<body> Public Ad Campaign

Monday, April 7, 2014

PUBLIC Festival in Western Australia

I am happy to announce I will be participating in the PUBLIC festival hosted by FORM in Perth, Western Australia. Check out their website for a full list of artists that will be descending on the city for a few weeks. Murals will be painted, conversations had, and a city will transform practically overnight.

I'm attending this festival mostly to represent Re+Public, the digital arts side of my public space investigations, but i'll still be pulling some typical PublicAdCampaign shenanigans as well. I've been working hard on the Re+Public project over the last few months trying to advance my understanding of this new digital technology and help my partner over at the Heavy Projects who has shouldered much of the programming burden thus far. Our contribution to the Public Festival is our most advanced deployment yet. Each mural image comes to life in full 3D, has video components, as well as passive data collection.  I'll post more as the festival gets going but until then, here is a quick takeover to let you all know I'm keeping busy.

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Pain Isn't Always Obvious - CDC Action

The CDC is at it again rehabilitating California's outdoor advertising. You can see more of their past corrections at the CDC website, [HERE]

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ad Criticism and Public Space Activism in One - Vermibus Interview

photo by JUST
Vermibus came onto our radar a little over two years ago with some arresting ad busting imagery and the motivation to go big consistently. Initially I wasnt fond of the results because they weren't transformative enough. I still saw models and ad campaigns through the smeared inks. While the work was critical of the advertising content, it spoke nothing about public space and its use for a wide range of commercial messaging systems. This last component of ad takeover work is important to me and can be solved easily by simply denying the typical ad imagery a place in public space and re-appropriating that space for some non sequitur. By leaving the ad content in the final image, Vermibus' work didn't alleviate the commercial burden and therefor didn't free my mind to ponder other significant uses of public space.

I was wrong. Not only does Vermibus exhibit the wide variety of keys and tools he has made with which to access public advertising venues, but his campaigns are so large that the individual image is subsumed by the larger project. Both of these aspects of Vermibus' process adress the public space issues that I have come to expect in good ad takeover artists' work. The first aspect I think is obvious, but the second demands a bit of an explanation.

When I first started doing ad takeovers while I was attending RISD, one of the main dilemas I faced was that of authorship. How could I justify removing advertising if I was simply replacing it with advertisements of my own? This meant not only could I not sign my work, but that I became afraid to settle into one type of imagery for fear that a recognizable style would be as bad, or worse than simply signing my work. It was important to me that people see my ad takeovers not as a personal demand for more of my own space, but as an anonymous demand for space in general. And so it was decided that I would slowly seed the world with hidden gems that would be discovered, pondered, and then left to alter history in the smallest of ways, a weak gravity between two asteroids whose paths will change a distant planets history billions of years in the future.

Since then I have found that while this quaint personal activism has its merit, it has its obvious downsides, a slow march towards progress if ever there was one. Mobstr made it clear for me two years  ago in Stavanger at the NuArt festival, repetition and recognition had thier benefits. Stavanger is a small town and I was able to blanket the entire downtown area with only 32 takeovers. Acting over the course of two hours one night, there wasn't an advertisement left in downtown when Mobstr returned from his painting work elsewhere in the city. He explained that the continuous repetition of my imagery as he entered downtown, made him think about the shear number of ads and the burden with which they weigh on public space. For me this was a concrete reason for the imagery to be recognizable, at least within a single project.

While the individual images Vermibus puts up are ad criticisms, the fact that he often goes so large in a city causes the viewer to see the repetition of his images in the same way Mobstr saw my work, in a spatial dimension as opposed to a single location. Who cares if the viewer was still thinking about Calvin Klien, or H&M? They would also be confronted with the greater concern about the proliferation of these and other images within the larger public space context.  In some ways that makes Vermibus' work better than most because he manages to adress two separate concerns about advertising in public space at once. It's incredibly interesting work and the reason we just had to ask him a few questions for the PublicAdCampaign site. Enjoy


1-When and why did you start doing advertising takeover work? 
1) I’ve been actively painting in the world of graffiti since 1998 but there was a time when my life changed and had taken a more personal way and at the same time with more social awareness. It was when I moved to Berlin in 2011 when I started taking things seriously about the public space. My anti-advertising work started almost right after I arrived to Berlin but I needed around a year to understand what I was doing. I think that being an ad buster is not only putting something on advertising spaces, but an internal change process in all senses.

