<body> Public Ad Campaign: New Actions And Training
This blog is a resource for ad takeover artists and information about contemporary advertising issues in public space. If you have content you would like to share, please send us an email.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Actions And Training

If anything, I've found that a single act of participation can ignite a lifetime of interaction in the public. With that in mind, as well as a large project I am cooking up with PosterBoy, I have realized the need to personally introduce people to the physical act of reclaiming public space. The invisible hand which seems to say that public interaction is off limits to the average citizen, is actually just that, invisible and ultimately non-existent. Once you have committed an act of social rearrangement you realize that you are truly free to do what you want with little to no consequence.

That said, a now friend of mine who we will call John, asked me how he could do his own public billboard advertisements illegally. I having never actually changed a billboard and thought the first step would be getting our hands dirty, realizing that with a little bit of fearlessness and the right tools you can pretty much do anything. We set out last Monday afternoon to tackle three of my favorite public advertising venues for takeover, public phone kiosks, NPA outdoor street level billboards, and subway platform advertisements. I produced two phone kiosk pieces, two subway platform pieces, and prepared the paint for two NPA outdoor ad removals.

The first thing we did was paint over the NPA ads, which John was slightly nervous about but finished without hesitation. The next ad we hit was a phone kiosk which he removed without batting an eye and on the downtown side of oncoming traffic. I explained that it was slightly more dangerous because a cop car driving up the street would be much more likely to stop him. He scoffed at the idea and removed the ad with me watching out. The last was the subway platform ads which he refused to do because it was mid afternoon. This was not such a bad call on his part because subway platforms are much less crowded late at night and you are less likely to see police. Nonetheless I showed him how it could be done and in the future I'm sure John would have no problem attempting this on his own.

If anyone has any interest in running through the gauntlet, I am more than happy to provide the tools and materials for a fun afternoon on the streets.

Two different phone kiosk pieces, one posted by each of us

(detail of first)

NPA outdoor site we both painted over

Subway platform install which I did and John filmed

Subway Platform detail

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