<body> Public Ad Campaign: November 2012
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.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Out of Home and Out of Control

Paula Rees who tipped us off the the legal gymnastics taking place in Seattle runs a website aptly called Out of Home Out of Control. As an activist myself I know what it takes to keep a site like this running and I commend Paula's effort wholeheartedly.

While words are good for some things, visual examples are often the best way to communicate about the visual environment. This site is a place to present, explore, and discuss what’s happening in our outdoor space, especially that space which belongs to us, the commons.

Who controls our public realm? Should only the few mega-media corporations benefit while paying practically nothing for the privilege? Ads unrelated to place are becoming more distracting as they compete with our local character.

As they become larger, brighter and faster — what is the impact? How does it affect our children and us? What will or should the future look like? Why should we care?


Liberated Ads Highlight Israeli War Aims in Gaza

November 28, 2012 - San FranciscoCalifornia

Liberated Ads Highlight Israeli War Aims in Gaza

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new campaign of bus shelter ads to support Israel’s right to bomb Gaza back to the Middle Ages.
On November 27, 2012 the CDC successfully apprehended and rehabilitated advertisements across San Francisco, including the intersection of Geary and Scott Street. The CDC released the corrected ads to mark two weeks since the start of Israel’s military offensive against the Gaza Strip, which resulted in 167 Palestinian deaths. The ads were discharged in areas adjacent to hospitals, schools and government offices, symbolizing the buildings that were demolished during Israel’s air and naval bombardment.
An innovative collaboration between the CDC and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), the ads feature the rubble of an anonymous city with a quote from Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai regarding recent hostilities: THE GOAL OF THE OPERATION IS TO SEND GAZA BACK TO THE MIDDLE AGES. Beneath the rubble, additional text poses the question: WHEN DOES ISRAEL’S SELF-DEFENSE BECOME A WAR CRIME?
The liberated ads can be seen on the CDC website at www.CorrectionsDepartment.org.
As a private correctional institution, the CDC recognizes the need for control and security in areas under Israeli military occupation such as the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the department salutes our Israeli colleagues in their efforts to maintain a six year blockade of Gaza and transform the coastal enclave into the world’s largest open-air correctional facility. The CDC also recognizes Israel’s persistent and tireless effort to introduce Gaza to the benefits of medieval life, which include cost savings from the elimination of medical care, educational resources and government institutions.
The rehabilitated advertisements are currently at liberty and seem to have successfully readjusted to public life. However, these ads will remain under surveillance by department staff to prevent recidivism and any potential lapse into prior criminal behavior.
Founded in 1994, the CDC is a private correctional facility that protects the public through the secure management, discipline and rehabilitation of California's advertising. The department was initiated by individuals who felt that public correctional facilities were insufficiently managing the state's most criminal elements and that effective care and treatment would improve under the supervision of a private institution.
For more information on the department’s operations and programs, contact the CDC Office of Communications at cdc@revolutionist.com.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Madrilenos Doing it Better Than Most

I am in Miami working off a tethered Galaxy S3 internet connection, but that wont stop me from posting this fantastic ad intervention from ROSH in Madrid. The Madrid contingent has been doing some very progressive work lately, attempting to get the general public to break into bus shelters and freestanding ads on their own. This simple and effective intervention begs the viewer to realize that access is not the prohibiting factor. More instigative work from NEKO [HERE]

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NEKO Free T-Shirts

You want a free T-shirt? Then break into this ad shelter and take it! More amazing work from NEKO [HERE]

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OOH - The Laws are Made for Breaking

Thank you to Paula Rees for tipping us off to this newscast and to her work in Seattle. 
We have a problem in one way or the other. As an activist who pays close attention to the relationship between outdoor media and public space, I take issue with the images that we allow ourselves to be surrounded with. I believe that there are serious negative consequences associated with the excessive consumption of consumer messages. These include negative affects on our social behavior towards one another, and towards our environment in general. The basis of these beliefs can be contested. 
Alongside my disdain for using public space as another commercial outlet, there are the real examples of behavior by those who peddle the messages I contest which I think speaks volumes to the nature of the messages and to the system which is allowing those messages to reach our ears. Out of Home advertising companies are notorious for flouting the law and reaping profits by abusing normal expectations of public space use. I believe that their cavalier behavior is indicative of an industry which has not been held accountable for the affects that its product has on our civil society. 
This news report is the most direct indictment of behaviors which are all to typical of this industry. If skirting the law and pushing the boundaries which we have all setup in a democratic and law abiding society is the norm for this industry, I think we should all think hard about this industries viability in a properly functioning city. Under what circumstances would we allow an industry to so flagrantly break the law? 
Together, we setup environmental controls to protect our health. If other industries responsible for contributing to environmental hazards flouted the law in the same way that the OOH industry does, we would shut them down with a swift pen to paper and right the wrong that they were propagating through their flagrant disregard for public health. Sadly the research is not there to indict these OOH companies on the negative affects their business has on our social fabric.
What we are left with are the actions of an industry, which might give us some insight into not only the industries motives, but ultimately to the product that they are pushing on an unwitting public. Do we trust our mental health to a company which is affecting our every thought by propagating images which have a direct affect on our decision making and social behavior, but doing so by operating so far outside of the law?
My immediate answer is no. If your business model relies so heavily on manipulating the meaning of the law, stretching and bending fact to fit your needs, most likely the business you are running is not one that is healthy for the society in which it exists. Time and time again, companies like Total outdoor, NPA/Contest Promotions, Van Wagner and many others push back against regulations citizens have setup to control commercial messaging in an effort to reap huge profits. As a society it is time to demand compliance and take a serious look at the nature of public space and what images we deem fit for a properly function city. 

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Monday, November 19, 2012


This video is a little bit over the top but enjoy it for what it is, a bunch of rebellious souls going to Stavanger Norway to incite art. There are traditional street artists, graf legends, activists, and amazing visionaries in this mix so enjoy the music and watch the magic unfold. Bravo to Norway for being brave enough to see new visions of public space and to follow through on those visionary thoughts. 

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Monday, November 12, 2012

The Digital Billboard Preservation Act: A Brief History

This site often focuses on the public space issues associated with outdoor advertising, aesthetics, mental health, public accessibility, consumer behavior, etc. While these are all issues which we think outdoor advertising has a net overall negative affect on, an area we often overlook is the political implications that come along with big profits. Ban Billboard Blight takes the time to fully explain the inner workings of the outdoor advertising industries quest for profit in LA, and the backside of these politics do not look good for the public at large and the political process in general when so much money is involved.
Late last year I met with a small group of billboard company representatives and lobbyists for lunch at a downtown cafe. I knew that Clear Channel and other major billboard companies wanted to make a deal with the city to protect existing digital billboards and allow new ones in exchange for taking down some conventional billboards and giving the city a share of digital billboard revenue. I also knew that the purpose of the meeting was to deliver a sales pitch to me–and by extension, the communities where digital billboards are a hot-button issue–on this idea. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Iselin in Fours - New Billboard Work

Despite spending a large amount of my time these days organizing and curating underground art projects, pushing Augmented Reality visions of our cities, and other such curatorial endeavors in public space, I continue to make work both in the studio and on the street. When I work on the street I have two main objectives, produce something which viewers will understand is not an advertisement, and keep the imagery changing so that I do not become an ad for myself. 
This new billboard takeover breaks my first rule a little more than I'd like referencing a fashion ad despite not having any branding or text. That said, the image is one that is dear to my heart as well as one I have been wanting to use for some time. Several years ago I was on a fashion shoot and took a single polaroid which I carried in my wallet for nearly four years. When I found the image, it had aged in a way that I fell in love with, leaving only the right eye unscathed by time. Not sure if this image will find its way into other work but I thought it worthwhile for a test. 

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