2-Your work seems to both eliminate advertising, while simultaneously referencing the fashion iconography that is so prevalent in todays advertising imagery. Can you explain to PublicAdCampaign readers why you only work with fashion advertising outdoors? 
2) There are lots of people who have been talking for a long time about brands and their lack of ethics regarding their workers or a certain number of internal policies and the truth is that there are more people who can talk about this better than me. I come from the picture world and have always been very interested in the world of advertising iconography. In my last job as a photographer I had some bad experiences regarding what the beauty standards should be like and I took advantage of that situation to make a public reflection of what has affected me personally. On the other hand, after some time working just about fashion advertising I figured out advertising should be more aggressive but without being loutish, because the message is lost when there’s a destruction. The best way to do anti-advertising is just taking the ad away and not putting anything. That’s how the NO-AD project was born. By chance my first intervention on advertising was leaving it blank when I took the poster to work later on it, therefore NO-AD has always been pretty linked to my job. Now I follow both lines.

3-You exhibit the tools you use to break into outdoor advertising locations when you show your work, which leads me to believe that promoting access to public media space is part of your critique. Can you tell us your thoughts on the relationship between outdoor advertising and public space? 
3) As a graffiti writer I’m very attached to materials auto-production. A lot of us have done our own kind of markers or inks and I always saw it something very personal and nice to show, but in the world of graffiti there’s a lot of secrecy and it isn’t normal someone tells you how he makes the acid or which inks he has combined to get a certain colour or composition. I don’t mind showing my keys because I think it is a very personal part of my job and it’s nice to show them. I don’t have any kind of secrecy at the time of explaining how they are made, but the truth is I’m extremely careful of to whom I give that info because not all of them will use it for anti-advertising purposes. I don’t believe everyone is aware of what opening this shelter takes, what should be done or not and overall, I think you must have tried it by yourself before ordering the keys online as if you browse in Google. Whoever really wants to intervene advertising must make an effort trying it himself, otherwise he will not worth it in the same way as if he had been looking for his own way to do the key. Although I appreciate there are people like you who make keys at home because the less advertising there is, the better. One way or another that’s the final goal.

4-I noticed some of your gallery work is similar in process to your outdoor work, but uses fashion magazine advertising or photography. What is the relationship between your indoor and outdoor work? 
4) There’s no aesthetic difference, the process is more less the same on books, magazines or advertising. The difference is the used space. When I exhibit in a gallery I want people to focus on the plastic and emotional part of my paintings and not only on the fact that I intervene advertising on the streets. When I work on the streets I want people to focus on the activist part of my job and to think about throughout my art. More often than not I exhibit posters on the streets and put them in a gallery. That’s not strictly ad busting but it has something to see with anti-advertising because if there’s a poster hanged on a gallery means that there’s an empty advertising space on the streets.

5-What is your favorite story from your ad busting adventures? 
5) Making “Dissolving Europe” travelling was a great and intense experience in all senses and it is difficult to beat all the adventures we lived in those 18 days doing interventions every day. Bu there are also some other emotive moments such as conversations with people about what they think about the interventions, normally people completely unrelated with this movement…It is incredible all what they have to say, I have learnt a lot in all conversations I had. All those people have made me think about everything and grow both as an artist and as a person.

More from Vermibus [HERE]

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Peace at Last

Martin Reis, a friend and like minded activist, sent me this image. I've been in Austin, Tx at SXSW working on the worlds largest AR mural for the last week, and coming back to this light hearted and yet spot on image made me smile. Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

OX and BR1 in Rome Plus a Fantastic Video

Below are two works made by OX and BR1 in Rome. I've been busy working on Augmented Reality Mobile apps and am quite jealous that my friends are out there collaborating on such fantastic projects. 
As an ad takeover artist myself, I can safely say it isn't often that you can watch your work get buried under an advertisement by the company whose space you have taken. This video from BR1 is a wonderful example of just that. 
BR1 - la martire from BR1 on Vimeo.
OX - ROME 2014
BR1 - ROME 2014

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mobstr is Busy

Not only is Mobstr unusually deft in his public art production but he can be pretty damn prolific. Enjoy!

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mobstr Displays Unusual Agility in His Public Art Practice

Mobstr just sent over these new images and a video which can be viewed below. Mobstr's work has always delighted me because he often uses billboards as his preferred outdoor canvas. I get a special kick out of seeing work which happens over outdoor advertising regardless of the content. But Mobstr's projects are not all ad takeovers and ultimately his work is not about advertisings monopoly of public space. It seems more about the simple act of using public space to create endless opportunities for communication and engagement. Visual puns like this Apathy piece above, require the viewer to get the punchline in order to be complete, they are participatory. In fact many of Mobstr's projects involve other civic actors that help him turn public space into a bit of theatre, and we delight in its playfulness. The politics of public space usage that lies behind all of the fun in Mobstr's work is there, but bundled in a much more pleasant package. It's agile work that at its heart opens up dialogues about how we should use public space, converses with the current participants, and gives the public front row access to the show. Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Omg Who Stole My Ads? Lavie

Luna Park sent me this artists work. It seems he takes over advertising locations and replaces the imagery with old masters work. I love the concept, but let us know what you think. More [Here]

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Liberated Ads Confront San Francisco Eviction Crisis

On February 11, 2014, the CDC successfully apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged bus shelter advertisements throughout San Francisco. The ads were released into city districts with historically high rates of tenant displacement, including the Fillmore, the Mission and South of Market. One corrected ad sits at Valencia and 24th Street in the Mission District, a neighborhood with the city's leading eviction rate from 2009 to 2013. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Scratch-Off Bus Stop Ads Reveal Hidden Art

VIA: Gizmodo
Oh, bus stop ads: so often a target for vandals and bored commuters. But here's a clever ad that invites you to deface it. Underneath an unassuming black-and-white ad for a museum exhibition is a whole world of hidden art.

To advertise its new archaeology-as-art exhibit, The Way of the Shovel, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago is asking bystanders to excavate their own art. With a coin or even a fingernail, you can scratch out your own design or dig out a piece of the artwork underneath. The museum got permission to create the scratchable ads from JCDecaux, the company that owns the Chicago bus shelters and many, many others worldwide. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Jon Burgerman - Head Shots

This isn't traditional ad takeover work, but I think its my favorite thing about 2014 thus far! Jon Burgerman is is an illustrator, musician, performer and just generally amazing in his yellow jacket uniform. Head Shots, is a series of photographs he is currently working on that takes advantage of the numerous opportunities to get blasted by outdoor advertising violence. While it's critical of the amount of visual violence we ingest, it's also just hilarious and playful. I can be a bit heavy handed with my own work and seeing such a light and nimble approach to ad criticism is inspiring. See more of Jon's work [HERE] and more Head Shots [HERE]

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Murals Advertise Products, Despite Passing of Ordinance

Dennis Hathaway just brought a KCET news story to my attention that shows advertising working its way into Los Angeles art murals only months after the mural ordinance went into effect. He writes, "I told a lot of people during the process of passing this new mural ordinance that marketers would try to find a way to use it for commercial purposes, and now I have the highly unsatisfying opportunity to say, "I told you so."
The difference between fine art and advertising is already being stepped on. Only a few months after the passing of an ordinance designed to get murals out under commercial signage, some new works are branding product. More [HERE]

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy New Poster From OX

The always inspired OX sends us a Happy New Year Poster. Enjoy more of his work [HERE]

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Unknown Artist Ad Takeover in Philadelphia PA

Damon Abnormal sent me these images of an unknown artist's ad takeovers that he came across in Philadelphia. If anyone knows who is doing this work, please let us know. You can see more of Damon's Tumblr, [HERE]

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vermibus - Dissolving Europe

Vermibus is a Berlin based artist who removes advertising, alters it with a thinner, and then replaces those ads on the street to a ghostly affect. Somewhere between ad criticism and plain ad takeover work, his imagery rides a thin line and speaks to both. I cannot be happier to see Vermibus taking this medium to new heights by touring so heavily and being so damn productive. I think you will see a lot more of this artist in the coming years.

It is interesting to see a real sub genre of artists using outdoor advertising venues as their main medium. While these artists do have definitive styles of working, the outdoor ad venue is a vital component in their process. Artists like OX, Posterboy, and Vermibus are defining their practice around the alteration and ultimately their power over commercially based public media systems. I almost cannot believe it and hope that one day you might see even more artists working this way, walk into survey gallery shows, and hear talks about the unique history of this sub genre within the public art discourse. Only time will tell.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Iselin in China and Some Thoughts on Current Work Strategies

