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This blog is a resource for ad takeover artists and information about contemporary advertising issues in public space. If you have content you would like to share, please send us an email.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Piccadilly Circus billboard uses recognition technology to deliver targeted adverts

We already knew this was happening but a reminder is always a good idea.

VIA: Dezeen
A new digital billboard in London's Piccadilly Circus uses recognition technology to display targeted advertisements based on the make of passing cars, and the gender and age of pedestrians. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Smart cities are boring. Give us responsive cities.

It is Tuesday morning in Brussels and I am starting the install of my show at Harlan Levey Projects today. Before I get going on that I read an interesting article sent to me and written by the CTO of a large outdoor advertising and digital infrastructure firm. I have been pitching them a very public use of the infrastructure that he created in the hopes of creating a truly democratic open platform on an outdoor advertising network. I know, I know. Working with the enemy. In some ways yes, and in some ways trying out new ideas that would create the language needed to demand an ad free space that would be required of an open public visual environment. I'll keep you posted and be open with my endeavors cause honesty is the best policy and I am a sucker for criticism, be it my own, or someone else's.

My work has increasingly begun to happen in the digital space, or at least the thinking I am forced to do as digital advertising and the ramifications of digital infrastructure make thier way through the outdoor advertising world. Beyond hacking a digital kiosk, how does one deal with this new infrastructure as an activist? Is there some aspect of digital infrastructure that might provide the kinds of opportunities I seek to replace outdoor advertising? Can digital infrastructure be a shared civic resource in a way that the old billboard could not? I think so, although getting the companies who own these public infrastructures to share them as if they were truly public is a big ask, there are opportunities to do just that around the corner. My interest is ultimately in breaking the stranglehold on public space communication that advertising has tightened over the years so that a renewed democratic civic discourse can take its place and there is something uniquely democratic about a digital screen that can alternate content and provide larger populations with a voice where traditional print media could not.

VIA: Tech Crunch
As an urban technologist, I’m often asked to give an example of a compelling smart city application that real people are using. But to be honest, there really isn’t too much to point to – yet. Cities may be getting smarter, but they haven’t noticeably changed from a user perspective. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MTA Board Bans Alcohol Ads on Subways, Buses and Trains

NEW YORK CITY — The MTA canned the sale of advertising to beer, wine or liquor producers, according to a decision made by board members Wednesday.

The MTA won't sell any new ads for alcohol of any MTA property, which includes Metro-North train cars, subway stations, inside cars, and on MTA buses, members of the authority's board decided at a Wednesday meeting. More [HERE]

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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Designing a More Inclusive City

Strategies for exclusion are not so dissimilar to strategies for inclusion. Everywhere you look the built environment is whispering what it wants from you, how to behave and how to feel. This isn't good or bad but like all things should be conscientious and favor all over the few. 


In the 1990s, San Francisco removed all of the benches from Civic Center Plaza. In 2001, all remaining seating in nearby United Nations Plaza was removed in the middle of the night. Over the years, public seating has been removed from virtually the entire city. While this anti-homelessness strategy has given way a little with the emergence of the city’s many parklets, it’s still in full effect. More [HERE]

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Vermibus - In Absentia from Vermibus on Vimeo.

Vermibus just released a beautiful new video shot by the talented Xar Lee, called In Absentia. It features his fashion image abstractions in the beautiful Paris subway setting, accompanied by soothing seductive audio. It is a short and seductive look into large scale public project, and of course I also love the fact that the dramatic ending happens at Jourdain station.

He writes. "Deliberating various imposed standards, Vermibus has built a recognizable oeuvre, which culminates with his project entitled “In Absentia”. Works from the project unveil another introspective layer of Vermibus’ work, where macrocosms of consumerism intertwine with microcosms of the artist’s subjective journey into the depths of the self. The project began with the creation of 21 solvent-based posters, each of them bearing an individual inspiration and significance, hidden in the title. As a crown of the series, Vermibus produced an atmospheric video, an autonomous work of art, a clear step forward from the documentary short films he was creating to date. “In Absentia” video is a brooding visual tale about urban life, cleared of every and any distraction, including people, alluding to a plethora of issues the citizens face daily, from visual pollution to personal loneliness. Inspired by one of the biggest subway systems in Europe, the Parisian Metro, the artist installed all the posters on the scene, where the video was shot as well. Asking some of the crucial questions about present reality in the post-truth world, “In Absentia” opened a possibility to observe Vermibus’ work in broader context, surpassing the realm of public urban art."

