Friday, March 5, 2010

Guest Post For Vandalog

RJ of Vandalog asked me to weigh in on a recent Banksy piece in Notting Hill that treads a thin line between advertising and art. We have mixed feelings about Banksy, and thought the whole thing had more to do with how we use our public space than the infamous street artist.

You can read my full response [HERE]

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Miss Bugs Advertising Takeover

I apologize profusely for not posting more this year but I have been working hard on some things to come and they are taking a huge portion of my time these days. I will continue to post more regularly, I promise.

Miss Bugs isn't known for doing ad takeovers but I do love this piece. I have been toying with how to start collapsing the space between the advertisement and the environment lately and this is a fantastic example of just that. For more of Miss Bugs' work go [HERE]

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Monday, January 4, 2010

LSD Interview With PublicAdCampaign

I was interviewed over the phone by Cyrus at London Street Art & Design a few weeks ago. At the time I didn't realize the entirety of our conversation would be used verbatim. Normally I wouldn't want my stream of conscious ramblings to be printed, but amidst the incoherence glimpses of my un-adulterated thoughts come through. There is some interesting content on some fantastic artists in the 3rd issue of this web magazine and I suggest taking a look.

"Much of the essence of street art and conscious living in general has the reclamation of our warped public spaces at its core. The endless pervasion of our realities by apathy and advertising alike has slowly eroded a sense of self defined community and a creative pride in the world we live in. Yet while many artists pirate the medium of public advertising to sow seeds of self questioning, few have been as dedicatedly activist as New York’s Jordan Seiler and his Public Ad Campaign. From hijacking legal advertising to creating forums for open and enlightened debate to taking on the behemoths of vested interest themselves, he has tirelessly worked to open up the conversation about the nature of our society and shine a light on indifference and conditioning. He spoke to us." [MORE]

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fresh Stuff From 2hora In The London Underground

With more and more artists and public individuals taking back commercial messaging spaces for public communications, the work continues to get more and more interesting. This new work from Lithuanian artist 2hora gives the public a presence in the ad saturated London Tube.

Images from Wooster Collective

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vihls Makes Contact With PublicAdCampaign And We Love His Work

Artist Alexandre Farto, aka Vihls, just contacted us from London to talk about the last NYSAT project. He included a piece we hadn't seen before and just had to post it.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

London Tube in 2050

[Image: "Above Ground" by Nils Norman, commissioned by Platform for Art for Transport for London; view it as a 2.6MB PDF].

A recent post from the BLDG blog was sent my way by a good friend. Seems like Nils Norman created the above poster depicting alternative visions of the London subway system in 2050. The poster was then intermingled with the " phone advertisements, travel insurance offers, and posters for English-language schools." that normally adorn The Tube. Steve Lambert & Packard Jennings did something very similar in 2007 for San Francisco. Both projects are a wonderful escape from the typical mind altering brand imagery you are normally presented with on your way to work.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

London cops reach new heights of anti-terror poster stupidity

A reader sent me the above image taken in Nottingham City, England. It's a very simple ad subversion that calls out what is obvious about this "state sponsored fear" campaign. Below is a post from Boing Boing explaining the campaign. Thanks Keane.

VIA Boing Boing

The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others' trash-bins looking for "suspicious" chemical bottles, and to report on one another for "studying CCTV cameras."

It's hard to imagine a worse, more socially corrosive campaign. Telling people to rummage in one another's trash and report on anything they don't understand is a recipe for flooding the police with bad reports from ignorant people who end up bringing down anti-terror cops on their neighbors who keep tropical fish, paint in oils, are amateur chemists, or who just do something outside of the narrow experience of the least adventurous person on their street. Essentially, this redefines "suspicious" as anything outside of the direct experience of the most frightened, ignorant and foolish people in any neighborhood.

Even worse, though, is the idea that you should report your neighbors to the police for looking at the creepy surveillance technology around them. This is the first step in making it illegal to debate whether the surveillance state is a good or bad thing. It's the extension of the ridiculous airport rule that prohibits discussing the security measures ("Exactly how does 101 ml of liquid endanger a plane?"), conflating it with "making jokes about bombs."