I recently returned from a trip to China which took me through, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau, and Hangzhou. While in those cities I was able to test keys and gain access to most above ground advertising locations as part of the Public Access project. (I will be updating the PublicAdCampaign site to include the Public Access project as its own independent endeavor in the coming days, and will announce it with a new post) Without knowing whether or not I would be able to open ad locations in these new cities, I decided to pack light and only take a few posters with me. Below you can see the result of Public Access in three cities, Shanghai, Macau, and Hong Kong. 
Shanghai, China 2014
As PublicAdCampaign readers are probably well aware, my personal work is kind of all over the place. This isn't an accident, but rather a choice I made a long time ago to not develop a stylistically recognizable set of images. I thought it was the least I could do to deflect criticism that I was simply creating my own ad campaign, a chance to keep the work fresh for the audience, and ultimately would allow me room to treat the project as an experiment rather than a proof. I have enjoyed it so far, creating  figurative, abstract, sculptural, and photographic works all for similar locations.
In the past few years I have shied away from the more figurative work that I was doing early on. This happened for a number of reasons but more importantly it makes the Iselin series that is part of this post, an aberration in my current investigations. Iselin, unlike my other work these days, can be mistaken for an ad, fashion most likely, and therefor oddly out of line with a project critical of advertising. While I tend to understand this argument, it does treat the PublicAdCampaign project as an anti advertising project which is short sighted. 
My critique, and the reason my pieces never address the specific ads they remove, or comment on advertising in general, is not of the advertising content itself but of the use of public space for commercial imagery. I am under no delusions that I will wake up one day and advertising as medium will have disappeared.  I am under the delusion that I might harness control of this medium by mitigating its effects on my consciousness, starting with the cleanup of our shared public spaces. 
So its important that my work not speak about advertising directly, so that viewers don't see it as a critique of the message, and it's important that the work is recognizable as an intervention so that viewers are aware of the demand for something better. Iselin fails to do both of these things. Because she looks like she could be an ad, (in fact she is a polaroid outtake from a fashion photo shoot I was on ages ago that I decided to keep, which subsequently wore thin in my wallet over the years) she is not recognizable as an intervention, and because she looks like an ad but isn't, she might be confused with a critique of fashion imagery, albeit a pandering one at that. 
So how do I justify my use of Iselin on the street, an image I ultimately feel pretty strongly about and yet feel compelled to critically justify in some way? Currently, I am in the middle of RJ Rushmore's Viral Art, which you can download [HERE]. The book is about how the internet has affected street art and graffiti and it highlighted some interesting ideas about audience that I want to apply to the Iselin series and by doing so justify her failure on the streets and yet allow me a confidence using her in the future. 
As you can see [HERE] I originally started putting Iselin up with the caveat that she always go in new locations. This was my way of creating a project which could be ongoing and easily reproduced, and which would push me to use new locations unfamiliar to me. It was also a way for me to justify imagery that was suspect given my stated objectives. Recently that ease of reproduction is what made me carry Iselin throughout China and use her as "proof" of another project I am working on called Public Access. The Public Access project is about figuring out how to offer the tools to anyone who wants them to open bus shelters in every city in the world. When I go to a new city, I figure out the tool and then make hundreds of them. These tools then become a part of a world map which users can navigate to find the right tool for them. It's about democratizing access and sharing my knowledge.
When I crack the code, I like to let people know, and that to me is best done by installing something quickly as proof. These images then get uploaded to Instagram and my website as an archive, hash tagged #yeahwegotkeysforthat. These posts are about letting the world know that a new city has been breached so that they might involve themselves in the project. While technically an ad takeover on the street, the image used is simply a placeholder that proves my access. My first thought isn't to the public seeing the piece on the street so much as the Public Access audience around the world. 
In the context of this audience, Iselin doesn't seem so out of place anymore. The Instagram or website audience knows Iselin is an ad takeover and so questions democratic access. They also know she isn't a fashion ad and while we may argue about the detriments of using imagery which reinforces stereotypes, this world audience is in on the joke and can at least engage the image critically. While Iselin fails miserably on the street, she makes much more sense to an internet audience already in the know. The confluence of reading Viral Art and using Iselin in China to mark Public Access cities has thus altered how I would like to treat the Iselin project from now on. 
From here on I will only use Iselin's image to mark the fact that I have gained access to a new advertising venue in a new city. With a majority of my audience online these days, I see this as a reasonable justification for my use of an image that I feel strongly about, and yet which contradicts some of its audiences expectations. This in no way means that I am forgoing public works which aim to highlight their resistance to commercial use of public space, but it does signal an understanding that my work on the street has many purposes and many audiences, some of which may seem to contradict each other but which might ultimately stand their ground amidst confusion. 
Hong Kong, China 2014
Shanghai, China 2014
Shanghai, China 2014
Macau, China 2014

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

New Work by Ludo: "Power Corruption and Lies"

As per usual, Ludo keeps up his ad takeovers with impecable precision and content. more Ludo [HERE]

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Who Owns The Streets? Its Not Us

VIA Vandalog

This is a very nicely rounded articulation of the push and pull between the individual and the community in public space. The streets are a vibrant playground where self expression and the need for communication with your environment, comes in conflict with societies desire to curate and on some level control our shared visual space. The problem is this is an idyllic scenario, and conflict of the future. Currently this push and pull between the individual and the community takes place within an environment ruled by corporate messaging. This incredibly unfair power distribution between corporate interests and community interests, serves to reinforce a visual environment that is dominated by a singular capitalist message. We have come to fully accept that a majority of the visual landscape will be sectioned off for corporate messages in the form of bilboards, bus shelters, free standing, phone booths, wallscapes, lollipos, etc. We do this by perpetuating a system of private property ownership that biases access to our visual landscape to those with money. Without breaking that system of dominance in our visual landscape, the fight for self expression vs community interests will be undertaken within a larger context of cultural domination by corporate agendas. It would seem our conversations about tolerance will be overshadowed by a devotion to the images that surround us and the consumerist ideologies which are tearing at our social fabric and the very planet we live on.  

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Inhabiting Home: The Public Interventions of Jordan Seiler

A huge thank you to Rhiannon for writing such an articulate article on the Public Access Project for Art Slant Street
by Rhiannon Platt

Minimalism integrates itself through Jordan Seiler’s aesthetics, down to his ubiquitous all black wardrobe. When I visited the artist in his studio, rows of keys were neatly lined up with similar precision, alternating his signature color with an overly saturated neon pink. Initially these visuals guided the artist’s work, who adopted an adbusting approach to covering advertisements. More (HERE)

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Getting the Short End of the Stick - Laboring for Corporate Media in Public Space