Vermibus Website [HERE]

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Sunday, October 8, 2017


VIA: Virtute
In a neoliberal world dictated by the cult of the image and the fantasies it generates, how can one escape the visual pollution? Advertising, inherent in consumerism, saturates our gaze, our existence. More and more collectives, associations, tend to be interested in the visual nuisance. How to end a public space punctuated by advertising? How to integrate art in the streets? To denounce the discomfort of a sleeping society is the characteristic of these protestors.

More [HERE]

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Friday, October 6, 2017

LinkNYC Improves Privacy Policy, Yet Problems Remain

Since first appearing on the streets of New York City in 2016, LinkNYC’s free public Wi-Fi kiosks have prompted controversy. The initial version of the kiosks’ privacy policy was particularly invasive: it allowed for LinkNYC to store personal browser history, time spent on a particular website, and lacked clarity about how LinkNYC would handle government demands for user data, among others issues. While CityBridge, the private consortium administering the network, has thankfully incorporated welcome changes to its use policy, several problems unfortunately remain.

More [HERE]

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

NYC subway to get thousands of digital ad screens

Looks like the inevitable is happening and the moving image will become a more integral part of your daily commute.

VIA: NY Times
More [HERE]

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How Parks Lose Their Playfulness - And I am baaaack!

I am going to start posting to this site again. It is an effort to keep up with consistent content, even if I am mostly reposting articles, but its worth it. I feel a little naked without it and truthfully, it was Instagram that sapped most of my creative energy away from this little endeavor. Lets see what happens.

VIA; The NY Times
A few years ago, the Hudson River Park Trust floated an idea for a new island. Called Pier 55, it was to be a two-and-a-half-acre wavy rectangle 200 feet off Manhattan reached by two narrow bridges, replacing the remains of Pier 54 near West 14th Street, where the Lusitania used to dock. More [HERE]

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Mural or Billboard? The Dispute Over a Shepard Fairey in Brooklyn Heads Back to Court

A mural by Shepard Fairey, whose iconic “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign ultimately earned him two years’ probation, is the subject of yet another lawsuit. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Cuomo To Corporate America: Please Adopt A Subway Station

VIA: Gothamist

Governor Andrew Cuomo stood before a room of labor leaders and business interests at an Association for a Better New York breakfast Thursday, flashing a slide decorated with corporate logos: Blackstone, Estee Lauder, Hearst, MasterCard. For contributions in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Cuomo said, private business can join these companies in a new initiative to sponsor subway improvements. A separate "adopt-a-subway" program will allow companies to sponsor individual stations. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Collisions Exhibition June 15th 6-9PM Openwalls Gallery

I am very happy to announce that I will be exhibiting the entire Collisions series on June 15th at Openwalls Gallery in Berlin. This ongoing series has been in the making for the past 2 years and includes 15 photographs, each with an augmented reality component. Along side the photographs there will be a small a small amount of ephemera and a beautifully conceived essay by Thomas Dekeyser. Please join us between 6-9pm for the opening reception.

 Collisions: Underground, 2016
 Collisions: Carry On, 2017

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Billboard-sized portraits of ordinary people have Providence residents talking.

I cannot say how much I love and believe in this project. It only happens that the artist teaches at my Alma Mater and the project is happening in Providence Rhode Island. 
VIA: Upworthy
A mechanic named Fernando was thrilled when he got a call that his picture had been blown up and installed on the side of a building.

He wasn't a fashion model or trying to sell anything. He was a mechanic shop owner from Guatemala living in Providence, Rhode Island, and this was all very new to him. It's not every day you see yourself on the side of a building looking out over a busy downtown.More [HERE]

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Two Beers In: A Tipsy Political Round Table

I was excited when Charlie and Cody asked me to come on thier Two Beers podcast a few weeks back. They have interviewed some interesting people and with the two beers format, nothing gets taken too seriously. If you want to know about my work, this is a really good way to get introduced to my thinking. Charlie and Cody ask a lot of great questions and I manage to answer more than a few in ways I can live with.
New episode of Two Beers In out today. We talk to artist Jordan Seiler about the politics behind outdoor advertising. If you need a Trump break, this one is 99% Trump free! Listen [HERE]

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Where's the Boundary Between Public Art and Advertising?

