<body> Public Ad Campaign: Los Angeles' Weather Doesn't Make the Problem Any Better
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Los Angeles' Weather Doesn't Make the Problem Any Better

I just got out to LA for a bit of work, to catch up with some friends, and to check out the utterly horrendous outdoor advertising scene. Yes the digital billboards are out of control, the supergraphic on the side of my hotel is enormous and overwhelming, and yes the Metro Fuel ads, to which the Supreme court delivered a final blow recently, are still getting copy. Tomorrow it's off to see the Philip Lumbang mural that is causing such an uproar all for myself.

In the meantime I leave you with the How Many Billboards? Art in Stead project, presented by the MAK Center for Art and Architecture.
"Twenty-one works in the vein of California's conceptual art movement have been commissioned to critically respond to the medium of the billboard and interpret its role in the urban landscape. Investigating art as an idea as well as art as a media for critical intervention, the exhibition highlights the interaction of Pop, conceptualism and architecture in Los Angeles since the late 1960s."
Although I don't entirely agree with Kimberly, her statement does propose a more beneficent public space and one that begins to call into question advertising's role in the public environment.

Kimberli Meyer's statement:
"The philosophical proposition of the exhibition is simple: art should occupy a visible position in the cacophony of mediated images in the city, and it should do so without merely adding to the visual noise. How Many Billboards? Art In Stead proposes that art periodically displace advertisement in the urban environment.

Billboards are a dominant feature of the landscape in Los Angeles. Thousands line the city's thoroughfares, delivering high-end commercial messages to a repeat audience. Given outdoor advertising's strong presence in public space, it seems reasonable and exciting to set up the possibility for art to be present in this field. The sudden existence of artistic speech mixed in with commercial speech provides a refreshing change of pace. Commercial messaging tells you to buy; artistic messaging encourages you to look and to think." [More Here]

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