I took the picture above because I noticed that after many years, an illegal billboard that once occupied this wall had finally been removed. It was, like hundreds of others around the city, operated by a company called NPA outdoor. PublicAdCampaign, along with the help of hundreds of other NYC residents, had challenged the legitimacy of these ads by painting them white and then covering them with public media in a civil disobedience project called NYSAT some years back. This action was only made possible by the fact that we had discovered that NPA was operating their locations illegally, never having obtained the appropriate permitting from the city of NY. Ultimately, this fact misconstrued the projects intentions in a way that I have never fully addressed, but as you can imagine, our actions were seen as anti-illegal advertising. illegal or not, our intentions were to question corporate media's supremacy in our shared public spaces and gain political agency in the process. The fact that these advertisements were illegal only made it easier to convince average individuals to take up arms against them with a sense of entitlement, instead of reservation. Private property boundaries tend to be incredibly effective invisible barriers, but if those boundaries are imposed illegally, barriers become invitations. 
In the end, the focus on illegal advertising was disconcerting and we did not repeat this same mistake in the subsequent MaSAT and ToSAT projects. In Toronto we attacked both legal and illegal advertising equally, hoping for better public understanding of our larger grievances against a public media environment monopolized by corporate media. On some level this worked, and the discussion moved from the illegality of the advertising, to what we had replaced the corporate imagery with. To critics, it seemed we were now arguing for the replacement of ads with our artistic endeavors. As it were, those willing to participate in the illegal occupation of private property for a political statement about the current public media landscape, happened to be left wing nuts and artist types. But the point was not lost on us and the final large scale disobedience project in Madrid removed this ambiguity. Participants in Madrid were asked to simply submit text of their choosing. It was this final removal of individual identity that made clear our demands for a reevaluation of who has, and should have access to our shared public media environment. 
While the first two SAT projects failed to be clear about what we were all up in arms about, the unintended demands that they suggested were legitimate, if only to a small demographic. In NY people were pissed off that illegal advertising was taking advantage of public space, making money while not playing by the rules. People got upset about it and it would seem by the timeline of city enforcement, that the cities own action against this company was in some part fueled by the injustice we had help reveal. In Toronto, those concerned with public arts programming argued for our re-appropriation as a meaningful request for public arts opportunities in the face of huge corporate media initiatives. This may not have been our intended goal, but citizens rallied around these interpretations. I have for a long time wondered what other injustice gleaned from these types of actions, could reach a larger demographic than illegality or the right to public art, while allowing our criticism to remain about corporate medias dominance of public space more generally. 
Since these projects happened several years ago, I have read a lot about media literacy and media education in an attempt to understand my gut feeling that a public media landscape, monopolized by a corporate agenda, is problematic for our public environment and our democracy in general. I recently finished a book called "The Spectacle of Accumulation: essays in culture, media, and politics" which gave me new insights into how we might rally a larger public constituency against public media monopolies. Unbeknownst to me until now, we are all laboring unintentionally for outdoor media companies every time I step onto the city streets. It is this extraction of value from our own visual labor that we can all rally against by demanding compensation from those who benefit from its use. 
Overly simply put, media corporations make their money by selling an audience to companies who wish to reach those audiences with goods and services. Cable television, movie production houses, news outlets and all other media providers remain economically viable by increasing their audience size, or by targeting micro audiences, both of which are of value to corporations with products to sell. In the case of TV, it is well accepted that the "cost" of television is the watching of commercials. Corporations buy advertising space which funds the production of programming with the understanding that you will consume those messages and in the process the products associated with them. Cost analysis has made this process quite refined and depending on the audience being offered, and the scope of their purchasing power, corporations are willing to pay very specific amounts of money for your attention. The value of your viewing labor has a very specific price tag. 
If we accept this media support model, our next question should be how much does it cost to produce a specific piece of media so that we can determine how much of our attention, or labor must be given to commercials to make that programs production economically sound. It is here that we begin to see our attention, or our labor, beginning to be exploited. Like all capitalist endeavors, the media provider takes more value from your labor than it gives back in programming, or in wages as with other more traditional capitalist ventures. This really isnt anything new to most people, particularly when speaking about television. We know we get the short end of the stick when we are forced to watch 32, 15 second commercials for every 22 minutes of content we get in return. In fact we might pay extra money for cable channels which dont have advertising, preferring to pay for our content instead of to labor for it. However destructive this model might be to a democratic media environment, it is one we have come to accept as a society, for better or worse. 
What I find most interesting is that this same model of labor value extraction can be applied to public space where we are less inclined to see the personal benefits of our laboring for media companies that control our visual environment. Take for example, NPA outdoor, the illegally operating billboard company first targeted in the original NYSAT project. This company occupied a large amount of public space and sold that space to advertisers on the auspices that you would labor for them by paying attention to the messages without any compensation in return. Billboards and other non infrastructure related advertising venues operate under the same expectations, their right to exploit your attentions value is determined by their simple ability to pay for real estate within public view. Many other outdoor advertising companies at least attempt to disguise their labor value extraction by providing payphone service, or bus shelters, or other infrastructure related services which benefit the public generally. That said, like all other capitalist endeavors, they too extract far more value from your labor than is needed to keep said infrastructure operational. 
As PublicAdCampaign continues to adress issues of public media inequality and the resulting problems that arise for our public life and democracy, it is this extraction of surplus viewing power that we can all take issue with. We might be willing to overlook our excessive donation of labor to the entertainment industry or media venues which are less crucial to our lives, but public space is uniquely important to our democracy and at the same time an inescapable part of our lives. It is not a service being offered but a integral part of our daily existence. To me it is an extension of our homes and a physical  representation of our collective identity. To ask that we labor for corporations with very private concerns when traversing this public landscape is very different than asking us to labor for something less integral to our existence. The expectation that we consume advertising in our shared public spaces is tantmount to asking us to watch a commercial before water will come out of the faucet, and that is something I think we can all agree to fight against. 

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Condo Ads too Much to Bear for Torontonians

Sean Martindale and Martin Reis have graced this blog before with their community based activism projects in Toronto. The most recent being this ad takeover of sorts which reclaims condo ad sandwich boards for public imagery more closely connected to the community and of an entirely uncommercial nature. According to the artists, the sandwich boards advertising luxury condo develoments have over run the city and become an invasive species of thier own. By repurposing them for public communications they are challenging yet another form of commercial invasion into our collective subconscious. 
Courtesy Adam Krawesky

-"Frustrated by obstructive sidewalk condo ads, Toronto artists get creative" - Via Spacing
-"Kidnapped Condo Ads Become Stealthy Art" - Via the Torontoist.
-Martin Reis Flickr set [HERE]

