<body> Public Ad Campaign: Dangerous Illegal Art? How About Some Dangerous Illegal Billboards
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dangerous Illegal Art? How About Some Dangerous Illegal Billboards

So with all this talk about illegal art I thought we should all be reminded of the other illegal image making that goes on around the city, outdoor advertising. There is a stark contrast between the two processes which needs to be noted, and one which has not been acknowledged by those commenting on this blog in regards to PosterBoy's illegal and destructive billboard takedown.

Above is an illegal billboard I found recently that I called in to the Department of Buildings (complaint #1247134). I am one of a group of diligent citizens that runs a site called illegal billboards that keeps track of illegal signage in the city, and is a forum for the discussion of billboard rules and regulations. We also keep track of the billboards we are responsible for getting removed, like this illegal sign at the corner of 34th street and 9th avenue. Illegal signage is nearly as prevalent if not more prevalent than legal signage in our public environment. Companies like Fuel Outdoor, (illegal signs' dirtiest billboard company) and NPA Outdoor, remain in operation despite conducting almost no legal business whatsoever. The fact of the matter is that both illegal artists and advertisers are operating vigilante style in a battle to gain the public's attention for their own cause.

With that said, the social deviance and danger associated with our illegal public projects pales in comparison to equivalent outdoor advertising activities. The most obvious difference being that their deviance creates an environment rife with illegal activity for profit, and ours creates an environment which promotes deviant activities in pursuit of social justice. The former is an environment where profit is paramount, and the public is silenced in order to keep quiet the illegal activities being perpetrated by private forces. The later is an environment where the public is rewarded for outing illegal activity in the public at the cost of our very own safety and well being.

Another difference between the two types of illegal image making taking place in our public environment has to do with the dangers associated with each. Recent PosterBoy activities were looked at as being especially dangerous to the public's safety by recent commentors. Yet the danger caused by PosterBoy is dwarfed by the incomparable danger that outdoor advertising poses to our public safety, both mentally and physically. This article details the safety concerns posed by outdoor advertising's illegal use of scaffolding around the city a few years back.

The above images are from a sidewalk shed which collapsed after strong winds got hold of a giant Helio advertisement wrapped around the shed. This eventually caused the structure to collapse, destroying several cars and potentially risking the lives of the public.

Therefore when we talk about illegal art and public destruction of property let's all remember that our efforts to press our issue by illegal methods do not veer too far from the operations of industries which have strangled a vital lifeline to our city, our ability to protest by any means necessary, while perpetrating the exact same crimes.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

as I said in a previous post about posterboy doing something wreckless and dangerous to the public .You and him have no idea what you are talking about.Those sidewalk bridges which obviously fell were caused by the installation of the bridge itself and the wind not the sign that wrapped it.The sign which is made of vinyl wraps around wood,last time I checked wind cant pass through wood.So the wind grabbed the sidewalk bridge not the sign causing it to fall over.Nice try though.If those bridges were up and no construction was going on I agree they shouldnt have been there,But if it was an ongoing const.site then there is nothing wrong with it having an advertisement on it.It looks better than just the ugly shed itself.And how are the first two dangerous???? You want to call in illegal signs go ahead they will come down and new ones will go up .Street furniture is legal.Phone booths are legal.Alot of billboards are legal.If it wasnt for advertising there wouldnt be a times square or the amount of tourists that come to see it.Advertising creates work,jobs,money,and helps the economy.Think about how many people are put to work and feed there families by advertising.Do you boycott watching tv or reading a magazine.Do you listen to the radio.If it wasnt for advertising you would be paying for free tv channels paying for all radio stations and paying alot more to buy a magazine.Advertising helps stimulate the economy.It helps consumers know what products are out there,And outdoor advertising is done in a very cool way.But lets listen to the street artists..lol who think the world is coming to an end on 2012 or the guy spraypainting nyc and vandalizing.Where are the black helicopters why is the government spraying the sky with chemicals.You guys are morons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said.

Jordan is going to cry when on Monday the city LEGALIZES advertising on scaffolds.

You ready for the TAKEOVER to go full throttle?

It's about to get hectic once again with advertising companies and landlords making hundreds of thousands as well as the city.


Anonymous Steve Lambert said...

Rami Tabello said it best:

There's a difference between crime and organized crime.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Rami Tabello!! hahaha

what a fraud!

Anonymous 2012 said...

First off, you do make a great point about advertising creating jobs and stimulating the economy. No one will argue with you on that, but you obviously are not understanding the root of the issue here; that public advertising has gotten way out of control. Helping consumers know what products are out there? Are you kidding me with that statement? I all ready know Pepsi exists and I'm pretty sure so does everyone else; so why do I need to see ridiculous ads all over the subway and out on the street every five feet? There have to be limitiations on what we, as the public are allowing ourselves to be subjected to on a daily basis. Ads on television: I have the choice to turn it off or not watch it if advertising bothers me, but walking down the street; even if I try not look at them, it's kind of hard not to notice a gigantic billboard. Also, I don't think the world is going to end in 2012. The world is going to change, not come to an abrupt end. Do some research why don't you? I will say, though, I do enjoy responding to the rants on raves on this particular blog. It's important to be involved.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

2012, please keep posting. your comments are incredibly well thought out and needed. I would like to as something to what you said.

"Ads on television: I have the choice to turn it off or not watch it if advertising bothers me, but walking down the street; even if I try not look at them, it's kind of hard not to notice a gigantic billboard"

this is true, and furthermore built into your statement is the admission that outdoor advertising causes much of the public to try to move through their space blocking much of what they see. Should we really have to shut off just to move through public space? Is there not a multitude of important things we will miss while trying to avoid outdoor advertising? I mean wtf?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serious question for the HATERS:

do you think outdoor advertising will ever really be banned in a city such as NYC?

think about it before you respond

Anonymous Anonymous said...

landlords,the city,and whoever owns property has the right to do whatever they want with that property.If they choose to put billboards or wallscapes on that property it is there choice.If you dont like the advertising dont look at it .It is the city!!! Advertising will never go away,learn to live with it or move to the sticks.Even Bloomberg had advertising on his sidewalk scaffolding for his building on 59th street.Yes we all know that pepsi exists and looking at a billboard for pepsi doesnt make me want one I prefer coke but if they want to spend money on advertising and give a shitload of people jobs to put that advertisement up they should be able to without vandals and theifs breaking into and removing their property.I dont know anyone that thinks graffiti looks good and to call it street art is hilarious.I can;t wait to see advertising on sidewalk bridges again,Construction sites are ugly Ads make those shitty bridges look alot better!!

Anonymous Billy Badazz said...

@ Anonymous above me:

If you think out of your closed-off by superglue box, then envisioning a REDUCED ad environment for New York City is indeed possible. Over-saturated ads in New York city and other major cities is indirectly creating an A.D.D. effect which we all ultimately don't want, but it happens anyway. See, i'm already thinking in defeatist mode, thanks to you.

Blogger KNOX HARRINGTON said...

A note to Anonymous.

If you believe in everything you say then take credit for your statements. Who are you? Have you been hired by an advertising company to scour the internet sticking your stinky opinions and comments up?

Advertising sucks, my girlfriend and I both have spent time in the advertising biz. I have produced advertisements for products I know don't work. I have been in too many meetings with smiling sycophants who talk about ways to reach the younger demographics already over saturated with advertising.

I think graffiti and street art are beautiful. I think many advertisers have accepted these art forms and routinely try to cash in on their current trendiness.

Your flippant categorization of all street artists as people who fear the world will come to an end, merely highlights your blind devotion and unquestioning allegiance to the almighty dollar.

If you died tomorrow what would your legacy be? What will you leave for the next generation of the world? We already know what you hope to take away from this one.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think graffiti and street art are beautiful!

Are you 17?Do you like living in the ghetto.Graffiti is destruction and a disregard for peoples property .So when a new bridge overpass gets built or a new section of highway,It looks better when someone scribles on it with a can of spraypaint.Thats not even art! Billboards do by no means ruin the landscape of the city.Graffiti ruins the city.Sidewalk bridges look better with advertisements on them.Move out of the city if you don't like it...


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