OX For Bien Urbain
VIA VandalogRJ over at Vandalog recently posted this new work by OX for the Bien Urbain festival. He is touting it as a nearly perfect advertising takeover, fulfilling several categories which focus around the disruption of commercial messages without overtly aggressive imagery and the works ability to inspire others to take similar action.
I have been a fan of OX's work for a long time now. He is the most consistent artist working with outdoor advertising in public space. As RJ mentioned, the work is non-intrusive and yet aggressive by its very existence. Hidden in broad daylight, recognizing one of OX's takeovers is like being let in on an inside joke. You wonder if anyone else around you recognizes that the tiny local piece of the world you are living in has been changed for the better. This couldn't be more true with this piece.
RJ adds one con to this recent disruption which I disagree with and that is that the piece is up high enough that it does not give the viewer the sense that ad takeovers are something simple enough that they might be able to do them on their own. For me, part of working in public with ad takeovers is to remind other public citizens that interaction with our shared spaces can be an important part of feeling connected to ones space and community. It also allows citizens to question outdoor advertising's preeminence in those public spaces and in doing so imagine alternative media which might better suit their needs. The difficulty of the takeover should not be seen as discouraging but rather a challenge to those interested to go bigger and better with their actions. While many advertising takeovers can be simple to pull off, many are not and that should not reflect poorly on their ability to inspire other action.