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Recipe for Better Living

The always wonderful Luna Park sent me this little post on a small ad busting trend in Berlin. It seems the vandals are buffing fast food ads and replacing them with extremely simple, and yet infinitely more healthy food recipes. Fast food ads, through massive repetition,  normalize fast food consumption and in doing so alter our eating habits for the worse. These little reminders fight that trend and in the process allow us to imagine a world in which public images of food work in our favor instead of overwhelming us with unhealthy options that we eventually succumb to. 
Ich habe Ähnliches in den letzten Tagen öfter mal im Netz gesehen. Für irgendwas müssen die großen Werbeflächen der Fast Food Multis ja schließlich auch gut sein. Irgendwer also fährt da umher und schreibt ganz einfache Rezeptzutaten auf die Burger bewerbenden Plakate. Eigentlich muss man die dann nur zusammenhauen und fertig ist ein einfaches, aber durchaus ausgewogenes Essen. More [HERE]

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Official Re+Public 1.0 Launch

Re+Public: Moto Wall Digital Mural from The Heavy Projects on Vimeo.

To many, the PublicAdCampaign project is about the removal of outdoor advertising from our shared visual environment in an effort to "clean up" our public spaces from the mental pollution caused by outdoor advertising. While I would not argue that is one of the most important aspects of this project, it does not take into account our belief that "cleaning up" does not mean a visual environment devoid of life. To the contrary we see the removal of outdoor advertising as a vital step in the creation of a public environment that promotes public media and visual interaction. 

Some years ago, I met a guy over at the Heavy Projects and we bagan to explore the potential of AR to not only create a more democratic public media space, but also to leap over that vital step of removing outdoor ads by simply replacing them in the new digital public environment. For PublicAdCampaign this new technology gave us visions of an interactive and publicly curated media space where your ability to purchase outdoor space did not determine your ability to produce media there. It is an exciting idea that we simply had to explore. 

Over the past few years we have been working with this new medium and could not be more excited to finally launch our free Re+Public mobile app. Re+Public harnesses this new technology to glimpse at a new digital future for public space and there is much work to be done exploring these concepts further as people become more comfortable with AR and wearables become a part of our everyday lives. Until then, please download the Re+Public app, visit the site, and Like us on facebook so we can continue to explore this incredibly rich new artistic domain. 

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Public Access (Heavy Edition) in Public Data Explorer Group exhibition at HLP

Public Access, Heavy Edition, Handmade Augmented Box.

Public Data Explorer was a group exhibition at Harlan Levy Projects in Brussels, in November of 2013. I exhibited works from the Echo series, tools from the Public Access Project, and video from the most recent Re+Public project with MOMO. Alongside those works I created a handmade box called Public Access (Heavy Edition), in conjunction with my Re+Public Partner, Heavy. This box holds two of the Public Access Keys and a tablet with a single augmented reality application. That application recognizes the embossed text on the boxes lid and displays infographics which teach the user what the key is for, and how to use it.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

OX Paris 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Iselin in Brussels 2013

I just got back from an opening in Brussels and wanted to post this single ad takeover I did before I give shots and a description of the actual gallery install. As you probably know I've been making keys these days and quickly finding out they are pretty universal when all is said and done. More to follow soon but until then, public access for all!

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New Ad Campaign Explains Drones to Skeptical American Public

The ads were released one week after historic Congressional testimony by Pakistani survivors of U.S. drone attacks. Sponsored by Representative Alan Grayson of Florida, the hearing was the first time that survivors were able to present lawmakers with the on-the-ground reality of America's drone policy. Rafiq ur Rehman, a primary school teacher in North Waziristan, described an October 2012 missile strike that killed his mother and hospitalized his children as they were picking vegetables. Two of the children, 9-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair, also delivered testimony. More [HERE]

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Peter Fuss: New Work 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013

Guerilla Joe Advertising Finds Another Public Surface

Guerilla Joe, spelled with the appropriate military connotations, invades NY public surfaces in a not so new advertising location.

Update: I asked one of the cart owners how much Guerilla Media pays for the right to deck out his ride, and was surprised to hear a full $250.00/month. If I operated one of these carts, that added revenue would be hard to resist, which is why we need full bans on commercial media in public space. The amount the industry is willing to pay for space simply undercuts any attempts at enforcement or restraint. Point being these ads lie in a legal limbo, not adhered to any permanent structure, they fall our of the purview of the DOB sign enforcement unit.

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