VIA: City Lab
The Fearless Girl and Charging Bull statues have been facing off in Manhattan’s financial district since March 8. The optics are still startling: a girl, fists on her hips, ponytail swaying, stares down a 7,100-pound bull, which stands 11 feet tall and 16 feet long in the heart of one of the world’s most powerful economic centers. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Operation Key in Hand JCDecaux (Operation clef en main)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Keep Fighting the Good Fight Philly

Philly has a very active citizens front. 

The Philadelphia Parking Authority wants to install 45 billboards in neighborhood parking lots – but community members and activists aren’t happy with the plans. More [HERE]

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Sophie Calle - Double Game "Phone Booth" 1994

I had been planning to attend the Creative Time, Sophie Calle project at the Greenwood Cemetary last weekend for a while. I am excited by participatory work that uses art to fuel a connection with one another, and in this case a beautiful part of NYC. As luck would have it, my friend Luna Park reminded me of a small phonebooth project Sophie did back in the mid 90's. In it she is challenged by Paul Auster to...
"Pick one spot in the city and begin to think of it as yours. It doesn't matter where, it doesn't matter what. A street corner, a subway entrance, a tree in the park. Take on this place as your responsibility. Keep it clean. Beautify it. Think of it as an extension of who you are, as a part of your identity. take as much pride in it as you would your own home."
I adore this sentiment and motivate my work on similar grounds. I really believe that by interacting with, and acting upon the city, we become better stewards of public space and with it grow deeply invested in our cities. It's like a relationship in that way. The more you give, the more the city gives back and a rich public life is the result of a deeply engaged population. For a bit more info on Sophie's project [HERE]

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Crisis of Attention Theft—Ads That Steal Your Time for Nothing in Return

Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants has written a compelling article for Wired magazine essentially accusing much of todays public advertising industry of theft. Right on Wu!

VIA: Wired 
By now, it is pretty well understood that we regularly pay for things in ways other than using money. Sometimes we pay still with cash. But we also pay for things with data, and more often, with our time and attention. We effectively hand over access to our minds in exchange for something “free,” like email, Facebook, or football games on TV. As opposed to “paying” attention, we actually “spend attention,” agreeing to the view ads in exchange for something we really want.  Read more [HERE]

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Can Bristol Go Ad Free?

Thursday, April 20, 2017

OX continues to make the best site specific advertising takeover work that I am aware of. I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes me. OX's Billboards Project in Cologne from OPEN WALLS Gallery on Vimeo.

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These New Yorkers Are Covering Advertisements with Art

In case you didnt know, working over advertising to demand a more democratic use of our shared public space along with the ideas contained within your message itself, is a thing. AiAP is one of a few public projects making sure thats the case and you should know about what they are doing. 

photo by Luna Park

More [HERE]

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A ‘Members Only’ Public Space in Manhattan? Join the Club

Not about advertising in public space but about the concept more generally. 
During Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, a curious feature of the lobby in Trump Tower in Manhattan became a sideline distraction: Kiosks selling merchandise occupied the open public space where seating should have been. More [HERE]

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Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ephemeral -- spreading the word!

Lisa Sedano has launched Ephemeral, a mobil app for crowd sourced data collection on advertising and art in LA. One of the main hurdles to public space reform is a lack of understanding about what types of images are priviledged in public space, our personal stake and ownership in our shared environment, and general lack of political participation. Ephemeral seems to engage all three of these issues in an effort to create a public with a more nuanced understanding of the shared environment around them. It's an exciting project and if you are so inclined, donate a few bucks to help make it a reality. [HERE]
Dear friends,

I am excited to announce Ephemeral, a mobile app will let people share pictures of street art and outdoor advertising, creating a collective map and visual archive of the urban landscape. Ephemeral asks community residents to open their eyes to how much outdoor advertising surrounds us and to notice the art that is fighting for space and bringing unique and unexpected moments of creativity to urban life.

