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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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Brandalism 2015 and the COP21

Last Friday November 27th, the Brandalism project pulled off the largest single Ad Takeover action ever. Some 80 artists were asked to submit works which were then printed and installed by a team of activists, resulting in over 600 individual ad takeovers. This unprecedented event took place on Black Friday, and directly ahead of the COP21 Climate negotiations taking place in Paris. Artists were asked to make works which spoke about climate change as the action was not only about advertisings role in our public spaces, but also about using the private advertising infrastructure to speak truth to the powers gathering in Paris to decide the fate of our planet.

The recent Brandalism action works in two ways that I think are worth taking a second to discuss. First, while advertising remains an integral part of our social fabric, creating and reiterating our culture back at us in an endless loop of dissemination and reception, the role it plays in fueling the issues which underly our climate crisis have not been widely discussed. Conspicuous consumption and the relentless renewal of products and services offered by, and needed in order to sustain capitalisms endless growth models, is in no small way responsible for the current crises our planet faces as we inch closer and closer to overshooting the carbon budget which would keep our planet under the 2degree estimates climate scientist believe will avert catastrophic planetary warming. This means that we must address our insatiable need for more and more stuff if we are going to create a collective society whose demands for goods will align with how much we can actually produce. This doesn't mean that you can't have new things, the benefits of modern technology and manufacturing, or must live a stoic life of abstinence from the goods and services that our society produces. But it does mean that we must address how much we choose to consume individually and weigh heavily our needs for what capitalism has to offer. Advertising as a medium, aims to disrupt a nuanced and practical analysis of your individual needs. Its objective is to create desire regardless of the implications of that desire on our society at large and this is in fundamental conflict with the interest of our planet. By illegally removing advertising on the street and replacing it with messages that address our climate issues, the Brandalism project is fundamentally rejecting the role advertising plays in our society and re-imaginging a world in which its influence is kept in line with our collective needs. If we are going to tackle the major issues of our day, advertisings influence on our collective psyche must be mitigated so that we can more appropriately discuss what, and how much we will consume individually. A good start to this mitigation would be admitting that advertising plays a negative role in our society by fueling over consumption and reducing its impact is of the utmost importance.

The second aspect of the Brandalism project that I think is worth noting is that beyond questioning advertisings role in our society, the Brandalism project has re-imagined how our public infrastructure should be used and what types of conversations are appropriate for our public spaces. Most, if not all of the artworks/critical messages created by the participating artists, are social statements which do not have an institutionalized venue for communication in public space. Protests against how our society is moving forward are often relegated to marches, or individual commentary that take place outside of normal public behavior. Public space, by definition is the arena in which our collective goals and interests can be expressed to one another in a democratic and meaningful way. It is in this venue that our individual opinions, put together, create public opinion and we must foster this type of democratic discussion at every turn if we are to have our collective voices create a singular voice of our collective interests. To use our public spaces for advertising, and the interests of commerce is to deny public spaces role as our collective soap box and to privilege commercial speech over our individual interests. The Brandalism project, by using the public infrastructure that typically holds commercial media, for critical dialogue, re-purposes public space for its intended purpose. This is no small feat and by setting an example of a more properly function public space and civic infrastructure, the Brandalism project imagines a world in which we use our public spaces to address the most pressing issues of our time. While I don't believe that our public spaces must always be used to discuss such lofty goals, it surely doesn't hurt and a public space in which we can openly discuss larger societal issues is one in which we may also discuss some of the smaller issues which we deem to be important.

To say that the Brandalism project was a success would be an understatement, but like all critical dialogues created by civil disobedience projects, its call to arms must be met with continued support. Fundamentally changing advertisings role in our public spaces should be one of the priorities that social activists have on thier agenda. Not only does advertising negatively contribute to our consumption behavior but it actively creates commercial conversations in venues which should be used for public discussions of the problems of our current days. Our public spaces should provide us with vigorous opportunities for debate and public discussions, not opportunities for commercial hypnosis that prevents even the most critical thinkers from seeing the world as it is and taking action to change it for the better. 

Huffington Post - World Leaders Bombarded By Art Protest At Paris Climate Talks
The Independent - COP21: ‘Brandalism’ activists post satirical adverts around Paris to protest climate change advertising 
BBC - COP21: Eco activists Brandalism launch Paris ad takeover

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Open Letter To Our Readers

I sent this email out to Public Access key holders yesterday as NOAD Day is shortly upon us. Not all PublicAdCampaign readers have Public Access keys but its worth a mention on this site in case those same readers have resources of thier own and want to contribute to this global initiative.

Friends and Public Access Key Holders,

It's that time of year again when we collectively take to the streets and remove advertising across the globe to express our collective discontent with the use of our public spaces for commercial messaging. Last year 62 participants took to the streets and more than 300 advertisements were removed, and we want to keep that momentum goring. We hope that you will join us in this second year, or join us again, if you participated in 2014.

The task is easy, go out on November 27th and remove at least one advertisement. Don't forget to take a photograph of the empty bus shelter, phone booth, billboard, or whatever type of advertisement you have chosen to liberate. Share this image with the rest of us by posting it to the Tumblr or Facebook, sending it directly to the NOAD Gmail, or sharing it on social media with the hashtag #NOADday. Feel free to share your experience, write about why you participated, or anything else you find relevant to the project.

**For those of you in the United States, NOAD Day is the day after Thanksgiving. Shake off that sense of gluttony with some good old fashioned civil disobedience, have fun with your relatives by engaging the city you love, or just take a damn shot of whatever is still lying around and get out there and join the fight. You can spend the rest of your lazy friday basking in the knowledge that you participated in a growing community of people who demand better cities for a better citizen.

NOAD Day is an ongoing civil disobedience project begun in 2014 as an expression of global resistance to the use of our shared public spaces for advertising and commercial media. The goal of the project is to create a global voice of dissatisfaction against the use of our public spaces for a commercial media that is a detriment to our collective psyche. The more participation we have, the greater our voice, so take a minute this November 27th to join the party.

WHEN: NOVEMBER 27th (anytime)


TUMBLR: http://no-adday.tumblr.com

FACEBOOK:​ https://www.facebook.com/noad.day/

EMAIL: noaddayproject@gmail.com


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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hackpacks and the right to the city: some thoughts

Some really interesting thoughts coming out of the UK on ad takeover work and its role in imagining new social realities not just on the street but in the larger cultural context. 
It costs an advertiser a few £10k’s to access bus shelter advertising spaces, it costs you £6. After their involvement with Banksy’s Dismaland exhibition, Strike Magazine! have been working to ensure public access to a third of the global outdoor media landscape; offering inhabitants the tools to claim their right to at least a part of the city. Their hack pack comes with a handy how-to guide. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Beastmaster Ad Takeover And It Blows

Beastmaster just sent me this ad takeover from London that uses public space for some pretty vicious political criticism which is something I dont see that often these days. 

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

La crítica a la publicidad en el espacio público de Jordan Seiler, en Barcelona

Nice little write up on a recent action in Barcelona
VIA: El Pais
¿Se han fijado en las marquesinas de la ronda Universitat? Jordan Seiler is in the city. En Barcelona. El artista y activista de Nueva York es uno de los invitados del festival Openwalls y esta madrugada ha dejado rastro en el centro de la ciudad para denunciar el bombardeo de publicidad, mensajes de privados, subraya, que los ciudadanos recibimos en el espacio público. More [HERE]

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Chuck Agency / Seen Outdoor has reached the new low.

Recently I have been getting lots of emails regarding the increased and aggressive wild posting campaigns happening around NYC. Here is a good one I think you should know about.

Chuck Agency / Seen Outdoor has reached the new low.

Mark Samsonovich created a project he called Public Art Campaign, "Love is teletpathic", and while he was taking photographs of the installation, Chuck Agency's Dave Porter ripped down his posters at 4th & 10th. And Porter proceeded to tell Mark to "Go FUCK himself and these were his walls!". Dave Porter previously worked for NPA.

They say they use permitted dedicated sites but they have no permits. They create agreements under Seen Outdoor with some of the landlords and sell them under the Chuck Agency name, Jay Heleva is the president of Chuck Agency.

Mark Samsonovich project: www.loveistelepathic.com

 More Seen Outdoor ruining public art. The Street Art of Bushwick Collective Is Disappearing Under Billboards | Bushwick Daily: http://bushwickdaily.com/2015/06/the-street-art-of-bushwick-collective-is-disappearing-under-billboards/#.VZMyoP1glis.twitter

Attached: A .pdf of Chuck's 'dedicated lease locations'. (You can ask and they'll send you the same thing) Download [HERE]

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

These Crazy Bastards Have Too Much Fun

Friday, October 9, 2015

Street Art, The Law, Advertising, The City

I finally had the chance to read Alison Young's Street Art, Public City: Law Crime and the Urban Imagination. Its a wonderfully researched investigation into the legal barriers broken by situational art in public space and how those transgression can envision an alternative city or way of being. For me it pins a lot of the same tactics discussed in Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership by Sonia Katyal, on street and graffiti writers, which I have always felt appropriate. For anyone interested in street art and its politics beyond the image, this book is a must read.

Upon speaking to a PhD Student in London, I also found my way to a very interesting paper by Anne M. Cronin entitled "Advertising and the metabolism of the city: urban space, commodity rhythms". This paper is the first I have come across that looks beyond a textual critique of advertising in outdoor space and instead looks at the ways in which it shapes the city and its inhabitants by co-opting the rhythms of public movement. I can't recommend this short paper enough to anyone who is interested in understanding how the very presence of commercial media in public space regardless of the specific messages, can cause a change in our social behavior and link us closer to the cycles of commodity consumption. Download [HERE]

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NO AD NYC: Another Face In The Crowd by Hugh Lippe

As you may have heard, NO AD NYC is shutting down at the end of the month so that we can work on other projects and take the time to look for meaningful institutional support for the NO AD app. Before we do, we are blessed to be able to present a final exhibition from my good friend Hugh Lippe. I went to school with Hugh at the Rhode Island School of Design and we were close friends. As photography students we worked with each other on numerous projects and even presented our final graduating exhibitions together in 2002. 

I have always felt strongly about Hugh's eye. He has an uncanny ability to see deeply with his lens and find beauty in often unsettling subjects and environments. When I saw his most recent body of work entitled Another Face In The Crowd, I reached out to him immediately, knowing I wanted to present them as the final NO AD exhibition. These photos of NYC residents are intrusive and voyeuristic, and yet compassion runs through them all as I find myself deeply attached to the emotional lives that my mind builds for these individuals. A huge thanks to Hugh for allowing us access to this unfinished body of work and I hope everyone takes a moment to explore this final exhibition of photographs. 

Today, 10-06-15, the NO AD app updates to feature Another Face In The Crowd, a selection of images from Hugh Lippe's ongoing body of work by the same name.

Another Face In The Crowd: In Hugh Lippe's latest body of work the faces of NYC come into sharp, and often unsettling focus. These photos, taken with a telephoto lens, isolate the individual and hone in on the subject with a compelling sense of compassion. Presented here as an unfinished project and as the final exhibition for the NO AD app, we hope NO AD viewers will find a glimpse of themselves in the images presented and are brought closer to those around them. We can't thank Hugh enough for his incredible work, so befitting our final exhibition.

Originally from Texas, Hugh relocated to the East Coast in pursuit of an art education. Having graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002, he developed a strong foundation within the arts. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the Amsterdam-based museum FOAM. Hugh has had several solo exhibitions, his most recent, "The Dirt Under My Nails" exhibited at Rare Gallery NYC.

Hugh attributes his honest, humanistic and at times 'raw' approach to the many colorful memories he has experienced over the years.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Nice little writeup on Wide Walls about NO AD running in Berlin. 
If you take a look at panorama of some big city in the world, you will probably see some huge billboards around. These huge outdoor advertising structures might ruin your view, right? If you use public transport, there is a big chance you will be “forced” to read commercial messages from the advertising posters on bus, train or subway stations. Commercials and advertisements are all around us (in public and virtual world), and sometimes it can be exhausting – we are living in a world when it is difficult to absorb so much information. Imagine if you could transform ads into art! Well, it is possible thanks to the No Ad App (mobile application) created by Re+Public. This application has just been launched in Berlin! More [HERE]

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

We Spoke to a Dismaland Artist Who’s Behind the Anti-Arms Dealer Posters Going Up All Over London

The always wonderful Luna Park sent me the following article from Vice. Its definitely worth a quick read but what gets me excited is the fact that the author admits ad space hacking is on the rise.

You may or may not have noticed, on your trip to and from work this morning or the day before, some unusual posters in the advertising space usually reserved for city break deals, West End theatre and sexist currency exchange companies. More [HERE]

Update: another article about the same action appeared in the Guardian and can be viewed [HERE]

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

NO AD Goes to Berlin

I couldnt be more excited to announce that NO AD, the NYC based mobile digital exhibition space that takes advantage of the vast subway advertising infrastructure of the New York subway system, now works in Berlin. Users can download a separate NO AD Berlin app on iOS [HERE] and Android [HERE] which uses the vast billboard advertising infrastructure that adorns Berlin streets and metro stations. 

The NO AD mobile digital exhibition space began in New York City as a way to propose new strategies for art consumption as well as challenge the use of our public space for commercial messaging. NO AD works by using your mobile device and augmented reality technology to recognize outdoor advertising and overlay digital artwork in place of the advertisement on your phone or tablet. In NYC, the NO AD exhibition space took advantage of the vast number of subway advertisements in the NY transit system, turning every subway station into a mobile gallery. In Berlin, the NO AD exhibition space uses the the vast network of outdoor, and subway billboards found throughout the city. In order to reveal the exhibition, simply start NO AD and while standing directly in front of any billboard in Berlin, point your device at the advertisement.

NO AD Berlin is presented by PublicAdCampaign and Open Walls Gallery for Berlin Art Week, 2015. The images and artworks included are taken from a collection of past NO AD NYC exhibitions that include street art, photography, painting, and animation works.

Exhibition Dates: Sept 14th - Oct 31st

A big thanks to Guillaume Trotin, Aida Gomez, Letitia Jacquot for their support in Berlin without which this exhibition would not have been possible.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

A Must Watch!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sometimes I Get These Emails And They Make Me Laugh


I’d like to inquire if it’s possible to purchase advertising space on your website. If there is any space available please let me know and we could discuss further details.

Looking forward to your positive reply.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PublicAccess Update - New Keys and Cities

The PublicAccess project continues to expand and offer access to more outdoor advertising infrastructure around the world. Recently we added three new keys allowing access to Miami, Berlin, Hangzhou, Bodoe, Philadelphia, and Mexico city. 
To get involved or find out more about the project, visit the site [HERE] and take a look below.
A big part of the PublicAccess project is made possible by people around the world wanting to open bus shelters in thier own city. They contact us and then we work to figure out if we can help. Sometimes that means recognizing an old locking system that we already have access to, and other times that means making something new by working with an enthusiastic partner. In the end the process is always a collaborative effort that we enjoy, and often results in new markets being opened up for truly public communications.
artwork by NDA
Recently we gained access to Philadelphia and with new tools comes new thoughts and ideas on our streets. This PSA by NDA is an amazing example of the kind of lighthearted and yet generous ideas I think would populate a truly open public visual landscape free of advertising. I say good riddance to the disaster preparedness PSA's that demand we take personal responsibility for our fate in the next typhoon by hoarding tuna cans and batteries, and I say welcome to a constant reminder of my own tendency to preemptively sabotage my own desires... as offered by an actual human being! But seriously. If the placement of messages in our public space is to actually communicate ideas with each other, I think it should be noted that I have a tendency to contemplate the ideas of an individual over the bureaucracy, the local over the distant.
Artwork by Nick Bergwell
What people do with thier PublicAccess key is up to them. Sometimes a participant uses the key to promote thier own street wear brand, but more often than not, participants offer genuine outreach to others. This simple text installation on the streets of NY caught my eye, trying to enjoy each day, but finding myself failing to reach my goals and expectations, which always leaves me wanting more. Imperfectly calibrated happiness machines indeed...
We try hard to keep the PublicAccess project going so that the everyone can have access to our outdoor advertising infrastructure, and the predominant space for public visual communication.

Thanks again for supporting PublicAdCampaign!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Augmented Reality and New Gallery Works

The works presented below should also be viewed with a free augmented reality app, PublicAdCampaign Now! downloadable for Android [HERE]. 
I have been working on a new series of gallery pieces that focus on my long term struggle to take back outdoor advertising spaces without imposing my own aesthetics on the public or running an ad campaign for myself, while at the same time making visible my tactics in the hopes of promoting similar behavior in others. I do this to ask whether or not we should adorn our cities with commercial messages in light of the many other types of visual stimulus we could offer ourselves, and with the understanding that advertising in general has a net negative effect on our personal psychology and thus our global behavior as a species. 
These works are as close as I think I have come to reaching that goal for a number of reasons. First, while people who are familiar with my work may look at these installations and assume it was me, I think thier utter simplicity anonymizes my actions and prevents the installation from being promotional. If you don't know who made the piece, you cant think about the person behind it and therefore must instead have a relationship to the image alone. That said, you must notice the installation in the first place and I think the striking difference between the imagery used for this series, and advertising, helps to create that initial interaction. 
So now we have someone looking at an anonymous installation that removed an advertisement for some unknown reason. This is the space I want the viewer to end up, as it allows them to begin the conversation with themselves about the difference between the two types of imagery, advertisings ubiquity and role in our public spaces, and all of the other questions we should be asking ourselves when thinking about how we want our public visual environment to be used. Given the opportunity to disassociate these physical locations with thier expected advertising content, viewers are free to enter a line of thinking that is almost unheard of... "Should we have, and do we need, outdoor advertising intruding on our public spaces and minds? 
While the initial performative aspect of these pieces works on the public viewer, these images are ultimately meant to hang in a gallery context, potentially loosing the credibility, and directness of the illegal physical takeover that is the proof of my ambitions. After all, these images are very clearly composites, a single moment created by compiling many hours of patient waiting into a single frame. If the images have gone through photoshop, what prevents the actual installation from being a fraud, and the proposed argument that the document depicts undeserving of our attention.

For this, the final element of AR, and the PublicAdCampaign Now! app come in to tell the rest of the story. Video of me actually installing the piece which is to become the image you are looking at in the gallery plays over the still image when viewed through the app, proving the aesthetics to be in service of the idea and the work to be sincere. Once this sincerity is established, I think the gallery viewer can come to a similar thought trajectory as the public viewer and honestly consider the proposed argument that is established by me actively breaking the law to remove commercial media and replace it with something else, whatever that might be.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Banksy's Dismaland: 'amusements and anarchism' in artist’s biggest project yet

Oh the missed opportunities. Banksy recently opened a theme park with a decidedly twisted facade. While its all fun and games ridicule of mass spectacle culture, there is a wonderfully anarchistic prize to be taken home in lieu of the shitty stuffed animals that one usually wanders away with at these things. For 5 Pounds you can get an Adshel bus shelter key and presumably a little walkthrough on how to use it. 
In one tent would-be anarchists can find out how to unlock the Adshel posters seen at bus stops. For £5 people can buy the tools to break into them, replacing the official posters with any propaganda they please. Is it legal? “It’s not illegal,” said the vendor.
We couldn't agree more. If you want keys of your own, try this LINK
He describes it as a “family theme park unsuitable for small children” – and with the Grim Reaper whooping it up on the dodgems and Cinderella horribly mangled in a pumpkin carriage crash, it is easy to see why. More [HERE]

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Funny Math? Clear Channel’s $3.9 Million Donation to the LAPD

Dennis over at Ban Billboard Blight is a solid crusader who sees through the bullshit and tells it like it is regarding all things advertising and public space in LA. Follow his insights for the incredibly specific and yet oddly universal tactics that the billboard industry is using to edge its way further into the LA city fabric.
The Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote this Wednesday on accepting Clear Channel’s donation of space on 12 billboards for LAPD public safety messages. That space for ads running for five weeks is worth a total of $3,978,630, says Clear Channel, which has been heavily lobbying city councilmembers to allow more digital billboards on city streets and to grant amnesty to hundreds of billboards that don’t have permits or have been altered in violation of their permits. More [HERE]

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Find Your Beach by Zadie Smith

VIA: NYRB by Zadie Smith
"Across the way from our apartment—on Houston, I guess—there’s a new wall ad. The site is forty feet high, twenty feet wide. It changes once or twice a year. Whatever’s on that wall is my view: I look at it more than the sky or the new World Trade Center, more than the water towers, the passing cabs. It has a subliminal effect. Last semester it was a spot for high-end vodka, and while I wrangled children into their snowsuits, chock-full of domestic resentment, I’d find myself dreaming of cold martinis." More [HERE]

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Friday, August 14, 2015

Can cities kick ads? Inside the global movement to ban urban billboards

My friend Dennis over at Ban Billboard Blight sent me this article from the Guardian. Many of the issues that I find most interesting about advertising and public space are addressed in the article, if only briefly. It is after all a short news story. I was particularly happy with fact that the author addresses the tone of the OOH industry towards thier occupation of our public environment, and what that means about thier overall goals and appreciation for the public to which they subject thier business. 

And then there is the mention of a Zadie Smith essay in the NY Review of Books, which all of my smart friends failed to alert me of. I guess all of thier constant pressure to subscribe was not only well intended, but also a good idea. 

Something seemed strange. Staring out of a hotel window in São Paulo, my eye was caught by an oversized digital display crowning the top of an undersized skyscraper. Steadily flashing the time, then the temperature, the display was incongruous in a way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. More [HERE]

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Brown Bag Lunch with Visiting Scholars


Thursday, July 30, 2015

10 Fun Facts About Opening Day of the NYC Subway On October 27, 1904

While advertising is a fact of life in the New York City subway today and we even wax nostalgic when we see them in the vintage subway cars, it was noted that the first passengers didn’t like the ones in the station. Before the opening, the stations had been free of advertising. “Until then the stations had depended on their beautiful mural ornamentation for decoration. Everyone in the train was expressing regret that the fine appearance of things was to be marred,” writes the Times. And Mayor McClellan was just as upset, saying he didn’t know about the ads in the subway stations until then and admitted that from an artistic standpoint, “They look very bad.” Article [HERE]

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015


Here is a nice little article on the NO AD app from Atlas Obscura. We are currently actively looking for curators and artists with interesting projects as well as for a full time NO AD media representative. The NO AD platform has been put through its paces and we think works like a charm. Now we need someone who wants to help it grow by reaching out to new audiences and engaging institutions that can provide progressive content. If you would like to talk with us about this opportunity, please contact us over email.

VIA: Atlas Obscura

Bulbous yellow Minions. Protein World urgently asking if you're "beach body ready." Promises to make money as a dental technician—all of these advertisements are repetitive parts of one's daily subway commute. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fresh Milk TV Interview.

A big thanks to Freshmilk.tv for the interview and for Open Walls Gallery for setting it up and hosting a fantastic two man show with Vermibus. I think the questions Freshmilk asked prompted some honest answers, and other than my obnoxious use of the word "pupeteering", I think my thoughts are well reflected in this piece.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Vermibus and I Installing In Berlin

Here is an image of Vermibus and I installing two pieces close to the Open Walls gallery in Berlin during the exhibition.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

In Bushwick, Street Art Comes with a Copious Side of Advertising Billboards

Everyone asked for comment in this article, including myself have something interesting to say. On a compete side note, I wish writers would let you know that they may quote entire sections of your emails verbatim. I always assume they will integrate your ideas into a story and so often whatever grammatically deficient gibberish i spew out in an email on the plane home from Germany ends up as a quote. :)
A Bushwick Collective mural by Joe Iurato at Troutman Street and St Nicholas Avenue with a large Coors billboard in the background. (photo by Joe Iurato, courtesy the artist)

The latest additions to the Bushwick Collective, the street art project founded and curated by Joe Ficalora around the intersection of Troutman Street and St Nicholas Avenue in Brooklyn, are a number of big, garish billboards. Since artists began transforming warehouse walls in the area with large-scale murals three years ago, there has been remarkably little infringement by the type of advertisements and hand-painted billboards that have overtaken many popular street art spots in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. But in recent weeks, as Bushwick Daily has pointed out, advertisements have begun appearing on the Bushwick Collective blocks, some of them installed directly atop existing murals. More [HERE]

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Grand Opening Exhibition At Openwalls Berlin

Recently I had the pleasure of exhibiting with my new friend Vermibus at Openwalls Gallery in Berlin. His work, like my own, takes advantage of the large outdoor advertising infrastructure in our public spaces in order to tease out questions of how we choose to adorn the cities we live in. Focusing on fashion imagery, Vermibus removes, reworks, and then reinstalls fashion advertising in public spaces. It is quite effective and given my background in the fashion photography world, something that I feel strongly about supporting.

While I was in Berlin I put up a few pieces, including a quick hit with Vermibus which saw us each take a single side of a two sided bus shelter. Once I get those images together I will make them available here.

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Friday, July 3, 2015

The Street Art of Bushwick Collective Is Disappearing Under Billboards

This is incredibly sad article is further proof that outdoor advertising is simply incompatible with public space. I know Anya of the House of Yes through friends, and she is a nice woman who has been seduced by the money that advertising is willing to pay for outdoor space. Her folding under the pressure of money is not her fault, but our collective fault for allowing advertising to use its incredibly large resources to sway normal citizens to profit at the expense of the rest of us. If advertising was not allowed in our public spaces we would continue to enjoy Bushwick as the arts mecca that it is, instead of watch the artists efforts be subsumed under a glut of paid commercial signage. 
Last week Frank Mattarella received an interesting phone call. Jason Medrano from Seen Outdoor Media was offering him $24,000 per year to rent a single wall on his building at 14 Wyckoff Avenue. Frank Mattarella was born in Bushwick- his family has owned the building on Wyckoff and Troutman for decades and they’ve rented it as a metal fabrication shop. His neighbors are North East Kingdom on one side and an industrial warehouse on the other. The recently painted warehouse is already sporting two billboards- a larger one with a Sprite ad, and a smaller one with an Atlantic ad. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Upcoming Berlin Exhibition July 3rd 2015

Celebrating its Grand Opening on July 3rd 2015, OPEN WALLS Gallery brings New York based Public Art pioneer Jordan Seiler together with European art activist Vermibus for a very special show, which consciously sets a statement against the superficial surface of today’s commercialized cityscapes and the visual pollution of outdoor advertising.
Jordan Seiler already started to challenge the relationship between public spaces and commercial advertising while attending The Rhode Island School of Design in 2000 with his PublicAdCampaign, for which he took over billboards to use them as canvases for his own artworks. Over the years Seiler’s campaign has grown from an individual art project to a collective work, which peaked in the New York Street Advertising Takeover, where more than 100 participants replaced ads with artworks. Later he launched a digital equivalent with an App titled NO AD, which replaces NYC subway advertisement with curated artwork.
Taking this idea even one step further Jordan Seiler and Vermibus joined forces for the NO AD DAY in November 2014, wherefore activists from all over the world were asked to remove outdoor advertisings, leaving plain white display cases as signs of the elimination of the commercial media behind. Just as in Vermibus’ individual work, in which the Berlin based artist removes ads and transforms the high gloss bikini beauties into deformed beasts, it’s the irritation of the common viewing habit that expresses his critique against the advertising industry.
The OPEN WALLS Gallery Grand Opening show will gather a collection of recent works from both artists - including a multimedia segment by Seiler - as well as a photo series by Thomas von Wittich, taken from his “Dissolving Europe“ project, for which he followed Vermibus around the continent. An introduction to Ad-Busting and Public Art will be given by Jordan Seiler during the vernissage.
Press & Private View
Friday July 3rd17:00 - 18:00
Vernissage & Opening Ceremony
Friday July 3rd18:00 - 22:00
Introduction Speech by Jordan Seiler
Friday July 3rd19:00
Runtime 03.07.-29.07. Tuesday-Saturday 11:00-19:00
or by appointment (info@openwallsgallery.com)
Additional press information, photos and video material is available upon request.
Please email the gallery and we'll get back to you shortly. 
Schröderstr. 11.1
10115 Berlin

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

New Mobstr Work in 2015

Mobstr just sent over these two new street pieces and I am of course enjoying them. The above piece in particular intrigues me as I think about the viewer who knows nothing about street art, and less about the ad takeover sub-genre that Mobstr sometimes traverses. Whose voice do they assume Mobstr's text work is speaking in, and who is it speaking to? See more of Mobstr's work [HERE]

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

This Ad for Banned Food in Russia Can Hide Itself From the Cops


Websites are already able to serve up ads customized for whoever happens to be viewing a page. Now an ad agency in Russia is taking that idea one step further with an outdoor billboard that’s able to automatically hide when it spots the police coming. More [HERE]

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Group Battles New York Transit Over Ad Censorship

The posting here at PublicAdCampaign has been decidedly less political lately, and that is in part because it is just hard to keep all the balls in the air at anyone time, and so some aspects of the project suffer when others get more attention.

With that said, below is a little press release about an ad related to horse drawn carriages, that is not being allowed to appear in the NYC subway system. Recently the MTA has adopted a limited ability to censor ad content if it is deemed to be political. This is in large part due to ads related to the Jewish/Palestinian conflict that have used the subway advertising platform for some pretty hateful messages. The fact that this limited censorship is now being applied to a less aggressive ad campaign that isn't even outright political, shows the slippery slope the MTA has put itself on.

We can argue for days whether or not it is in the publics interest to limit the speech we see while traveling our underground rivers, but that is not what is interesting to me about this particular situation. What I find amazing is that Outfront Media, the outdoor advertising company that operates the vast network of ads within the subway system, is the one making the censorship call.

With a vested interest in using the subway system for commercial advertising only, tasking Outfront to determine what is, and what is not, appropriate free speech within thier network of advertising, is bound to result in aggressive censorship of anything non commercial. Now I am not saying that Outfront would have a policy to support this, but they do have a business model which is about making money and not engaging the question of how we use public space for public speech in the best way possible. Thier default reaction, and rightly so, is to keep things simple and pass on any "ad" which does not comply to a neat definition of what is acceptable use of our public advertising infrastructure, mainly commercial.

This is what happens when we allow OOH advertising to control the our visual public landscape and the messages which are put there. Thier interests are simply not aligned with the public's and therefore over time, the publics interests are left behind for the interest of those in charge, Outfront. Advertising in public space itself is not the end of our visual public dialogue, but given enough time and complacency, advertising will envelop all other forms of speech and leave our public spaces commercial opportunities and nothing more.

VIA: Marketwired

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 20, 2015) - The Metropolitan Transit Authority has rejected a PSA billboard about the dangers of horse-drawn carriages, submitted April 30 by nonprofit animal rights organization Last Chance for Animals. In response, LCA has hired prominent First Amendment Attorney Floyd Abrams to protect their constitutional right to free speech. More [HERE]

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Street Work In NYC

I had the luck of capturing a few wonderful moments in front of this recent installation. The image above is by far my preference and I will likely turn it into a print edition over the next month or so.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

The PublicAccess Website Has Been Updated To Include New Cities and Photos

The PublicAccess Project site has updated with new cities, new keys, and new work done by artists and individuals from around the world. As PublicAdCampaign readers will know, we launched the PublicAccess project just a few months ago and have been steadily sending out keys ever since, as well as gathering information about distant lands and thier advertising infrastructure. Check the video shot during a much needed stock replenishment. 
As an ongoing project, we are always looking to expand the PublicAccess map and get more people involved. If you don't see your city on the map, but want to help us figure it out, email us and we will be happy to troubleshoot the problem with you. 
Until then, enjoy some of the fantastic work that is being produced with PublicAccess tools and get involved yourself by getting a key right now
 Work by Dr. D - London
 Work by DB Cooper - San Francisco
 Work by Lister - NYC
 Work by Michael DeFeo - NYC
Work by Icy & Sot - Stavanger

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      Sharon Zukin
      The Cultures of Cities

      Miriam Greenberg
      Branding New York

      Naomi Klein
      No Logo

      Kalle Lasn
      Culture Jam

      Stuart Ewen
      Captains of Consciousness

      Stuart Ewen
      All Consuming Images

      Stuart & Elizabeth Ewen
      Channels of Desire

      Jeff Ferrell
      Crimes of Style

      Jeff Ferrell
      Tearing Down the Streets

      John Berger
      Ways of Seeing

      Joe Austin
      Taking the Train

      Rosalyn Deutsche
      Evictions art + spatial politics

      Jane Jacobs
      Death+Life of American Cities