Friday, July 29, 2016
I just got back from London where Tina Ziegler held the first TAC (The Art Conference) in a beautiful old factory venue called the Ugly Duck. I was asked to open two days of pretty intense talks about Art, Technology, and social engagement. I took the task seriously and used my work to show how advertising, as one of the sub genre's of cultural production systems, undermines social progress by monopolizing the systems of dissemination, prohibiting access and participation, economically driving technological determinism, and framing our cultural values in frighteningly self serving ways. It all went pretty well despite not having a podium to put my papers on. Given the chance to do it again I plan to do a little more memorization, and to attempt to go beyond advertising to Art itself, which has its own way of slowing social progress in ways which are similar to advertising itself.
Notable speakers from the conference were RJ Rushmore who's talk From Dissidence to Decorative derided projects like Urban Nation as decorative city wallpaper intent on raising property value more than providing any of the real radical politics once prescribed to street art. As a nice opposition to that, Teresa Latuszewska spoke about the Urban Forms mural project in Lodz Poland which is a sanctioned mural project but one that works hard to reach out to the community and integrate itself deep into the skin of the city. They have also done some pretty boring and thankless work gathering hard statistics on peoples feelings towards the individual murals and the culture in general. Mia Grundahl spoke about Women on Walls which I knew little about and which practically brought me to tears. To say that these projects proved RJ's point would be an understatement.
Similarly heartbreaking and inspirational was the work of Robert Montgomery whose texts can often be found on the street where advertising once broadcast its messages loudly. Robert has taken over billboards illegally, but he has also worked directly with the OOH companies to place his work. At first I was upset that he would collaborate with the enemy, but after speaking with him and hearing him talk, I realized that my radical politics was less important to him than ensuring there was an alternative voice to the aggressive commercial megaphone we are often confronted with on a daily basis. His writing, a sort of haunting conversation with the city and capitalism, draws a beautiful contrast that works to undermine consumerist propaganda. While I surely like his illegal pieces better, I cannot say that the sanctioned pieces are less effective to someone who doesn't know the politics behind anti ad activity. And finally Dan Witz took me on a nostalgic trip back to his earliest work that began in 1978 a year before I was born. That guy has been doing groundbreaking street art before the term was coined, hell even before graf made its mark. A true pioneer.
All in all it was a fantastic event and I look forward to the next. If you have an opportunity to visit one yourself, I highly suggest taking the time.
A quick installation on Commercial street, London
Speaking about how advertising undermines social progress
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Anti-Advertising History? That's Historic!
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
New Yorkers Greet the Arrival of Wi-Fi Kiosks With Panic, Skepticism and Relief
VIA: The New York TimesHERE]
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Philly Artist Joe Boruchow Calls Out Trump, Rizzo With Latest Work
VIA: Philadelphia Magazine
three new works to his portfolio — and to the streets of Philly. Each are rendered in Boruchow’s signature black-and-white paper cutouts, cut from a single sheet of black paper and wheat pasted to platforms around the city. The latest designs mock Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, and protest the statue erected in honor of 1970’s Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo in front of the Municipal Services Building. Read more [HERE]
Friday, July 22, 2016
Lena Dunham Calls for Altering of Gun-Toting 'Jason Bourne' Subway Ads
Looks like someone out there shares my thoughts on gun advertising and our public interest. In part this idea came from a series of images that Jon Burgerman did using advertising violence and a little photoshop to make some wonderfully fun critical commentary. See them all [HERE]
VIA: The Hollywood Reporter
After producer Tami Sagher proposed removing images of the gun that Matt Damon’s titular character is seen holding in the film’s ads, the creator and star of HBO's Girls reposted Sagher’s message. In full support of bringing awareness to gun control, Dunham captioned the photo: “Good idea @tulipbone! Let's go!” More [HERE]
Thursday, July 21, 2016
New Work from Vlady Art in Italy
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Art Commission approves rehab of 5th Street El station, denies digital displays at SEPTA entrances
Philadelphia has a backbone and because of it they will resist the increasing digital blight blanketing major metropolitan cities across the United States. At this point I am beginning to see Intersection without the rose colored glasses they gave me a few years back when they were looking for community engagement strategies and other ways to ingratiate thier network of digital advertising structures into the NYC landscape. Thank god for Mary Tracy and the rest of the Scenic Philadelphia team.