Ephemeral builds off my graduate work in geography, for which I designed a website that let people map billboards in Los Angeles. At the time, the city had an inventory of billboards, but was refusing to release it publicly under political pressure from advertisers. I created a crowdsourced webmap of billboards, believing that the community could create what money and politics had stopped the city from doing (and I sued the city to release the inventory!).

For many people, billboards are just “what a city looks like.” Street artists offer a counter-narrative to the corporatized city, directly engaging with consumer society in their work. Artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey have brought attention to street art – to the power of provocative, surprising, creative expression in public space. The aim of Ephemeral is to preserve all types of transitory art in the public realm, from wheatpaste posters, to murals, to hijacked billboards, to hand-knit cozies on objects of infrastructure, as well as the advertising that we take for granted.

Ephemeral will be free to download and use, to truly harness the power of the community, but right now, it needs your help to come to fruition! I would be so grateful if you could visit the Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/2oC6F56, offer any support you can (there’s a slew of neat rewards to collect, starting at donations of $1), and share the project with your friends.

Any support you can offer is incredibly important and sincerely appreciated. And please let me know what you think! I would love to hear from you.


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Friday, April 14, 2017

Behold North Korea’s Bizarrely Majestic Bus Stops

It is true that the images that we choose to surround ourselves with create meaning and effect us in subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways. It seems even North Korea knows this and uses bus shelters to push its own idealogical agenda. In a fantastic series of photographs, both for their photographic quality and subject matter, Ed Jones captures the landscapes, agricultural scene and industrial marvels that the North Korean government wants its citizens to reflect on. While I wont go so far to say that I would rather our own government use bus shelters to reflect the states interests and allure, there is something revealing about North Korea's use of bus shelters. All imagery is propaganda in some form or another and since public space is ours, it only seems right to me that the public itself should choose what that propaganda is pushing.

VIA: National Geographic

More [Here]


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Everybody Paintings Get 4 NYC Locations

Lamar has been donating/selling space to the Everybody billboard project. I honestly cant tell what is up and what is down anymore. I know for a fact that the people who run most billboard companies are not bad people. I also know that they are not in the business of creating democratic artistic platforms for expression. Often the explanation for why a piece of art showed up on a billboard is less "we thought some art would be nice" and more "we had some extra space so why let it go to waste and make our clientele think we cant keep our inventory rented." Right now I am too tied up with other things to sleuth on this project so you can judge for yourself. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

NYC Phone Booths Are Being Transformed Into Feminist Guerrilla Art With 'Resistance Is Female'

artwork by Sara Enranthal
In the AiAP model, the Resistance is Female campaign has taken to using NYC phonebooths as thier preferred method of cultural dissemination. As you can see from this photograph, they still need to figure out where to put the trash they remove once they are finished installing but I am happy to see thier message getting coverage on Gothamist, and the nightly news with Greg Mocker. More [HERE]

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Monday, April 3, 2017

I wrote the following Hyperallergic article about the recent Subvertisers International week of action. The text was inspired by Luna Park's amazing photos of the NYC portion of the international event. Luna is the only photographer I know going out of her way to point her camera at the subvertising/ad-takeover movement. I cannot thank her enough for her continued interest in the political nature of the work and our sincere attempts to bring this small but significant issue to the forefront of our collective consciousness. I think she, like many other public/street/graffiti artists, see the value in having a public space that feels rich with voices and is worth diving into headlong with your eyes wide open.

Since this article is short, it talks a big game while leaving a lot to be said another time. One day I will try to write a long form essay that delves deeper into the many issues surrounding this work, its history, intention, and efficacy. Until then please enjoy this attempt to quickly put some perspective in place.
VIA: Hyperallergic

More [HERE]

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The Ad Feels a Bit Like Oscar Bait, but It’s Trying to Sell You an iPhone

This isnt outdoor advertising related but I take interest in how advertising is morphing as it becomes more common for people the bemoan its attention grabbing and manipulative ways. Here the answer seems to be companies trying to make advertising that is more engaging and less repugnant to viewers. What this strategy does not address is the underlying fact that we dont want to be manipulated and this masking of the methods of manipulation only shines the turd, but does nothing to get rid of its foul stench.