The British authorities are bent on driving fear into the hearts of Britons: fear of terrorists, immigrants, pedophiles, children, knives... And once people are afraid enough, they'll write government a blank check to expand its authority without sense or limit.

What an embarrassment from the country whose level-headed response to the Blitz was "Keep Calm and Carry On" -- how has that sensible motto been replaced with "When in trouble or in doubt/Run in circles scream and shout"?

New campaign to urge Londoners to report suspicious activity

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

London to get bomb-proof recycling bins

In a typical move to introduce more advertising under the guise of necessity, London has moved forward to install bomb-proof garbage cans in their financial district complete with digital advertising screens. This reminds me of the New York Times article written about how phone kiosks served better as ads than as operational phones. The language used to justify moving 465 non-ad holding payphones to curb locations where they are allowed to carry ad content, is strikingly similar.

"Phone companies say the pay phones are still necessary, noting that during 9/11 and the 2003 blackout, people lined up to use them."

This article also reminded of our very own garbage cans in Times Square which were prefabricated by the Times Square BID with panels to hold four ads. The language they use to justify more advertising content uses the language of fear to it's advantage here as well.

Trash Bin Signage

"The Alliance has mounted posters on area trash bins encouraging people to report unattended packages to the authorities ("If you see something, say something.")"

By re imagining these venues' usefulness as products of terrorist control, the advertising industry is able to distract you from what's really happening, your city is becoming a consumer thoroughfare equipped with the proper signage to bring you to the proper purchase. Don't let language fool you, it's the ads they are after.

Article VIA Breitbart

Central London's financial district will begin installing bomb-proof recycling bins from next year, the company responsible for the product said Monday.

The bins, which cost around 30,000 pounds each to produce and install, will also feature news and weather information on LCD screens that are part of the bins.

"From a blast technology side, it's just something that should be there," said Brian James, the chief operating officer of Media Metrica, the company providing the product.

"You don't expect to get into an accident, but you make sure you have seat belts," he told AFP.

Media Metrica will fund the production, installation and maintenance of the bins after signing a 15-year contract with the City of London, the local authority that administers the capital's financial district.

James said the company was in talks with potential corporate sponsors, and expected to finalise those arrangements by the end of March 2009, with the bins being installed by the end of next year in around 100 locations.

"It's a pretty expensive product to produce, because as you can imagine, the blast technology is basically military technology," he said. "It's very expensive to put in."

The screens on the units will feature light-sensitive technology that will ensure that they automatically brighten or dim, depending on the strength of light at the time, and James said he expected they would be powered using green technology.

The bins themselves, which were extensively tested in the American state of New Mexico, are made of a steel composite produced using "blast-intelligent technology" that would absorb the force and fire of any potential explosion.

James said that while the company would be interested in installing the recycling bins on London Underground stations, it was more focused on discussions with other major cities such as New York, Singapore and Tokyo.

There are a very small number of garbage bins in the City of London. Most were removed in the early to mid-1990s after Irish Republican Army attacks in the capital over fears that bombs could be concealed in them.

Other public areas regarded as sensitive, such as footpaths outside parliament and civil service buildings, also lack garbage bins.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Cut Up Collective O2 reordering

I'm always amazed at the level of sophistication that Cut Up Collective brings to billboard takeovers. This is the first time I've seen them work on a piece from start to finish and I'm amazed at the amount of time they spend at each site. It's all about those bright yellow or orange vests people. You don't spend more than 30 seconds doing this kind of thing without one.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Dr. D Doing Good Things

London based artist Dr. D, contacted me with a website change which prompted me to take another look at his work. Although I don't care much for signatures, his work ethic is incredible, and often his art removes the advertising completely. This series seems to acknowledge its placement within the advertising frame even when the advertisement is completely gone. The interpretation of what ads might actually be saying is poignant and worth a look.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mantis in London

Mantis is a street artist I've come across that does a fair amount of work over public advertising structures. The work seems to often deal directly with the content of the advertisement as a sort of culture jamming exercise. The project shown is the only one I know of that seems to have erased the entire advertisement for another image. Regardless Mantis obviously sees the public advertising frame as an extension of his or her own messaging system and for that I am very excited.

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