VIA: Plan PhillyHERE]
Saturday, July 9, 2016
New OX Collaboration In Paris
OX and one of his 80's crew members Trois Carre from the streets of Paris. I've said it before but I'll say it again, OX is my favorite ad takeover artists out there. While this piece is definitely a collaboration, partially cause OX just doesn't go this detailed very often and usually relies on simpler abstractions with his work, I still feel OX through and through. The relationship to the surrounding environment is something OX includes in most pieces and this collaboration relies heavily on the staircase to ground itself. For me, this is a very important tool for the ad takeover artist cause it allows the viewer to realize that something is amiss. Once that recognition happens, (something that can be very difficult given how much viewers try to avoid ad messages and how ingrained commercial messaging is in these spaces, as opposed to public art or commentary) viewers can begin the process of thinking about advertising in public spaces as a concept. We are all so aware of culture jamming, political commentary, and the general agenda of trying to undermine commercial messaging that I think it goes in one ear and out the other. Not to mention, even if you receive a culture jammed message loud and clear, you still think heavily about the company behind the errant message. In light of that it seems the only logical response to an over saturation of commercial media is to remove it entirely. To me these pieces do well by talking about the frame and not what was once inside.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Advertising Takeovers / A Practical Workshop
Subvertising is the practice of altering, removing, or reversing of commercial outdoor media spaces that has seen an emergence over the last few years. From huge projects with 600 advert takeovers to individual site-specific interventions, a range of collectives and individuals have successfully enrolled the practice into a tactical force for political movements and for critical artistic practices. This event starts by offering a brief historical and theoretical overview of the practice before sharing all the practical skills and knowledge required for undertaking your own advertising takeovers in New York. We’ll bring in posters and painting materials to create our own adverts during the workshop. Come and join us!
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a 'Personalized Propaganda Engine'
VIA: The Village Voice
Smart billboards will identify car models and target ads to drivers
VIA: Digital Trends
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Ad Space Takeover in Front of Exhibition
Kristin Calabrese hijacked this bus shelter in front of her exhibit to talk about the importance of a space to talk about whatever we like. I love it and the boldness of dropping ti right in front of her show. more of her work [HERE]
Friday, July 1, 2016
Long Live Jean Claude Decaeux - An Obituary
I'm sure he was a really nice guy but christ all mighty he built an empire of...well shitty street furniture covered in ads in 3,700 cities worldwide.
VIA: The TelegraphHere]
Thursday, June 30, 2016
Brandalism activists unveil Global Ad Hack Manifesto at Glastonbury Festival Advertising shits in your head
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Common Cause Foundation
The Common Cause foundation looks at the way the values we choose to champion are determined in large part by the cultural frames under which we live. Surround yourself with imagery that orients you inward towards self interest, and sure enough you don't care much for environmental issues, economic justice, or minority rights. It sounds obvious but when the largest corporations in the world are attempting to reach into your pockets, they draw on the language of self interest, and through repetition this language is fundamentally altering your outlook on life. Yes you are a good person, but how much better of a person might you be if you didn't have the world around you framed by a delusional interest in the self....
"A large body of evidence shows that values of are central importance in leading people to express concern about social and environmental issues – whether this concern is expressed by changing aspects of day-to-day behaviour, by becoming politically involved, or by volunteering.
Monday, June 27, 2016
Cultural Hijack Website
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Special Patrol Group And The Hack Pack
Poster Remediated exhibition at the 25th Poster Biennial in the Poster Museum of Warsaw. Alongside my work was Vermibus, the Brandalism project, and a small glass case for the Special Patrol Group's Hack Pack. I was under the impression these little artistic intervention kits were only available at Banksy's Dismaland as a one off stunt. Over the past two weeks I have met some of the mischief makers behind this amazing project and realize that they can be purchased through the internet [HERE]. Not only that but the price of the keys are nearly 3 times cheaper than I am able to sell them, making them fantastic for the interventionist looking for a good deal.
Friday, June 17, 2016
Saturday, June 11, 2016
OX - Vlady Collaboration
Thursday, June 9, 2016
The Art Conference Speaker
I am excited to be a part of the event as there are a handful of incredible artists and thinkers I have worked with in the past, as well as others that I look forward to meeting at the event. If you are in London July 23rd and 24th, make sure to get yourself a ticket and join us for what will be an interesting two days of thoughtful discussion. Find out more and register [Here]
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
The Poster Remediated - 50th Poster Biennial of the Warsaw Poster Museum
Warsaw’s Poster Museum on June 11th at 20:00. The museum has included one photographic work as well as an updated version of the NOAD mobile app. The app has been specially designed to work on several large format photographs I made of the NYC subway system which include several advertisements. By training thier devices on these images, viewers will be given an experience close to that of users in the NYC subway.
The Poster Remediated will explore how the conventional poster is undergoing rapid transformation in an age of ubiquitous digital screens and social media.
"I am a Man’" and "Je Suis Charlie" shows how posters can promote justice and human rights. But posters are often accused of manipulating the viewer and of dominating our streets too. Activists like Vermibus, Jordan Seiler or Brandalism often remove commercial advertisements from their illuminated frames, replacing these posters with abstract art or anti-consumerist messages.
Professor David Crowley, Head of Critical Writing in Art & Design, has a long-term research interest in the poster as both a design object and a means of communication. OPEN WALLS Gallery's Blog talked to David about his curation of the fiftieth Warsaw International Poster Biennale in June 2016, and the changing faces of poster design and dissemination in the digital twenty-first century. Read the interview [here].
More information about the exhibition [here] and [here].
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
T̶V̶Sly TV by Dr. D and Disobedient Films
Head over to Vandalog for the full story and a nice little video
Dr. D‘s latest project, a collaboration with Disobedient Films, takes his ad busting beyond billboards. Sly TV, a parody of the British satellite TV company Sky (a part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire), is perhaps most visible as a series of wheatpastes in East London. More [HERE]
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
I was recently turned on to the work of Vlady, an Italian artist who works over advertising quite often. I like his self reflective works that honor the age of social media we are living in. They have the ability to be both anti advertising work that is not about the advertising message itself, while still retaining a humor and charm of more witty media critique works.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Joe Boruchow is one of a few Philadelphia based artist that have been doing some amazing work in the Philly bus shelter system. This new piece blew me away not only for its beauty but also for its politics and placement. Indicting Frank Rizzo for his unsavory past, Joe uses the bus shelter infrastructure to place his political criticism within the vicinity of a statue of Mr. Rizzo giving it a different value than graffiti or some other form of visual protest. This is top notch use of the PublicAccess keys and I can't wait to see more out of Joe, and the rest of you for that matter people!“crumb bum” and remove his statue from the steps of Philadelphia’s Municipal Services Building. Frank Rizzo’s legacy of racial divisiveness and thuggery is no longer one that Philly should endorse. Like an effigy of an authoritarian dictator, the statue looms over our provincial politics and is a symbol of our dysfunction. Move him somewhere less prominent and let’s reserve our high profile public spaces for memorials of figures that all Philadelphians can be proud of.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Philadelphia kicks of spring with new ad busts
RJ over at Vandalog facilitated getting a dozen or so Philadelphia PublicAccess keys into the hands of local artists a few months back. The result? lots of art on the streets and of surprisingly good quality for that matter. Normally, artists don't take a huge amount of time crafting thier ad-takeover pieces, knowing full well that they will be removed, and likely trashed days if not hours after being installed. In many ways, ad-takeovers are the ultimate in ephemerality and the photo documentation serves as the protest as much, if not more than, the actual installation. As RJ has mentioned in the past, the internet has been incredibly important for the ad-takeover movement. Here are two great pieces by Joe Boruchow and NDAxHellbent. There's been a lot more work than this but you will just have to go searching the web yourself to find it.
