italian friend of mine had told me about the practice of recreating the image of churches that are under construction on the scaffolding that surrounds them. In this way, the church remains, while the unsightly construction goes on behind the scenes. It seems the church has forsaken this ritual for a more profitable one.

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