<body> Public Ad Campaign: NYSAT-Whitewash Video
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Friday, May 1, 2009

NYSAT-Whitewash Video

In a cruel twist of fate that I'm sure will not go unnoticed by NPA, I have come down with strep and it has prevented me from doing anything but lie in bed. I am attaching a video shot by team 3 of the NYSAT project to fill my posting void but also because is it indicative of the kind of day everyone who worked on this project had.

These two guys were amazing, and I hope to continue figuring out ways to work with them in the future. The video is a montage of the locations they whitewashed, first with ads, and then the white after they had done their work. I think around 5:18 you get to see them do some real whitewashing. They signed up for no other reason than they thought it was a good cause and I commend their efforts. As far as I understand, they had never done anything like this project and they took it very seriously, maybe too seriously. It must have been hot in those painters outfits.

Regardless, I think the overwhelming exuberance on their faces is testament to how incredibly invigorating and empowering reclaiming your public space is. The music choice they made might also be an indicator. In fact reclaiming doesn't even have to be a part of it, many of the artists who simply created work over these whitewashed spaces came away with similar faces filled with excitement. Being able to alter your public visual environment is an important part of becoming invested in that space. It is important that the city acknowledge this and find ways for its citizens to create murals, and do public works. This is an overwhelming task but one the citizens are willing to take on themselves, in the form of public school murals, graffiti murals, local hero memorials, and the numerous other form of public visual works that may be dreamed of if the spaces used for advertising are given back to the people of this city.

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