<body> Public Ad Campaign: Please Vote-Urban Canvas Design Competition
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.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Please Vote-Urban Canvas Design Competition

I was just selected as a finalist for the Urban Canvas Design Competition. The 4 winners are decided by vote and I need your help! Please cast your vote here. Your vote will help us to continue providing large scale public projects and critical investigations of how to best serve our collective interests in public space.

Untitled"While beneath the scaffold and mesh covering, architecture in New York City loses nuance to the rigid rectangular forms of construction. Through repeated woven patterns and perspective shifts the ordinary rectangle becomes an extraordinary tool with which to contemplate the surfaces of our city."

A little history...
A while back PublicAdCampaign ran a project called NYSAT. Organizing the efforts of nearly a hundred artists, activists, and citizens, we reclaimed nearly 20,000 square feet of illegal outdoor advertising space run by a company called National Promotions of America. They also happened to be the same company illegally Wildposting construction sheds all over New York City. The unauthorized civil disobedience was definitely noticed by the DOB, and although a positive connection was never fully acknowledged, action was taken against this company swiftly after the project. The result was the removal of many of the illegal street level billboards as well as the end of large scale Wildposting in NYC. It seemed in some way we had won.
This left many of the construction sheds around the city empty, a bare blue surface begging for public interaction. Not more than a few months after the Wildposting stopped I received an email from within the DOB telling me about the Urban Canvas Design competition. It seemed that the city had taken steps to insure that the bare blue walls would come alive in the future. In fact, all of the construction safety structures would come alive, insuring that Wildposting would not continue and public art would take its rightful place. For me personally it also proved that direct action projects like NYSAT can have a serious affect on the quality of our shared spaces.
With that said, out of the 8 finalists, 4 will be selected by the public. Each of these individuals will receive $7,500 as an award. While this is not an immense amount of money, to a grassroots project like PublicAdCampaign it is a huge boost to our funding (of which there is none). This award would help us in numerous ways but probably most fitting, it would help us bring a project similar to NYSAT to yet another city. And if NYSAT was in any way responsible, however slightly, for the Design Competitions creation, the awards use for yet another civil disobedience project seems only too fitting.
A little about the design...
While I walked around NY looking at construction shed after construction shed, trying to pull inspiration out of the myriad configurations they took, I noticed again how ubiquitous they are around our city. I racked my brain for colors and pattern, complexity and simplicity, trying to envision my thoughts translated onto these surfaces. Many designs came to mind and over and over again I asked myself if I liked the design, but also how its repetition throughout the city might affect my continued appreciation of it. I thought to myself could I look at that everyday and possibly at many different locations? Many of the designs did not stand up to this criteria and in the end more complex patterns, arrangements of color fell to the side in favor of the simple black and white woven pattern I have been working with for the past few years in my public work. The pattern would transform the rigid structure of the architecture beneath, but allow the viewer to let it go relatively unnoticed if desired.
While I have been known to try to change my imagery often in order to remained un-branded as an artist and therefor escape criticism that I use the streets and advertising venues as advertising for myself, the woven pattern has continued in my work for a reasonable amount of time now. I promise that I will change this soon. Even as I write this I am working on a show for the Vincent Michael gallery which I promise will begin a departure from this simple, albeit affective design element.
DOB announcement PDF.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

      Sharon Zukin
      The Cultures of Cities

      Miriam Greenberg
      Branding New York

      Naomi Klein
      No Logo

      Kalle Lasn
      Culture Jam

      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness

      Stuart Ewen
      All Consuming Images

      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
      Channels of Desire

      Jeff Ferrell
      Crimes of Style

      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing

      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities