Eduardo Moises Penalver & Sonia Kaytal Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership
Barbara Ehrenreich Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy
Lewis Hyde The Gift, Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World
Geoffrey Miller Spent: Sex, Evolution, & Consumer Behavior
Sharon Zukin The Cultures of Cities
Miriam Greenberg Branding New York
Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Good Cities Project, Sponsored by Ford
The GOOD cities project is a exploration of our relationship to cities through the eyes of artists, designers, and writers over the course of 5 months. One aspect of the project is a collaboration the Street Museum of Art and three street artists to produce the billboard pictured below.
The GOOD Cities Project — led by Bristol Baughan, Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker — is diving into a five-month multi-media exploration with Ford Motor Company and inviting their favorite thought leaders to create visual love letters to cities across the country. This fall, The Street Museum of Art was asked to share our unique and personal perspective of the city we live in and love through billboard takeovers in and around New York during the month of November. Focusing on found works of street art that have taken on lives of their own throughout this city, SMoA’s behind-the-scenes video and billboard designs call for the public to take an active role in the GOOD Cities Project and ‘Rediscover Our City’ through the lens of a street artist. More [HERE]
I have posted about Kyle Magee in the past so some readers may be familiar with the activist's work in Australia. This new video, along with the post the accompanies it, explains why Kyle does what he does. Kyle is an interesting character in the anti advertising in public space debate. I know from speaking with him that he regards a lot of what myself and other artist call "ad takeover" work as superficial play time activities. And honestly, in light of his approach, it's hard not to agree with him. Kyle has served plenty of jail time and continues to attack the issue from a purely protest standpoint, no obscuring the issue with pretty pictures, Kyle is about results. While I am still unsure of what the right tactics are to raise public awareness about the role for profit advertising plays in our public space, and media at large, I do look to Kyle for inspiration. He is dedicated to changing things in any way he can, and I respect that.
"i focus my discontent with the mass injustice and ecological destruction of our global systems on for-profit advertising because i believe for-profit advertising to be the most vulnerable component of the for-profit/capitalist/corporate domination of our global politics and economics — i believe it is this for-profit dominance that creates and maintains the core of our global problems, restricting our politics to the point that the power of for-profits and the huge problems that creates cannot be addressed — our fragmented and constricted ‘democracies’ are reduced to pandering to the interests of a global ‘business’ ideology that is the true winner of last centuries proceedings (contrary to the myth that democracy was the big winner)". More [HERE]
“Advertisers have been stealing graffiti tactics for years,” says long-time graffiti writer 2ESAE. SKI adds, “We’re not allowed to paint trains anymore. Who knew that years later… fucking Target could have a full car?” More [HERE]
There is no name, no credit line, no logo, no message, no words of any sort on the ubiquitous blue and green posters. Yet they are everywhere in France: in and around the 900 SNCF train stations, along the passages that connect the Paris’ 303 Metro stops, and inside the 700 subway trains that crisscross the French capital on 125 miles of track. Introduced in 2009, the posters have been proliferating ever since. Recently, the RATP, the public-transport operator, plastered even more of them in the subway trains, “floating” them inside display cases ordinarily occupied by advertisements. More [HERE]
Los Angeles has been trying to shed its label as the country’s billboard capital, but Clear Channel and other companies pushing to put up new digital billboards got a major boost this week when a Superior Court judge ruled that the city’s ban on new off-site signs violates the free speech guarantee of the California state constitution. More [HERE]
Summary: NO AD is proud to announce our first collaboration with the International Center of Photography (ICP). Taking advantage of NO AD’s unique digital platform, ICP will showcase works from its current exhibition, Sebastião Salgado: Genesis.
NO AD is a free mobile device application that uses Augmented Reality technology to resurface NYC subway advertisements with art, creating a new exhibition space on top of old advertising infrastructure. For more information about NO AD, download our initial press release [HERE]. Like any new exhibition space, we want to bring arresting content to our users on an ongoing basis. We will do this by working with institutions and curators to provide unique content from all disciplines.
From mid-October through the end of November, NO AD will display photographic works in conjunction with the renowned International Center of Photography. The first part of the ICP’s participation will be dedicated to Sebastião Salgado: Genesis, an exhibition on view through January 11, 2015, at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY. NO AD will include 54 arresting images of fleeting cultures and environment, presented alongside a video of the artist’s thoughts on climate change.
As the first of many collaborations ahead, we want to thank ICP for its vision and support. We hope that NO AD will become an alternative exhibition space for New Yorkers, bringing them closer to the rich cultural content this city has to offer. We could not be happier that ICP has chosen to use this new format to reach out to new audiences in progressive ways.
For more information visit the web links below, or download the app and test it using the advertising image provided.
NYC now has hundreds of ad beacons in phone booths (update: mayor orders them removed)
I've been seeing strange things happening to NY phonebooths over the past year or so. Suddenly a booth would appear, wrapped in a piece of sheet metal with a large sticker ad adhered to the entire three sided surface. It was strange because the installation covered what were three regular and working advertising boxes, for seemingly no reason. Well that reason has been revealed to be the installation of a Gimbal beacon capable of communicating with your smart phone and collecting passive data used to build a user profile. I'm glad to finally know why these strange phonebooths have started appearing and sad to know its part of a larger push to make advertising more effective, and invasive.
Buzzfeed has learned that New York City allowed hundreds of bluetooth beacons to be installed without public consultation, a decision that has roused the ire of privacy groups. Outdoor ad outfit Titan installed around 500 Gimbal beacons in phone booths around Manhattan, skirting normal red tape by saying they were deployed for maintenance purposes only. However, it admitted it's also using them to decide when to rotate ad panels and recently pushed smartphone ads to Tribeca Film Festival participants. The devices can also pick up location and time data, though Titan told the NY Daily News that it is "absolutely, categorically not" doing so unless users opt in and install a third-party app. More [HERE]
Hong Kong is one of those crazy future cities in the world where buildings kiss the sky and people are stacked on top of people and streets hide alleys which hide labyrinths which hide awesome. It's great. It's also great for climbing to the top of a skyscraper to hijack a billboard. These guys proved that. More [HERE]
For rent: one subway system. That seems to be the approach of Madrid Metro, which is taking public transit advertising to unprecedented levels. Until the end of October, users of Madrid Metro’s map app (downloaded 1.2 million times so far) will find their plan peppered with the logo of a supermarket chain. Thanks to a deal with French retail giant Carrefour—continental Europe’s answer to Walmart—logos of the megachain will appear wherever there’s one near a Metro station. The idea is to channel passengers in need of groceries straight off of trains and into nearby markets. There are over 100 stores on the map, making Madrid’s Metro map app look like it’s broken out with a serious case of Carrefour acne. More [HERE]
Consumerism, Values, and What Really Matters: An Interview with Tim Kasser
Sometimes PublicAdCampaign can feel like an ongoing artist v advertiser grudge match whose only goal is to cause enough havoc on the streets to allow us all to sleep a little better at night. The truth is that our goal is to address advertisings use of public space because the repetitive consumption of commercial messages is doing serious harm to each one of us and by default the collective as well. Advertising, being the predominant media through which we ingest culture and our world view, is responsible in large part for the ways in which we prioritize our lives, set up our long terms goals, and live those lives right through to the end. Research suggests that the priorities advertising is instilling are hurting our minds and planet, so lets address the problem in order to alleviate some pretty heavy burdens as we prepare to address even larger issues like how we keep this planet breathing through 2050.
New Dream talked with Tim Kasser, a recent addition to our Board of Directors, about his research on consumerism and people’s values, and how he tries to resist consumer pressures in his own life and family. Kasser is professor and chair of Psychology at Knox College in Illinois and the author of numerous books and articles on materialism, values, and goals.
How did you come to study issues of consumerism and values? Was there a defining moment that inspired you to investigate this topic so deeply for so many years?
When I was working on my Ph.D. in psychology in the early 1990s, I became interested in how people construct their lives. That led me to study people’s goals and what they were aspiring to create out of their lives. One day, I was running some statistics and getting ready to examine how personal well-being relates to prioritizing goals for money and possessions relative to other kinds of goals. I remember sitting in front of the computer thinking, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if people who cared more about goals for money and possessions were less happy?” More [HERE]
This Vimeo train wrap on the L-line goes all out and includes a full inner wrap as well. Not only are all the ads inside the car for Vimeo, but the seats are covered in a candy color vinyl that turns "showtime" acts into a surreal NY experience. Despite the overbearing weight of Vimeo's cry for attention, they are still smug enough to suggest that NY'ers don't like ads and therefore will love that Vimeo doesnt include them in videos, only on our trains.
“Prada Marfa” by Elmgreen and Dragset (photo by Marshall Astor/Wikimedia)
The Texas Department of Transportation has withdrawn its charge of illegal advertising against Prada Marfa, arts organization Ballroom Marfa announced in a public statement. A popular roadside attraction in the remote West Texas town of Marfa, the simulated Prada storefront — commissioned by Ballroom Marfa and installed in 2005 by the British artists Elmgreen & Dragset — was threatened by the state of Texas under illegal advertising statutes in September 2013. Link [HERE]
For the past several years I have been working with BC Biermann on Augmented Reality projects under the title Re+Public. Today, in collaboration with Jowy Romano of The Subway Art Blog, we launch NO AD. This mobile app brings together years of illegal street art antics and my fascination with AR's ability to completely alter our relationship to public space. Below is the gist of the press release we sent out, but I wanted to discuss some of my personal thoughts on the project here as well. If you aren't familiar with NO AD, you might watch this VIDEO before reading this post.
NO AD is complicated. It is born out of an interest in getting rid of advertising and replacing that visual content with something better, be it art or whatever else a city might come up with to adorn its own walls. It also shares a history with ad takeover street art work that physically replaces ads with art, initiatives like the artiviser, and Add Art. And yet in practice, NO AD really makes you look at the ads as you try to determine which ones you have already triggered in your pursuit of the new art content strewn across the subway system. It's a little technical issue that should be addressed.
In fact all ad takeover work seems to have this same issue lurking in its shadows. When we do work in bus shelters and take on that medium, we attract attention to those same shelters we did not takeover as the public pursues our street work around the city. It's inevitable that we bring unwanted attention to ads in the process. One hopes that despite the increased consumption of advertising caused by our anti advertising activities, a language of dissent is being established that did not exist before. Maybe you ingested a few more ads, but at least you can envision the alternative.
So on the one hand, I hope NO AD serves as an example of what could be as a lot of anti advertising work does. In the same way AR is being used to show you what that coffee table will look like in your living room, or how that eyeshadow color will jive with your complexion, NO AD shows us what our transit system might look like if we had a choice.
While NO AD currently suffers from your need to actually engage ads to use it, wearables will make this issue moot. If I was wearing a heads up display and running NO AD, it would be a functional ad-blocker for public space. This is something I am very interested in and yet something that makes people very uncomfortable. As artists try to alter public space for the better, we make physical changes that effect everyone. Sometimes that effect is a point of contention, but in general the process is a public dialogue between what works and what doesn't for the larger population. A wearable NO AD app side steps this entire drama and puts everyone in control of thier own public space in an oddly disengaging and separating way. No longer are public space issues publicly negotiated, they are just augmented away.
An augmented world is a scary proposition but not one that we can deny is right around the corner. I think NO AD embraces this issue early on and I hope it is a discussion point. What do we allow an augmented public space to look like as a public? What would it mean for us socially if we allowed an app to augment out the homeless? Its a relevant question that the future is going to throw at us so we should probably start thinking about our answers now.
Given all of the issues surrounding NO AD's effectiveness as a true ad blocker, and its ushering in a future public space doomed to separate us all, as a way to bring art to New York it works pretty damn well. I hope NO AD is able to fulfill my goal of being updated with very different content every month, curated by individuals, institutions and other wacky organizations. A lot of New Yorkers do not take advantage of the immense arts resources NY has to offer, myself included. We also spend a huge amount of time commuting through our underground rivers. If this app can use the ad infrastructure to bring massive amounts of constantly changing, 2D, 3D, film, music, and other media, I think it fulfills its role as being a useful tool. The other dark waters it stirs are what makes it art. Enjoy!
New York City has one of the largest and most robust transit networks in the world with a subway system spanning 468 stations throughout the five boroughs. On average, there are over 4 million daily rides, making the subway system by far the most used form of transit in New York City. Littered throughout almost every station is a repetition of movie, television, product, and alcohol ads, which take advantage of NY’s immense captive transit audience and turn our daily commute into one long commercial for the latest products and commercial messages. For a city that prides itself on being a leading cultural center, and despite the valiant efforts of our MTA arts programming, New York City subways seem to lack a cultural richness befitting this great metropolis.
NO AD, created by Re+Public (PublicAdCampaign + The Heavy Projects) in collaboration with Jowy Romano of Subway Art Blog, aims to remedy this imbalance by using the preexisting advertising infrastructure as a new digital exhibition space. Users are encouraged to download the free iOS or Android app to their smart devices. Once the app is running, simply pointing your device at any of the 100 most widely circulating subway platform advertisements will cause the device to overlay curated digital art content, creating an augmented experience that blocks unwanted advertising. (See below for the specific subway platform advertising format NO AD works on)
Because the advertising is constantly changing in the subways, so too will the content users see through the app. Each week NO AD will auto update, replacing the new advertisements with original content. In an effort to keep the user experience fresh, we will collaborate with prominent cultural institutions to drastically alter the nature of the content offered, from street art, to photography, to music, poetry, and moving images, you can expect the NO AD app to continually provide new content.
We intend NO AD to bring a rich variety of cultural content to users and integrate itself into your daily commute. It is, however, not by chance that we do this using the preexisting advertising infrastructure. Overexposure to commercial has been linked to our behavior and psyche, with studies from the PIRC suggesting “…that advertising may be encouraging society to save less, borrow more, work harder and consume greater quantities of material goods.” This behavior, in turn, puts an unnecessary burden on our environment and ourselves as we forgo personal experiences for material obsession. We see NO AD as a precursor to a viable physical ad blocking software that, used in conjunction with soon to be available heads up display technologies, will drastically alter our relationship to visual imagery in our shared public spaces.
Test NO AD by clicking on the links above to install and then testing on the image below.
A huge thanks to the artists that provided the amazing content for the first month of this app:
Adam Amengual – Amy Arbus-Beau Stanton – Caroline Caldwell – Dadi Dreucol – Dal East – Dan Bergeron – Daniel Jefferson – Dr. D - Elizabeth Winnel – Elle – El Tono – Faith 47 – Hugh Lippe – Ian Strange – Icy and Sot – Influenza – Jay Shells – Jeff Stark – Jilly Ballistic – John Fekner – Jon Burgerman – Jordan Seiler – Know Hope – Leon Reid IV – LNY – Logan Hicks – Luna Park – Mario Brotha – Michael Alan – Michael De Feo – Mobstr – Neko – Noxer – Nuria Mora – OX – Pedro Sega – Peter Fuss – Poster Boy – Remi Rough – Ron English – Rone – Saber – Sean Martindale – Sheryo – Skullphone – Stikman – Stormie Mills – Tara McPherson – Tod Seelie – Trap – Vermibus – WK Interact – Work Hard Be Nice
The Highway Beautification Act will be 50 years old next year. As envisioned by Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson, it was supposed to protect the natural landscape from billboards.
Ever since its passage, scenic activists and billboard companies have been at war over the views along American highways. The outdoor advertising industry says its signs are informational, and helpful to local businesses. Open-space advocates call them "sky trash" and "litter on a stick."
The battle continues today. You can see it on the roads of Texas, where more than 350 towns and cities have banned new billboards — but billboard companies continue to push for taller and more technologically advanced signs. More [HERE]
Street artists deploy a variety of methods to get their work seen by the masses. One of these time-honored NYC traditions involves cracking open advertisement kiosks and swapping out the ads with custom art. It’s what put Kaws on the map in the late 1990s and a practice that has been used sporadically since, although lately, it’s happening with increasing frequency. And there’s a very specific reason why. More [HERE]
“Visual pollution. Sky trash. Litter on a stick. The junk mail of the American highway.” That’s how billboards are described on the website of Scenic America, a group devoted to “preserving and enhancing the visual character” of the country. But while preservationists deride the billboard, artists have long been intrigued by it for its role in American highway culture. (Besides, what artist wouldn’t want a 300-square-foot canvas with a guaranteed audience?)More [HERE]
ART Everywhere - A Half Baked Attempt to Bring Culture to Our Cities
Art Everywhere is a collaboration between the OOH industry and 5 major American museums. The contributors should tell you a lot about who plans to benefit from the initiative. Thier stated goal is to bring art to the people across multiple advertising formats throughout the month of August, but thier true intentions are to entrench the current system of public image consumption and outdoor advertisings control of our shared visual environment. It seems like a campaign of this nature crops up every year or two to rave reviews and public applause as the altruism of a benevolent industry showers us with its good graces and culture to boot.
PBS, NPR and a few other news outlets have weighed in on the topic and some critics are underwhelmed, and rightly so. The museums involved speak of increasing attendance, which is already at record highs, while bringing culture to an audience that might not otherwise enjoy such masterful works. While this might be a good idea in practice, the art presented doesn't carry the weight of a true artistic endeavor but references an artwork that is probably worth going to see in real life. while I would agree that the art images are better than the advertising, what we pay for this glimpse into what could be is far more than the benefits of a few less ads.
What I find interesting about campaigns like this is that they openly admit to the fact that our current system of public space image consumption is wildly skewed towards commercial messaging and we are in desperate need of a little culture on our streets. What campaigns like this don't speak about, and in fact attempt to distracts us from, is that the reason we have so little culture on our streets is that the OOH industry likes it that way. They have for all intents and purposes bought up our public visual landscape and are using our visual attention to reap huge profits from those corporations willing to pay for that attention. Any fundamental change to this system would get in the way of a very lucrative business model and therefore it is worth it to spend a little money printing up Degas in an effort to quell any of our objections.
As a public it is our responsibility to realize this type of altruism is a distraction meant to turn our attentions away from the fact that our public walls are not in fact public but commercially operated ad venues. A truly democratic visual public environment would have no need for an Art Everywhere program as the citizens of our cities would litter our streets with the culture of our cities bringing a lot more than oil paintings to our mass transit systems but rather real dialogue and issues of local concern.
on a side note, many Art Everywhere ads have an Augmented Reality component run by a company called BlipAR. this cloud based recognition system scans the "artwork" which can take up to a minute. Once it recognizes the work it puts a cheesy frame around the work and an audio guide tells you a little about the piece. My obvious interest in AR had me testing these all over the city and I can't wait to launch NO AD and show this big company how to truly do Augmented Reality in NYC.
PUBLIC was an wonderful arts and mural festival in Perth, WA that I took part in a few months ago. It brought together local and international artists to not only paint murals, but create programming and outreach that asked the public to contribute to a dialogue about how our cities are curated. Looking to make the festival a yearly event, Form created PUBLICation to speak to some of the issues address by the project, and gain some unique insight into the artists and thier processes. I was happy to contribute my thoughts about public space more generally and why a vibrant city street is key to a democratically oriented society. Read the digital version [HERE]
I recently had the privilege of hanging out with Abner Preis for a few days and we managed a moment to get out and put up a shelter piece using one of his burn portraits. I love the scale of the image and the obvious hand worked quality of the original. Abner doesn't do "street" work in the same way most other artists featured on this site do, so I was happy to see his reaction to his work in this unexpected location. See more of Abner's work [HERE]
Ankles just put a short video up on his site that features some phone booth advertising takeover work in Adelaide Australia. The video is interspersed with his other graffiti work almost as B-roll, and I like how it shows the crossover between types of public space work being practiced today. Enjoy more of Ankles work [HERE]
BR1 just sent me these images from Torino Italy. We had a a chance to catch up while he was in NY and I made sure he left with a few keys to use on his travels. Looks like they have begun to come in handy and I am excited to see more ad takeovers resulting from the Public Access key production.
Artist Talk with +Art at Judson Memorial Church July 17th
I was asked to give a short artist talk on my work as artist/activist, this upcoming Thursday July 17th. If you are in NYC, stop by the Judson Memorial church and say hello. There are several wonderfully interesting speakers and +Art's non-profit goals of engaging serious social issues through artistic interventions is a worthwhile cause to support.
Check the Facebook page [HERE]
Also a link to the speaker information on More Art's webpage: [HERE]
I had the wonderful opportunity to go out with a few friends the on tuesday and below are the results. I couldn't be happier to see public infrastructure being used in such a public way. Now where the poets at?
Strange Bedfellows - Art and Advertising in Dresden
The city of Dresden, along with Stroer outdoor advertising, is holding an open submission for artwork to be placed on 50 billboards around the city. It sounds like a good idea to bring more art to the streets and in the process eliminate a lot of advertising, if only briefly. The only problem is this initiative is promoted by an outdoor advertising company not in the business of making art happen, but rather money. Something must be amiss if they are offering free space.
It seems that with the rise in popularity of street art and now this sub genre, developers and business interests are seeing a symbiotic relationship as opposed to an adversarial one. Instead of buffing graffiti and street art before plopping a bunch of condos down in an up and coming neighborhood, developers invite those same artists to "decorate" the area and give it the bohemian sheen they need to attract deep pocketed buyers. Once those condos are sold, the artists find that thier work is no longer needed and thier actions are again subject to the full extent of the law. Likewise with the anti advertising sub genre, billboard companies are inviting artists to use thier infrastructure in what I see as an effort to revitalize thier dying medium and bring new eyes to what most of us try to avoid like the plague.
Like the old saying goes, "If you can't beat em, offer them professional exposure and watch as they abandon all of thier moral codes."
The much-maligned series finale of Dexter was shocking to fans due to the fact that it was a terrible, no good, god-awful way to end the show. But it literally shocked at least one New Yorker, who was so traumatized by the subway advertisements for the final season, she broke her ankle. More [HERE]
Westward Exhibition: Billboard Art Unfolds Across America
The following article comes to you from the great internet art resource Hyperallergic.
A few months ago, five national museums and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America announced Art Everywhere, a massive exhibition that will bring reproductions of artworks to advertising spaces around the country in August, decided via a public vote. This morning the artwork with the most votes was announced: Edward Hopper’s famous diner scene, “The Nighthawks” (1942). Not the most surprising choice. Give the people what they want. The people want what they know. More [HERE]
A Critique of Our Intentions Worth Taking Seriously
Kyle Magee runs a site called Global Liberal Media Please, that basically chronicles his very serious protest against outdoor advertising and its role in the corporate takeover of what should be a global media democracy, but is instead privately funded entertainment in service of global capitalism. He gets arrested, and pleads his case as a serious public protest against a failing media system that is encouraging the devastation of our planet and the subjugation of our masses. He does this through the court system and finds himself in jail, locked up for expressing his very dire concerns about how our shared public environment is being misused. His incarceration largely for the temporary and very reversible damage to a few outdoor advertising structures owned by large multinational companies. It is kind of a travesty and to someone like me a constant reminder that at the heart of what I call an art project is a very serious issue whose resolution would have widespread benefits for everyone.
Kyle wrote a criticism of the Brandalism project, of which I was a part, not as an art critique but as a political critique encouraging a dialogue. He can be rough around the edges if you have thin skin but every word he has written rings true to me. I hope his concerns are taken seriously as his actions have proved him to be a figure who stands up for what he does and believes.
it is encouraging that so many people (including artists) are becoming increasingly aware that the domination of public space by for-profit advertising is a serious problem, one that can and should be protested against.
brandalism isn’t the only organised bunch of naughty street artists who are willing to clean up for-profit ads in public space even though the stupid law says no — there’s also, to mention just a couple, the public ad campaign in new york and the empty project of madrid — and there is also quite a few street artists (many of whom involved in brandalism) going out on their own to replace for-profit ads with the real expressions of actual human beings who, presumably, do not wish to cause you any psychological/physical harm that happens to be profitable. More [HERE]