Saturday, March 31, 2012
OX's work is incredible. The simple geometry married with location specific thoughtfulness keeps his work fresh and yet subtle, not to mention the fact that he is one of the most prolific takeover artists I know. So naturally when he asked me to collaborate for a new series he is working on, I jumped right on board. I was very happy with the results and I hope you are too. More from OX on his Website and his latest collaboration with LUDO here.
This Space Available Screening at Columbia University
This Space Available will be screening at Columbia University this upcoming Monday. For anyone who missed the movie the first time I around, I highly suggest making the trek uptown. The movie is an insightful look at the industry as a whole and the movement to curb excessive outdoor media pollution.
Northwest Corner Building Room 501
Campus entrance at 116th Street & Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Monday, April 2, 2012 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM (ET)
Reserve tickets [HERE]
Old Billboard Once Advertised for Cigarettes
I was out testing some Augmented Reality this morning and came across this old billboard that dates back to before vinyl was the preferred method for the industry. I can only assume that the brand name has been blacked out since advertising for cigarettes is illegal on billboard signage. I thought the text quite nice on its own.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
The Regret Project NYC
This ongoing user generated art project aims to spread private regrets in hopes of sparking public interactions. More Below or at The Regret Project.Regret Project is a community-sourced public arts project in which I ask folks to submit (anonymously, if they wish) their greatest regrets with the promise that I will transform as many as possible into street art throughout New York City. It all started with a single regret via an anonymous facebook friend, and today I have received approximately 200 submissions. I'll continue to hold up my end of the bargain so long as I can afford it, and would love to collaborate with fellow street artists that might interpret the project differently--and with more aesthetic appeal. As always, every medium in the city will be considered conduit for the message of Regret Project which is, to me, carpe diem.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Is This Illegal?
Monday, March 26, 2012
Street Advertising Campaign for Spiderman 4
VIA Animal New York
In the most recent trailer for the new Spider-Man movie, there’s one part where the camera pans to a a huge red spider painted on the wall, apparently the web-slinging superhero is now a street artist too, which would probably explain this IRL version spotted in the East Village. This must be part of the studio’s street marketing campaign and a little taste of what you can expect until the film opens on July 3rd. (Photo: ANIMALNewYork)
New Work For Harlan Levey Projects
I just finished and shipped out this piece entitled "The Jazz Scene", after the book it was made from. The piece uses some reclaimed materials and LED lights that every so often flicker to give the feel of an old degraded sign. It also comes accompanied by a video of some relevant street action which I cant show here.
The Jazz Scene is for a group show in Brussels that I am extremely excited to be a part of at Harlan Levey Projects. Ill have a full rundown of the show in a second post a few days from now. Enjoy!
The Jazz Scene 2012Running With Rocky
Group Exhibition at HLP
April 14th – June 3rd
HLP presents four participatory art projects, which operate in the public domain.
I-95 - Zoe Strauss (USA)
The Art of Urban Warfare - Jeroen Jongeleen (Influenza) (NL)
The Superhero Project - Abner Preis (USA)
PublicAdCampaign - Jordan Seiler (USA)
The Jazz Scene 2012 detail
Sunday, March 25, 2012
OX and LUDO Collaboration in Paris
OX just started doing a series of collaborations with other artists who work over advertising. I am one of the fortunate people he asked to contribute and I sent my piece off to him recently. Emailing me to tell me the package arrived safely, he sent over this image of his recent collaboration with Ludo. J'adore!
Friday, March 23, 2012
The Convoluted Path to Ending Los Angeles's Mural Ban
When Lister's Planet of the Apes DVD release mural went up I knew it would cause trouble. His international reputation and unique style place him directly at the center of modern urban art practices, a revered artist amongst many. The advertisement he painted has all of his signature mark making and it blurs almost imperceptibly the line between fine art and advertising content. Given the history of self interested litigious activity on the part of outdoor advertising in Los Angeles, it is a perfect example upon which to make claims that art and commerce are one and the same on the streets of our cities. Sadly this is the last thing a city needs that has been fighting for some twenty years to define an artistic mural so that artists can once again take to the streets and glorify LA with their imagery. While it would seem a simple task, the quote below gets at the heart of why LA has been unable to craft a mural ordinance, but also shows the true colors of an advertising world intent on abusing public space despite the cities interest in curbing their activities for the larger social good.
"The big fear from our city attorney's office, due to the past history of litigation, is that whatever kind of mural program we create is going to be perverted and subverted for commercialization and advertising. And that’s what we’re trying to avoid," Blackman says.
