<body> Public Ad Campaign: March 2011
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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something Just Changed In Madrid

photo: Jaime Alekos - www.jaimealekos.com

Looks like we did it again! more info to follow soon…

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Friday, March 25, 2011

McDonalds I'm (Not) Lovin' It

Faith 47 sent me this image. While I don't know Faith personally, her work makes me feel like I do. Art is a wonderful thing that way. Communities grow, sometimes without needing personal interactions.

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

1010 Hitting Billboards in Berlin

Photos from Unurth

I'm not sure if these were actually ad takeovers or if the ads had been blank prior to 1010's work. Either way, I'm not sure I care. Maybe it's the pink that distracts me from the logo in the right hand corner, but it doesn't bother me as it normally would. Somehow the simplicity and playfulness of the imagery makes my mind wander in all the appropriate directions.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bee Is For Billboard

VIA Unurth
This Bumblebee takeover in LA is over some Contest Promotions advertising. A large group of us hit this company hard in New York a while back and are glad to see west coasters taking back their space as well. Has anyone noticed how many people are working over outdoor ads these days? It's like a little sub-movement and I couldn't be happier about it. Godspeed to all the public space activists out there.

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Katsu Phonebooth Hits Are Way Legit

Images VIA The Street Spot

Katsu has taken a large number of phonebooths over recently. Projected numbers reach far beyond 50 takeovers. While I was on the fence about his recent takeovers which seemed more about promoting his show at Power House, the sheer breadth of this takeover is what gets me excited. Katsu, if you're out there and willing to contact me, please do. I would really love to speak with you about your work!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Urban Geography With the Royal Holloway University of London

I have been doing a bit of talking these days, most recently at the Southern Graphics Council in Saint Louis and today with Geography students from the Royal Holloway University of London. We had planned a long walk from City Hall to the Lower East side, but rain and cold winds caused us to retreat back to my studio. Normally I use this walk to talk about the different affects of the visual environment on spatial control and environmental issues but today, in the studio, the conversation focused more on PublicAdCamapaign actions and other street art/urban art projects. As per usual, the most important teaching tool I have found is action, and the phonebooth install above was done to show the students how simple public space interaction can be.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Richard Deon's Writ Large Billboard in Saint Louis

Today I am at the SGC conference in Saint Louis for a panel discussion called, Counterbalancing The News: printmaking takes on the mainstream media. About a month ago I was asked to judge a billboard competition which would coincide with the conference. Having arrived yesterday with little to do but meet the other panelists, I wandered my way over to the Good Citizen Gallery to meet the director Andrew James. We had a nice talk and I managed to grab a few photos of the winning design installed above the gallery. Andrew, upon purchasing the building, has used the pre installed billboard to bring artistic ideas to Saint Louis as opposed to the typical commercial signage which often looms high above. Big thanks to Andrew for all of his efforts and to the winning design by Richard Deon.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If Only Jesus Had The Foresight

Little did jesus know the problem would be less that his disciples would "want", but that the unfaithful would demand their desire through the repeated invocation of need. If he could see us now, maybe he would change his tune and tell his sons, "Do not create unwanted desire."

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Desire Obtain Cherish billboard takeover

This billboard takeover in Hollywood is nearly perfect. Effective as a billboard takeover for the anti-consumerism, the use of a perfect “Big Brothter-y” image and for completely removing the original text on the billboard. Plus, and here’s the kicker, the artists call themselves Desire Obtain Cherish, so, if you’re in on it, it’s a bit of an ad for them too, but if you’re not (and I’m guess most people are not), it’s just a takeover.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pantheon - A History of Art From the Streets of NYC

Recently I was asked to be involved in the upcoming Pantheon Exhibition. While street art and graffiti histories are always suspect to me, Pantheon doesn't bill itself as "the" history but rather "a" history. The exhibition opens in April with a gallery show as well as a catalog with interviews and imagery intent on carving out a narrative for this long standing tradition of unauthorized public space usage. I look forward to seeing this project take shape and will post more information as it becomes available.

35 graffiti writers and street artists will unite to reclaim the former Donnell Library as a repository of visual information on the growing world-wide phenomenon of street art. This exhibition will present an art historical timeline that is a part of New York City's unique legacy. The artistic contribution of these cultural catalysts and preservationists from the 70's to the new millennium will address the ever-changing urban landscape and alternative modes of producing art in the streets. Pantheon Website.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

This interview with John Fekner by Monica Campana is well worth the read. Enjoy
In the 70′s, only a few artists were using the streets as way to reach out to people, communicate and ultimately make art. Accompanied by Don Leicht, his long time collaborator, John Fekner brought art and help to areas in New York that were in need at the time. “Decay/Abandoned” , “Wheels Over Indian Trails”,”Post no bills, Post no dreams”, etc were only some of the hundreds of messages John spray painted all over New York. What some might have called vandalism, some others saw as a welcoming statement, and some others saw as a sign that things needed to get fixed in the city. [More Here]

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression

Hello PublicAdCampaign readers. I rarely post anything which asks for donations to this site because it just makes me feel uncomfortable. That said, a while back I was interviewed for an upcoming documentary film called Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle For Expression. I am unsure if I made the final cut but I am sure that this will be an incredibly interesting film made simply by the persistent and unflinching efforts of the filmmakers. Read below for a description of the film and if you can, donate a few bucks. Understanding our relationship to our public environment and the democratic and shared nature of that space is an important part of developing a healthy city of the future. Investigations like these are unusual and yet incredibly important. Thank you to all those involved in the film for your hard work. [Trailer]
As you may have heard, I've been working on a feature documentary for the last two years. The film is an investigation into the phenomenon of "anti-graffiti vigilantes" and the wider cultural battle around graffiti and street art. It may sound a bit obscure, but we feel that it's a unique approach to a timely topic and a compelling exposé of some very eccentric characters. Ultimately, the film is about tolerance and free expression and creating conversations about how we all share the same public space. For more background on the film and a trailer, you can check us out online:

Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression
Up to this point, the film has been entirely self-funded by myself and and my friend/producer Nate Wollman. We've got a very solid 85 minute cut that is getting great responses and starting to generate interest. Our aim is to finish completely in the next 3 months. But there are a few major expenses that we'll need to cover, including the final stages of editing, color grading, music rights, and a studio sound mix. All of this stuff can be very expensive and we're currently running a "crowdfunding" campaign on kickstarter.com with the goal of raising $8000 over the next four weeks. We're already up to $1340, but if we don't reach our goal by April 7, we won't get any of the funds!
Self-promotion and appealing for money do not come naturally to me, but I do feel that this is a worthy project that many people will enjoy and find to be both insightful and entertaining. If you could spare a few bucks or maybe more, every cent is appreciated. If we just got $10 from all of our friends and fans, we could probably reach our goal. Even if you can't donate, just passing on the link to some friends who might be interested would be a great help.
We have some excellent rewards for donating--everything from a DVD of the finished film for just $25 to an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit for $2000. Check out the rest of the goodies and a little video we put together on our Kickstarter page:

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More Window Advertising Pops Up In The City Despite A Long Lull in Activity

Looks like someone is up to no good in the city again plastering empty storefronts with street level billboards. A PublicAdCampaign reader sent me these photos after filing complaint number 1297583 which has sat unanswered for nearly a month. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. If you see any of these large street level billboards in your neighborhood, take a picture, file a complaint, and send us your photos. Thanks everyone for your continued diligence in protecting our streets.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ad Blocking In Berlin

VIA Wooster Collective

A couple of months ago, ad-projectors appeared in a Berlin subway station, throwing moving images all over the station walls and lifting visual aggressiveness to a new level. Since the images were projected, we could get between projector and projection to fight this new quality of exaggerated advertisement with its own weapons. Minimalinvasive adbusting devices made of mirrors, magnets and quite some ducktape.

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Monday, March 7, 2011

ATH 1281 Using Free Public Space

In New York there are a number of billboards along the BQE that were deemed illegal about a year ago. They have sat white, occasionally adorned by graf writers, for much of this time. It seems like Athens is having smiler issues, with similar results. The thought of having public media boards around the city, open for constant use and ultimately change, excites me.

Addventure: a project by
ath1281 x elias papanikolaou

in the summer of 2010 the vast
majority of athens’ outdoor signs were deemed illegal and were scheduled for takedown. However things are slow in our homeland so some of them stood for months, weeks or even days. It was only natural that such an opportunity wouldn't go to waste. It is not clear to us whether this was a legal action or not. One thing is for sure: it would certainly be illegal for the ATH PD.
anyway, this is our daily contribution, rushing after work and before the summer vacations to catch the little sunlight left — Enjoy! [Mini Site Here]

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MTA Considering Animated Tunnel Ads, Again

The MTA operating budget is over 10 billion dollars. Advertising revenue continues to be championed as an answer to our monetary woes, but consistently accounts for less than 1% of the MTA' stotal budget. That's somewhere around 2.25 cents on your ride to get rid of all advertising in the MTA.
The MTA, always looking for a quick buck these days, is bringing back an old idea: in-tunnel subway advertising. Basically advertisers would pay to put their signs up between stations, designing the ads to appear animated when trains sped by. This is not a new idea—the MTA mulledtesting out a similar scheme back in 2006. [More Here]

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Without Advertising A Better City Finds A Home

A while back 300 West 22nd was under siege. Much to the dismay of local residents, the empty storefront was being used as a massive street level billboard. Complaints were made to the DOB by myself as well as a bevy of local individuals who thought the advertising was incongruous with the local character of Chelsea. Because the ads were illegal, they were quickly removed and the storefront sat empty for several months. Today, this storefront is being used to show artwork, having hosted at least two exhibitions that I am aware of.

While this might seems inconsequential to some, to me it is a shinning example of what happens when we as a public condemn the use of public space for commercial signage. Without the ability to make a quick buck by subjecting an unwilling public to Rupaul's Drag Race, the landlord at 300 west 22nd was forced to find other uses for his vacant property. While I am sure that hosting art shows is more labor intensive than having a company like InWindow come and adhere stickers to your property, the extra effort clearly benefits us all. The question then becomes, what would happen if we removed all outdoor advertising? would the sides of our buildings suddenly find themselves adorned with murals? Would our subway systems suddenly be ripe with commissioned artworks? No one really knows, but 300 West 22nd is a good example of what might become of our city if we chose to remove unwanted commercial signage and let the city find replacements on its own.

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      Sharon Zukin
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