NDA and Hellbent
Joe BoruchowMore [HERE]
Monday, May 16, 2016
When TV Ads Go Subliminal With a Vengeance, We’ll Be to Blame
The article below isn't about outdoor advertising but it did have some relevant quotes regarding how viewers ingest advertising despite thier attempts not to, as well as the effectiveness of advertising in general. So often, and usually in response and to critique my work, people say "what's the big deal, I don't look at ads anyways." Well there is a 70 Billion dollar TV advertising business and 32 Billion in OOH market that begs to differ. That much money isn't spent so you can ignore the messages being paid for and whether you like it or not, the commercial messages that surround us are seeping into your consciousness. In fact, those that think they can ignore advertising should be all the more appalled to find out that thier best attempts are futile and thier perceived autonomy is a lie that they are telling themselves. Here are two quotes from the article that seem to suggest the industry knows what it is doing.
"It turns out viewers are overwhelmingly absorbing the messages coming from the TV even as they stare at the other devices, Mr. Poltrack said."
“'If less people see your advertising, you will sell less things.'”
VIA: The New York Times
For decades the annual television industry ritual known as the upfronts has gone the same way.
Thousands of advertising and television executives trudge between New York’s great cultural centers — Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center — where network executives screen premieres of their hottest new shows (“24: Legacy” on Fox! “Designated Survivor” on ABC!); trot out their biggest stars (Jennifer Lopez! Kerry Washington!), and disclose which programs will go where on the prime-time schedules being set for the fall. More [HERE]
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Highway Billboard Hijacked with Candy Penis-Licking Rubio Photoshops
VIA: GothamistOur nation is filled with unsecured LED billboards that are hooked up to the internet and can be configured by anyone to show literally any image. Today, one of those billboards showed a doctored photo of Marco Rubio licking a penis lollipop. More [HERE]
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Anti-Australia Day posters, graffiti plastered around Melbourne's CBD Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/antiaustralia-day-posters-graffiti-plastered-around-melbournes-cbd-20160126-gmdzw8.html#ixzz46s2Asw6d Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook
Turns out Melbourne has thier own little movement as well. Is anyone besides me keeping track of the incredible boon in anti-ad movements or groups focused around using public commercial media space for the collective good? It's astounding. makes you think there might be a legislative agenda on the horizon.
VIA: The Age Victoria
The large posters featuring the Aboriginal flag, which read "Sovereignty Never Ceded" and include the slogans #InvasionDay2016 and #NoPrideInGenocide, have been placed over existing advertisements at tram stops and train stations in the CBD. Read more: [HERE] Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook
Saturday, May 7, 2016
A company is crowdfunding to replace all the adverts in a tube station with photos of cats
I've said it once and I will say it again, paying outdoor advertising companies to replace commercial messages with a more publicly oriented imagery is a horrendous idea. The money raised to alleviate commuters for a moment in time is much better spent advocating for the removal of commercial media from not only our public spaces, but our public media systems in general. Would you crowd fund to pay a coal fired plant to stop belching smoke into your backyard for a few hours only knowing that they would continue to do so after your funds ran out, using the money you had given them to advocate for thier own continued existence?
LONDON — Imagine a world in which you didn't have to go on the Internet to see pictures of cats — they were right there in front of your face on your daily commute. More [HERE]