The Atlantic Cities Article:Once regarded as the mural capital of the world, Los Angeles in recent years has lost a good deal of its street art cred. Decades of loose regulation on signs and murals led to some creative law-skirting by outdoor advertising firms, bringing about a string of lawsuits and rule changes – and more lawsuits and more rule changes. The eventual result was an all-out moratorium on new murals.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
NYC Subway Deface Website
A friend of mine just turned me on to the website NYC Subway Deface. As the name would suggest it's a collection of NYC subway defacements. While many of the defacements are juvenile scrawl, the sheer volume of posts attests to the numbers of NY'ers who feel the need or right to talk back to commercial media. To me this site also proves that the witch hunt against Posterboy was a farce given the ubiquity of subway advertising alterations.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Artung! At it Again in Montreal
The Artung crew is at it again for the second time in Montreal! This action removed 300 pillar ads and replaced them with images of public interest. A typical argument against actions like this includes the comment "I don't want to see your shitty art." and I don't see this project escaping that criticism given its super grassroots nature. That said as far as I am concerned these actions are not about beautifying the streets as much as they about using property disobedience to assert the public's rightful ownership over public space despite outdoor advertisings control. I commend everyone involved and hope to see them make progress as they repeat their performance until change is found. See the map [HERE] and read the press release below.
21/03/12 - This morning, ARTUNG ! offers the people of Montreal more than 300 artworks . Installed in the advertising panels belonging to Pattison, CBS Outdoor and Astral Media, these displays denounce the increase in tuition fees.
“The public space should encourage citizen expression and represent different points of view. Unfortunately, the urban landscape is overrun with advertisements. The commercialization of our living space leaves room for only one message: sell and consume”, according to the co-spokesperson of ARTUNG!, Peggy Faye.
Last May, 200 advertisements were replaced by artworks to reclaim the public space while at the same time denouncing the lawsuit filed by Pattison, CBS Outdoor and Astral Media against the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. On September 7, 2010, Mayor Ferrandez’s administration adopted a by law calling for the removal of the 45 panels installed on its territory. Today, although the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough has sent out 86 statements of offense, none of the huge advertising panels has been removed – these companies are therefore acting illegally.
This time, the ARTUNG initiative is coming out in support of the 220 900 students who are presently on strike. Tomorrow the 22 of March, thousands of citizens will fill the public space during a huge national demonstration to oppose the decision of the liberal government to increase tuition fees. This measure impairs the accessibility of education and public services.
“Teaching institutions, like the streets, should be places of dialogue rather than spaces subjected to the economics of the market,” states Pascale Brunet, co-spokesperson of ARTUNG!
Made up of a constellation of citizens of all stripes, ARTUNG! Invites the population to participate in a reflection on the future of our public spaces. Our streets should be a canvas for all communities and not for private companies. Our schools should be places for meeting and debating ideas, and not degree factories.
Photos and a video will be available this morning at : www.cecinestpasunepub.net
Monday, March 19, 2012
I Want To See Something Else Too. (I just don't want to have to pay for that right)
I was recently made aware of a project called "I want to see something else" out of Helsinki. Started by Elissa Eriksson as part of her MA final thesis, the project used Facebook to crowd source money from 1458 people to purchase of 21 bus shelter advertising spaces for one week at a total cost of 5896.66 euros. While I applaud the effort and the desire to reclaim public spaces from commercial media for public concerns, I cannot help but see only the worst in this project. Maybe this was Mrs Eriksson's intention all along but I am appalled by the fact that we now live in a world where one must buy back public space from private companies in order to have a forum for open public communication.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Plunderground Adventures in the UK
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Mediacy President Michael Gitter Sent Me This Image
Billboards along the BQE have been under attack by the NYC Dept. of Buildings for some time now because it seems they are almost all illegal. In response, the industry has been self promoting its worth with this sign. I have several responses to this. The first is that the industry came very close to killing someone when an illegal and thus un-inspected sign came down in a wind storm a few months ago. While this billboards removal might result in the loss of a single job, the loss of a life due to the unrelenting greed of the industry in general would be a much more tragic scenario. Second, the outdoor advertising industry is notorious for flouting the law and operating by their own set of rules. If the billboard is illegal I highly doubt that the company is concerned with paying the city its due for the erection of this sign. Whining about the loss of tax revenue is the last thing I think anyone is concerned about. And last but not least, the loss of this billboard would have many positive effects including the raising of local property values, benefits to our collective mental health and potentially an increase in extrinsic social behaviors for those now under the signs influence. When weighed out I don't think the public is all that concerned is some giant multinational is out of a few bucks.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Fresh Ad Takeovers from Ludo
Here is some fresh work from Ludo. I Can't thank artists enough for continuing to send us their ad takeover work. At this point we have hundreds of images documenting what has become a wonderful subset of the DIY public space movement. Please continue to send us your imagery and a big thank you to Ludo for continuing to make fantastic work.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
An Open Letter To Banksy
I am a bit behind on this post but thought it worth putting up despite this fact. Theres nothing too exciting about this response to Banksy's critique of the advertising world but I thought it worth noting one critical mistake. The Author, Craig Ward suggests that cigarette and car advertising has not caused him to purchase either product over the past 30 years. While this may be true, what Craig fails to acknowledge is that the repetition of imagery may not force behavior but does normalize the activities. Repetitive exposure to cigarette adds creates a fictional world in the mind in which people smoke, allowing the mind to entertain that possibility for itself. While it is true that people smoke, using public space to normalize this behavior is a public health hazard and should be treated as such. Should we reduce our dependence on the automobile in favor of public transportation? of course, but how might we invoke that option in our populace when we are surrounded by advertisements for cars which presume a world in which individual transport is the norm? Anyways, let us know what you think in the comments.
Begin latter to Banksy:EDIT March 1st, 18:30pm // The ‘letter’ to which I was referring here is a quote taken from two of Banksy’s books, ‘Cut it Out’ and ‘Wall and Piece’, only one of which I’ve read but clearly not recently enough that I remember the rant. It surfaced again this week, isolated from the rest of the material and context. That doesn’t change anything in particular, I just wanted to note it.
Dear Mr Banksy,
I read your recent open letter regarding ‘The Advertisers’ and I have to say I didn’t much like your tone, particularly coming from one of the art world’s greatest marketeers since possibly Warhol.
Allow me to say from the offset that I don’t much care for the advertising industry as a whole either, though having worked at several agencies in my career (as a typographer), I’ve done OK out of it. I live in New York these days but when I lived in London I used to see your work all the time. I didn’t ask to see it – in much the same way as you don’t ask to see advertising – and I never much cared for it either. A lot of my friends did though, and several of them now own your prints, books and in a couple of cases, original works.
I should probably mention that, without exception, all of those people work in advertising.
Now, as far as I see it, the very act of putting your work in the public eye – say on walls, street corners, in alleyways and underpasses etc – is, effectively advertising it by virtue of people being able to see it at all. Exposure is advertising. And unless I’m much mistaken, the only product you’re selling is yourself.
The last time I checked, The Advertisers at least had to pay a lot of money to use the public spaces that their wares occupy – unlike yourself who has decided to remove yourself from that model in the name of art and anti capitalism.
Another criticism often leveled at advertising is that it steals from artists and plagiarises ideas, where as your work is merely ‘inspired’ by one artist; Blek Le Rat. Which I guess is OK. And the fact that you’ve made a comfortable living from it is also fine. I feel like it’s a convenient irony though that the only people who can now afford to own your work are the ad-land Creative Directors and City boys that you so eagerly rail against, while at the same time selling your own brand of rebellious, anti-establishment cool.
If the Advertisers are laughing at us, then you are surely laughing with them.
It’s all just so easy isn’t it? Big companies are evil; advertising sells stuff for big companies; ergo, the people who work in advertising are also evil. I think Bill Hicks had a similar thing going a few years ago. No, wait I’m sorry, exactly the same thing going.
As a child of the 80′s I grew up surrounded by cigarette advertising, yet I’ve never bought a pack in my life. I’ve seen car ads every day for 30 years and I’ve never bought one of those either. That’s as much as I can say about myself, but its clear to me that you’re ignoring the fact that people have a choice in what they buy – if they buy anything at all – and that they actually like buying things. They work hard for a living and purchasing something other than basic food, utilities or clothing gives them a sense of achievement; that their hard work has paid off in some capacity.
When I first read your letter I thought you were going to mount some stenciled horse and storm the castles of advertising with a well formed argument, but instead it seems like you were just inciting people to steal and vandalise ads that they saw on the street. Personally, I don’t have the time or inclination.
Regarding ‘the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen’ that you mention, you must be referring to the office fax machine? Having seen agency life, I can attest that there’s nothing Machiavellian going on; no illuminated map of the globe and no sinister plot to take over the world; just a bunch of people trying to make a living.
As it stands, there are are only 1.2 billion formal jobs in the world for the 7 billion people that live on it. If advertising keeps a few thousand off the streets then let it be, eh? People who work in advertising are good enough to buy your work, so why not buy some of what they’re selling from time to time?
Kind regards and good luck in your future ventures.
Craig Ward /
Words are Pictures
Fresh Stuff From OX in Paris
Stook Takeover in Madrid
Monday, March 5, 2012
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Street Artists Take on New York's Illegal Billboards
The Atlantic online just posted an interview with the director of This Space Available, Gwenealle Gobe. In the article there is an excerpt from the movie which focuses on PublicAdCampaign.
Begin Article:In an excerpt from the feature documentary This Space Available, Jordan Seiler's Public Ad Campaign mobilizes volunteers to whitewash the advertising taking over urban environments. Although the ads themselves are illegal, some of the activists are arrested for their efforts. Seiler, however, prefers to describe the activists' work as civil disobedience, and also promotes less invasive ways to take back public space. In a recent project, Public Ad Campaign collaborated with The Heavy Projects to create an augmented reality app that replaced ads in Times Square with art when viewed on an iPad screen. More [HERE]