VIA: The NY Times
Carrie Brownstein, the actress known for the series “Portlandia,” wrote and directed a short film last fall that pokes fun at the exaggerated comments people post under pictures of celebrities on social media, showing what would happen if reverential remarks like “Mom” or “marry me” played out in the real world. More [HERE]

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The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service - Washington, DC

As much as I love the idea of a cat advertising filled station, I cringe at the idea that in order to rid ourselves of the oppressive force of advertising in public space we need to crowd fund 30k+. Not only does this money support the ad infrastructure it critiques, but it further ingrains a public in which purchase is the determining factor for who gets a voice. Ugh. If they make thier goal I will take a field trip to DC to enjoy this. Everyone's invited. 
More [HERE]

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Sunday, April 2, 2017

A Definitive "How To" Guide Brought To You By Brandalism

Beyond helping spearhead one of the largest anti-advertising campaigns to date under the umbrella agency Subvertiser's International along with Vermibus, Kyle Magee, Proyecto Squaters, and many others, Brandalism just released this definitive guide to ad hacking. Get started creating your own cultural discourse in lieu of commercial concerns by downloading the "How To" guide [HERE]

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Tunney Art Hits NYC Billboards To Celebrate Landmarks

This is kind of old news but as far as I understand, these billboards "donated" to Peter Tunney artworks are actually illegal billboards that cannot hold traditional advertising content. If someone from Outfront wants to confirm or deny that in the comments, it would be greatly appreciated. Paint The City seems to be the organizing agency with All Vision as thier largest partner. I don't mean to be a debbie downer but this ain't altruism. 

The NYC Landmarks 50 Alliance and OUTFRONT Media are working with artist Peter Tunney to run a billboard art series highlighting New York City landmarks. You can read a mediavillage post about the project from OUTFRONT Media’s Executive Vice President of Strategic Planning & Development, Andy Sriubas here. Insider talked with Carly Zipp of OUTFRONT Media about the project. More [HERE]

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results.

Carpet bombing is not always the most effective way to hit your target. In advertising it seems to be the same. we must wrestle with the fact that we are as a species less decision makers than creatures of habit and curb the influences which we wish to avoid. Advertising could do us all a service by backing off its ever agressive stance and targeting us with greater accuracy, potentially with our consent. We do need to know things about the world of commerce, I think we would just all rather not be choking on the messages and in control of our attentional focus. 

VIA: NY Times
As of a few weeks ago, advertisements for JPMorgan Chase were appearing on about 400,000 websites a month. It is the sort of eye-popping number that has become the norm these days for big companies that use automated tools to reach consumers online. More [HERE]


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beast Master Hits The Streets With New Work

New work by Beast Master commenting on the insanity that is our political world right now.

VIA: Dumbwall

 More [HERE]

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Sculpture of a “Fearless Girl” on Wall Street Is Fake Corporate Feminism

I was gonna write something about this little tragedy but the wonderful Jillian Steinhauer beat me to the punch.

VIA: Hyperallergic
The bronze statue installed by an advertising firm and a financial firm represents basically everything that’s wrong with our society. More [HERE]

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

An Artist Swapped 'If You See Something, Say Something' Subway Posters With Pleas for Civic Engagement

VIA: City Lab
On Wednesday night, an artist swapped out a handful of MTA’s iconic “If You See Something, Say Something” subway posters with a more politically charged call to action. City Lab [HERE]
Gothamist [HERE]

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Subvert The City March 22nd - 25th 2017

I am excited to be working with a huge group of activists and artists around the world on an upcoming project that I hope PublicAdCampaign readers will get involved with. Long story short is a global network of anti-advertising activists have come together to form a transnational partnership called the Subvertisers International. This umbrella organization is spearheading a global call to action between March 22nd and March 25th 2017. The goal is to create a yearly anti-advertising event that will galvanize peoples commitment to the anti-advertising movement in all its forms. Download the Public Call for participation [HERE]

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Sunday, March 5, 2017

May All Your Time Be Screen Time!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Aiming to Disrupt Ads in New York City, Artworks Instead Blend In

My criticism of this project was announced by my questioning of the curators at a recent panel at the New School in NYC. Basically I was concerned that this type of project, while attempting to disrupt the ad cycle that so clearly has a strangle hold on our collective attention in public space, only further institutionalizes the infrastructure through which we receive this bombardment into the fabric of our city. What is passed off as critique is actually a deeply disturbing acceptance of our inability to imagine alternative visions of society through art. As if a colorful non-commercial image thrown into an onslaught of commercial media could somehow challenge the medium itself and help us to breath new life into a system that is normalizing consumptive behaviors that are at the heart of social and environmental issues we all face. 

The idea behind Commercial Break — an exhibition produced by Public Art Fund (PAF) of 23 artists’ versions of visual “interruptions within the advertising cycles” on some of New York City’s most public screens — seems like a good one. The artist list is appealingly international, including Cory Arcangel, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Martine Syms, Hayal Pozanti, Cécile B. Evans, Tabor Robak, and Mary Reid Kelley. The project looks to inject an aesthetic time-out into the onslaught of commercial images meant to sell us new and improved versions of ourselves. It’s important that the work is being shown in public, because certainly more than languages, professions, or nationalities, New Yorkers share a familiarity with the discourse of advertising. It is merciless in its attempt to convince viewers of their own lack and of their need to buy their way out of the hole. More [HERE]

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Art in Ad Places CBC Radio Interview

I am not going to even put a picture with this post cause I dont want you to be distracted from this LINK to a CBC radio interview with the curators RJ Rushmore and Caroline Caldwell. In it the two describe a yearlong project to question outdoor advertisings messaging, motivations and prominent placement in our public lives and it is simply a must listen for anyone who visits this site. 

More info on the AiAP website [HERE]

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book review: Advertising Shits In Your Head

This book review is much better than I might write and is less biased for my lack of participation. :) 

Advertising Shits In Your Head (no author is given), is a pocket-sized book, but it’ll burn a hole in any pocket you put it in. It’s a powerful tirade against advertising and what it does to our minds, to our culture, to our planet. But not content to sit and fulminate about it, it is a book that’s about action, about actively reclaiming our mental environment. As Banksy puts it: More [HERE]

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Monday, February 27, 2017

How advertising shits in your head

Wonderful little article on a new publication that I am super proud to be a part of called "Advertising Shits in Your Head" get a copy [HERE] It is only 4$

Vyvian Raoul brings us three exclusive interviews with the subvertising artists featured in a new book on the contemporary subvertising movement, Advertising Shits In Your Head. More [HERE]

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Public Space in the Trump Era

Not exactly about advertising but to the larger point of our shared environments no longer be shared.

VIA: Architect Magazine
On the last Saturday in January, news began to spread of President Donald Trump’s executive order (issued the day before) that temporarily suspended entry into the United States by passport holders from seven countries—Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen— and permanently shut down admission of Syrian refugees. By late morning, a plethora of non-travelers were racing to the nation’s airports: elected officials bent on rescuing some of those trapped in immigration limbo by the order, lawyers who’d volunteered to help detainees and their families, hordes of protesters, and, inevitably, reporters. Among the first journalists to arrive at John F. Kennedy’s Terminal 4, the airport’s main international hub and a prime entry point into this country, was Charlotte Alter from Time. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

London’s new high-tech phone boxes don’t work very well

London's new phone boxes are experiencing some technical issues. According to some reports, about 100 of the new kiosks—which were built by Alan Sugar's company Amscreen—have been installed, but they are buggy, hard to use, and in some cases can't connect to the Internet. More [HERE]

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Snap's newest Lenses could make any surface a billboard

VIA: Engadget
The next evolution of Snapchat's Lenses could add more than just a flower crown to your selfies. According to a new report from The Information, Snap Inc. is working on a smarter version of its cartoonish filters and world lenses that could overlay images -- and advertisements -- onto a variety of real-world objects. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A Photographic Tour of London’s Art-Filled Streets

My good friend Luna Park has a new book out called (Un)sanctioned: The Art on New York Streets and it is a fantastic look at the vibrant city I love. Her recent trip to London shows she treats every city with the same deference and I was happy to have been up in London while she was around. 
Last July, I spent two weeks in London documenting its street art and graffiti scene, my first return visit since 2009. I’d been warned by a number of people that I wouldn’t recognize the city. Yet the plethora of construction cranes and hoardings on the one hand, and shiny, new, glass towers on the other, were views I found very familiar. Much like New York, my home of the past 19 years, London is being aggressively redeveloped. The plummeting availability of affordable housing and systemic loss of studio space were frequent topics of conversation, anxieties only compounded by the uncertainty left in the wake of the Brexit vote. More [Here]

