<body> Public Ad Campaign: What's Left is the Idea
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's Left is the Idea

One last post for the day and then I'm getting to my work.

PosterBoy and I have talked at length about the process of ad removal and rearrangement. The merits of destruction lacking artistry and finesse in a world of aesthetics and colors. Even graffiti stands on legs made strong by highly developed aesthetic codes. In light of this what can you make of such a wanton disregard for property and civil laws, conceived as an artistic endeavor. Maybe it is being misrepresented as art and is closer to activist projects. I returned to the scene of the crime where PosterBoy removed a large vinyl billboard and found something in the middle, an idea. No longer did Van Wagner control the message. What was left is the empty space upon which you can project your thoughts and desires about the place you want to be.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice for you to showcase criminal behavior on your website.

If you want some respect for your cause, you should respect yourself.

I hope you and PosterBoy are prosecuted.

You should know that Van Wagner, while you think they are the enemy, have incredible attorney's and have tons of connections to the City.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

Van Wagner is not the enemy. They merely reap the benefits of an apathetic crowd sedated by the years of monotonous use of public space.

This work is done out of respect for ones self and ones beliefs and conceptions of a better space to live in.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok, but this is still criminal activity

no other way to look at it

if you owned a store which sold products that offended some people, would u be ok with people vandalizing the store?

Protesting is cool and I am all for protests. Breaking the law makes you the lowest form of life.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

I respectfully disagree. I would not be okay with people vandalizing a store because of the nature of its products, none of us would. Thats why it doesnt happen.

Its amazing how many people agree with what we are doing and dont stop us. The crime is determined by the people in the end and this is clearly something people as a whole are upset about.

The public has not made a decision about whether or not we should be able to vandalize outdoor advertising. That was determined without our consent.

By doing these project we intend to make this an issue and then the public can decide for itself.

thank you for your earnest response

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van Wagner does'nt even own those boards they are mta city property. Not only are you destroying property and trespassing on city property you created a danger to the public!!!! 14' and 20' bars inside a vinyl face that weighs about 50- 75 lbs flying around could hurt someone or create an accident. And creates a danger for the men that have to go remove that .They have families to go home to safely.I hope posterboy gets caught by one of us and not the cops!!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danger to the Public? The bottom half was purposely left fastened. There aren't any bars, and mind you the billboard wasn't that secure in the first place. Many of the straps were left unattached by whoever installed it in the first place. Danger to the men removing it? They have to go up there anyway to put up and take down the ads. The only person putting their neck out was Poster Boy. Property, trespassing, cops, Mta. These are words that have a different meaning for Poster Boy. Legalities, if impractical or unjust, should be challenged. I think people are tired of bureaucratic solutions. By the way, wasn't slavery legal at one point? There are people that consider our current system a form of modern day slavery. Anonymous, if you don't feel there's something wrong with the way corporations run our world than I'm wasting my time. There is a difference between what is just and what is legal. You can wait for leaders like Obama to set it right, but don't hold your breath. I intend to break out of this prison.

Blogger Daily Dose said...

i think what you and poster boy are doing is very important work. we live in a world so inundated with advertising that we have ceased to question the intent behind it, or the fact that we have been completely desensitized to it. and because of this, so many forms of media are slowly falling apart. perhaps what poster boy can do is show us (consumers and advertisers alike) what it is people will respond to now, a quiet, robin hood-esque aura of authenticity is a good start.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

PosterBoy- thanks for letting me know that is MTA property.

MTA will be contacted.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes there are bars in both sides and along the top and bottom leaving just the bottom attached is not safe to the publiuc it is extremely dangerous and the side bars and top bars were left in the face loose when you left.It did create a danger to the men who had to go and remove that face cause it wasnt dropped in a controlled situation and the catwalk they had to walk on to remove it was covered by the face.If you continue doing this you or someone is going to get hurt.........

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who works in advertising but came into it when I was a street artist, I have to say I side up with Poster Boy. While I do not question the danger (not just in this specific instance) but in all of what you call "Illegal" art, you have to realize that as an artist, this comes with the territory. When I was a graffiti artist, I knew the dangers of falling off a billboard sign, or roof or stairways. Not only did it have danger to me, but danger to anyone else who may be around me at the time. But, as an artist, the "act" of creating something is just as artistic as the creation itself.
Some of the greatest artists in history did dangerous things and some were even recognized with fame because of it.

But, to first say "oh, poor MTA"....as an NYC resident, the MTA is one of the most corrupted unions I ever come across. They take my (and Poster Boys) tax money to fix the cars we drive in. I know this may sound silly, buy if Poster Boy is paying for this in a way, it really in a way, belongs to him (as well as other NYers). I know its sounds dumb but I think that the MTA has really stepped themselves into a new low lately. They were the ones to complain about grafitti on the trains and now they slap ads all over them (on the outside, on the floor, on the seats). You want to tell me those are not an eyesore? At least with grafitti (even etched scribbles) have a form of artistic method created by the person making it. It shows their individuality (even if some are uglier than others) the point is, is that the MTA and the ads they FORCE on the commuters isnt any better then the graffiti scratched onto a window on the S-Train.

As far as making public display your own canvas, I am all for it. I hate to bring Banksy into this because he is so trendy now, but he really was one of the first to be recognized as an "artist" in London rather than a "vandal". Some of the places he painted became places where the UK government forbids covering up or painting over. They know that tourists flock there to snap photos with his "balloon girl" or the "this is not a photo op" stencil. He really created a shift from "vandal" to "artist" while using public spaces to create this revolution.

Poster Boy is no different in that manner. If five years from now, NYC (although highly unlikely) chooses to save any acts made by Poster Boy because he is considered a witty artist by the popular majority and MTA knows that tourists will pay $3 to enter a subway station just to snap a photo next to one of his creations (without even riding a train), I think we would be having a completely different conversation.

Personally, if you want to see what we (as a population) will be if we let the world fill us with advertising and not fight back, go rent Wall-E and watch it over the long weekend. Notice the obscene amount of ads in the human colony and tell me that isn't Times Square.

The earth is a beautiful Canvas. Why dont you put your energy of complaining into people who club seals or cut down trees. You will do a lot better for the future of your children than whining about how Poster Boy may hurt someone by moving a giant sheet 30 feet up.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That has nothing to do with the danger a 14' x 48' vinyl face left loose with 20' fiberglass bars in pockets if it got as windy as it was last week it could have flew off the board wrapped a car or a person walking by or one of the bars could have come down onto someones head or god forbid a baby in a stroller art is one thing cutting strapps that are holding up a vinyl face and turning it into a giant kite that could rip off and hurt someone is something else and it is dangerous to the public.

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

Phonebooth advertising in NYC alone made upwards of 60 million dollars last year, the city seeing a small portion of that. Why don't you guys take care of the genocide and we will handle what we think is important.

what's Urban Outfitters?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you are so dense. Do you not see that most of the atrocities being committed are a result of a flawed culture? The information that is propagated by the media is very potent. I'm all for directly helping the needy, but I'm trying to attack the problem at its core.
Yuppie? You presumptuous prick. Come to my neck of the woods and say that to my face, that is if you aren't mugged on the way. I was born, raised, and still living poor. After much sacrifice and struggle to support my family I went to school and dedicated my life to promoting culture and fighting for a cause that effects EVERYONE rather than trying to make a buck. You're a complete moron if you don't realize how empowering it is to take control of one's environment. How can people love others if do not love themselves? Just remember I do this anonymously and don't make a f*cking dime from it.
Jordan, Urban Outfitters is a clothing store. I should know because I had to steal then sell their clothes on the street in order to eat.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but I'm trying to attack the problem at its core..."

ask the next homeless person you see which they'd rather have: your latest 'artistic statement' or a sandwich/slice of pizza.

your motives are immature and selfish and your cause is the trendiest of trendy.

stealing from chain stores might feel like liberation and subversion, until you realize that the store passes on the loss from your shoplifting onto the already-meager paychecks of its employees. it's *them* you're hurting, not the people on high.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i would just like to say that i appreciate the work jordan and poster boy do.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

to anonymous: i don't think you have any clue what these street artisits are trying to say. you sound wildly confused and stubborn. instead of trying to make them feel like what they are doing is wrong, why don't you really find out what it is they stand for? because i guarantee you that no matter whay you say here, they will continue to work.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done PB,
If humans past/present weren't willing to break the law we would live in incredibly fascistic and controlled societies, and well, we do!

Most human (civil) rights and ecological gains come from some form of action that has been "against the law".
If you look at many pieces of legislation like the Patriot Act and most Anti-Terrorist legislation it, literally, criminalizes all dissent.

And to those that say you put someone in danger, just point to the reality,
no one WAS hurt.

I think this type of billboard alteration is much more effective than "adbusting"

Blogger Jordan Seiler said...

Justseeds. thank you for framing this issue in terms of human rights.

This site is about altering the way our society chooses to fundamentally treat its public space and its citizens, and this project like very few others directly confronts this idea without the frivolity of adbusting and alteration tactics.

There is plenty more to come.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, there will be plenty of more to come when u hear from MTA and Van Wagner's lawyers.

I wonder how you will feel then.

Ass clowns.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling all critics!

1) Public property is subject to the authority of the majority. Any laws restricting the freedom of the people to express their views using public media are unconstitutional, whether these laws provide censorship, exact fees for the "service" of expression, or even require an application and identification process. MTA is a public benefit corporation, meaning that insofar as many aspects of their operations are concerned (for instance promotions), they reap both the advantages and responsibilities of any other public entity. If you don't adhere to such standards of liberty, then I suggest that you relocate to a place where the government more overtly overlooks the basic rights of the people.

2)Billboards are tools used to influence people's minds and gear them towards consumption, and it is very good at accomplishing that goal. If it wasn't an effective means of manipulation, then companies wouldn't collectively spend billions each year on advertising.

An individual with no background in advertising or psychology may make the mistake that the purpose of a billboard is simply to forge a memory of a product or company name. The truth known by most if not all who are educated on the subject is that advertising uses one or multiple "emotional appeals" to manipulate public opinion in favor of the product or company. Britney doesn't drink Pepsi so you'll remember Pepsi. You already know about Pepsi. Britney drinks Pepsi because you want to fuck Britney or you want to be Britney or you love to hate Britney like you love to hate your precious/detestable caffeinated corn syrup soda water.

This force of psychological manipulation DOES have a negative effect on society, since the vast majority of advertisements emphasize self-interest. You cannot emphasize self-interest without simultaneously de-emphasizing self-sacrifice. This means that those "buy zit cream and she may give you a hand job" commercials and even the helpful "if you smoke could look ugly when you're 40" billboards may help turn sweet little Timmy into a self-centered, self-loathing, self-improving-and-destructing Tim. Since this archetypal "Consumer Tim" is probably more likely to see the inside of the space station than his local soup kitchen or Habitat for Humanity office, anything to help slow the rapid production of Tims in this country is helpful, not harmful.

3) As for those of you who think that somehow this act is irresponsible, perhaps you should compare it to some of the "legitimate" artistic endeavors. http://blogofhilarity.com/tag/shit (look for the article "Giant Feces Destroys Swiss Town").

4) People are dying. The world is dying. If we don't do something about it, there will be nothing left of this beautiful thing we call life on this planet. One way for a skilled, creative person to make a difference is to help pull the plug on consumerist psychological manipulation, to remove us from the realm of the unreal and back into the world where your purchases and actions have real effects on you and everyone else on this goddamn rock. If you have a complaint, stop bitching at others who are trying to use their own abilities to make a difference and go do something about it yourself. Some day, despite your disapproval of his methods, you may even thank PosterBoy for drawing your attention away from the contents of a billboard and towards the issues that this world faces. With that I bid you good day. You are free to respond, but you will most assuredly receive no response. I limit myself to one blog response manifesto per annum, and it looks like I used mine a little early this year. Have a good day.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love it!! I have never heard of these issues before and this whole argument helped me understand what poster boy is doing and i love it!!! come down to miami we have a bunch of posters here!!

and anonymous i think you should just chill out! nobody likes a snitch and most importantly no one got hurt. im sure poster boy will be extra careful from now on. and im certain he never had any intentions of hurting anyone he's actually trying to do the contrary help us!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think anonymous is a little lacking in cause and effect rationale. Perhaps we should put it in simpler terms.

Multi-Billion Dollar Corporations = Bad

Liberation of Controlled Media = Good

Also does the country you support by paying your taxes help with genocides in africa or atrocities in the middle east. Do starving orphans in afghanistan get a percentage of your 3 square meals a day?

Does the corporate advertising entity care about public safety, emotional well-being, fulfilled happy lives or your ability to formulate and unbiased unpolluted concept as to what you need as a human being to survive?

Answer is a resounding no.

You seem to be under the assumption that our government and major media actually cares for us. If that is the case then I feel it is my duty to inform you that all they care about is how much lighter your pocketbook is after you walk out of "Insert Store".

Go back to your fair trade co op corporate grocery stores, your Ethos water, 10th of a percent donation, your prius, your renewable fibers clothing and your precious peta support group you imbecile. You have no idea about art, freedom of speech nor even freedom of thought. Your arguments are as shallow as that drunken piss puddle I left in an alley way.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha anonymous's posts are so dramatic. They aren't intimidating! They are funny! People like you give posterboy more reason to make art. Great work!

Blogger Anonymusss said...

Poster boy i love your work. I feel that this is super creative and inspiring! i would love it if u did some work in the Bronx around fordham or Kingsbridge. This would totally rock! its like you're starting a new trend or something.
keep it up.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA HA PosterBoy Got Arrested ha ha!!!!Next up Jordan Seiler


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