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Thursday, December 8, 2016


The last time I was in London I was posting some small works on the street over some pretty nice Fly Posting locations. Halfway through I noticed an older gentleman taking notice and then filming me after he asked if "I was supposed to be doing, what I was doing." I finished my work while he called the cops. I took a few final photographs and then before packing up decided to engage him as he was still idling around the area. This interaction turned out to be one of the more bizarre and interesting street moments I have had yet. Turns out the person I was talking to was at one time a Fly Poster himself, operating illegally to cover the streets in commercial posters, and also a professor who had thought plenty about the streets of his city and what kinds of policy, be it formal or informal, makes for a vibrant and engaging public environment.

We exchanged information and the man who would have had me arrested has become a bit of a friend as we email back and forth and try to get to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter to me is that today this man operates Flying Leaps, a company that makes "art" posters which are illegally placed on the street next to illegal advertising and which can be bought online. To me they are simple advertising that hides behind a more altruistic vision, but advertising nonetheless. To him they are an attempt to use public space in the participatory manner that all Fly Posters agree to, and which street artists and graffiti artists prescribe.

Take a look at his essay on the topic below as it is well worth the read and makes an interesting point that is often overlooked and that I did not expect to be made by an advertiser them self. The streets are becoming less and less accessible, even to the advertisers that once used them, as multinationals control more of our lives, including what we see on our way to work.

VIA: Flying Leaps

In this age of immateriality, as mobile phone apps and e-mail blasts add new marketing potentials undreamed of in the […] [19th century], it may seem curious to look at posters as a distinct form. But posters’ format provides a snapshot of broader epochal transition. To be sure, posters are no longer the darlings of most modern advertisers, but they have hardly died away. Indeed, how and when they are deployed becomes all the more interesting. When Apple iPod was launched, the company chose a poster campaign, presenting silhouettes of listeners dancing against backgrounds of screaming, saturated colour, to convey the physicality and sensory depth of the iPod experience. Even – perhaps especially – in a digital age, the materiality and life of a poster can maintain a powerful hold on us.
More [HERE]

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