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Guerrilla Campaign Is Replacing Ads with Art Around New York City

2017 is looking to be a great year already with the launch of AiAP (Art in Ad Places). RJ Rushmore and Caroline Caldwell have spearheaded an ambitious yearlong project that aims to make a sustained critique of outdoor advertising and its deleterious effects a part of our day to day conversations. I will wait till the project is further along to give my full analysis and critique, (reserved for the deserving and not meant to come off punitively) but suffice to say I am very excited about what they are doing and have high hopes for their unique approach to bringing this issue to the forefront of public consciousness. Having spoken to both of RJ and Caroline before this project began to take shape, I know there will be some heavy hitters joining the fray by participating in AiAP and I look forward to hearing the reasons they have lent thier work to such a potentially contentious issue. Until then, keep your eyes on the work of these two activist curators and expect the ad takeover movement in New York to see a renewed interest and vigor. 

Art in Ad Places will install a new work by a different artist in a payphone kiosk every week this year.
As flowers bloomed last spring, a billboard advertising $1,000 off a Brazilian butt lift popped up outside artist Caroline Caldwell’s Brooklyn apartment. It pictured a giant, airbrushed ass in a skimpy bikini against a beach background — an image Caldwell had to look at every day. “I laughed it off at first, but the billboard was designed to make me feel self-conscious, and I got tired of it,” Caldwell told Hyperallergic. “I became determined to fill my life with art that would make people feel anything else.” More [HERE]

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Augmented reality and artistic experience(s)

It is 2017 so lets talk about the future by talking about our past work. 
NO AD: NYC from Heavy on Vimeo.
“Augmented reality and artistic experience(s)”: the choice of title is not down to chance. In effect, if there is one area that indeed proposes to “augment” the artistic experience, both in its creative process – the production - but also in our experience, apprehension and discovery of art, it is virtual reality and its associated technologies, mixed reality and augmented reality. Perhaps even more than its contemporary virtual reality – that has benefitted for two years from disproportionate prominence –augmented reality or AR, appears capable to us, on a daily basis, and very simply (AR only requires a smartphone or a tablet) of transforming both creativity AND artistic experiences. Through detailed examination, Digitalarti will aim to provide support for this theory, but also to offer examples of what is being done, attempting to highlight the pertinence and the originality of the proposed approaches. In short, we will present a panorama of art in augmented reality. More [HERE]

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Last OX of 2016

I simply love this final OX piece of 2016. While the world around it remains a bit gloomy and somber, the potential of nothing gives me hope we might find our way.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

MTA's 'See Something Say Something' Ads Have Been Remixed (Now With 100% Less Fearmongering)

Simple, effective and all around proper public participation in the curation of our shared environment. Bravo to those at the helm of this project. 
The MTA's long-running "If You See Something, Say Something" ad campaign has already been through nine official iterations over its lifetime. Now, thanks to some anonymous New Yorkers, there's a tenth, unofficial version, that attempts to repurpose a campaign born of the fear and suspicion of the 9/11 era into a statement of solidarity in the Age of Trump. More [HERE]

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Thursday, December 8, 2016


The last time I was in London I was posting some small works on the street over some pretty nice Fly Posting locations. Halfway through I noticed an older gentleman taking notice and then filming me after he asked if "I was supposed to be doing, what I was doing." I finished my work while he called the cops. I took a few final photographs and then before packing up decided to engage him as he was still idling around the area. This interaction turned out to be one of the more bizarre and interesting street moments I have had yet. Turns out the person I was talking to was at one time a Fly Poster himself, operating illegally to cover the streets in commercial posters, and also a professor who had thought plenty about the streets of his city and what kinds of policy, be it formal or informal, makes for a vibrant and engaging public environment.

We exchanged information and the man who would have had me arrested has become a bit of a friend as we email back and forth and try to get to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter to me is that today this man operates Flying Leaps, a company that makes "art" posters which are illegally placed on the street next to illegal advertising and which can be bought online. To me they are simple advertising that hides behind a more altruistic vision, but advertising nonetheless. To him they are an attempt to use public space in the participatory manner that all Fly Posters agree to, and which street artists and graffiti artists prescribe.

Take a look at his essay on the topic below as it is well worth the read and makes an interesting point that is often overlooked and that I did not expect to be made by an advertiser them self. The streets are becoming less and less accessible, even to the advertisers that once used them, as multinationals control more of our lives, including what we see on our way to work.

VIA: Flying Leaps

In this age of immateriality, as mobile phone apps and e-mail blasts add new marketing potentials undreamed of in the […] [19th century], it may seem curious to look at posters as a distinct form. But posters’ format provides a snapshot of broader epochal transition. To be sure, posters are no longer the darlings of most modern advertisers, but they have hardly died away. Indeed, how and when they are deployed becomes all the more interesting. When Apple iPod was launched, the company chose a poster campaign, presenting silhouettes of listeners dancing against backgrounds of screaming, saturated colour, to convey the physicality and sensory depth of the iPod experience. Even – perhaps especially – in a digital age, the materiality and life of a poster can maintain a powerful hold on us.
More [HERE]

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Strategies For Resistance

Order yourself and advanced copy [HERE]
Advertising Shits In Your Head combines theory and practice in one short book about the modern subvertising movement. Featuring: Public Ad Campaign, Brandalism, Special Patrol Group and Dr. D.

Expected delivery: January 2017

Read a sample chapter: Advertising Shits in Your Head - Chapter 1

Advance praise for Advertising Shits In Your Head: _

“Have you ever stopped to wonder why you know so much about things you are not interested in: brands, products, courses, colleges, holidays you might take, clothes you should wear? You may think yourself immune, but advertising is subliminal. You might ignore the Facebook posts that are ‘sponsored’, the animated billboards, and you may always skip the adverts as fast as you can. But to ignore them you first had to recognise them for what they were. And even in that small instance of time a logo has seeped into your subconscious. If advertising didn’t hit the target it would not be made. You are the target." – Danny Dorling (Author)

"Advertising Shits In Your Head provides a history of the practice (going back to the early 70s), alarming research and theory on the effects of the industry, advice about how to take part (including legal information) as well as several stunning case studies. This is essential reading for all who want to fight back against 'the most powerful and sustained system of propaganda in human history'.” – Jamie Kelsey-Fry (Contributing-Editor, New Internationalist)

"Advertising Shits In Your Head concisely describes, through unique first-hand accounts, the range of concerns adressed by today's subvertising community. From a right to the city argument, to the belief that advertising is the biggest obstacle to avoiding catastrophic climate change, Advertising Shits In Your Head envisions a movement looking far beyond culture jamming and corporate identity sabotage." – Jordan Seiler (Public Ad Campaign)

"Advertising Shits in Your Head gives form and context to culture jamming practices in the 21st Century. It is an important contribution on the path to realising the possibilities of creative practice as a vehicle for social change. Providing important theoretical and historical context that unites the twin strands of activism – creativity and resistance – it shows how creative minds are getting together in the age of digital networks to hack space and place, and challenge the presence of capitalist values within our public, private and cultural spaces. Advertisers most definitely shit in your head: this book is here to stop them." – Bill Posters (Brandalism)

"Advertising is a gigantic machine for creating human misery. It's a sustained psychological assault on the population and it is hard to overstate the brutal and permanent damage it does to us as individuals, to society, and to the planet itself. This book is a manual on how to begin the process of dismantling the machinery of advertising: how to interrupt it, sabotage it and one day, maybe, destroy it entirely." – Darren Cullen (Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives)

"Once advertising has shit in your head, you're going to need something to clean it up with; I couldn't recommend this book more highly." – Dr. D

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      Sharon Zukin
      The Cultures of Cities

      Miriam Greenberg
      Branding New York

      Naomi Klein
      No Logo

      Kalle Lasn
      Culture Jam

      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness

      Stuart Ewen
      All Consuming Images

      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
      Channels of Desire

      Jeff Ferrell
      Crimes of Style

      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing

      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities