photo credit: anderspace
There are so many messages flying at you every day –
Messages from your neighbor “Turn that thumping music down!“,
your boss,”Going forward we’re going to need you to be more proactive in this area“,
your mom,”I love you, honey“,
and of course, advertising, “You’re in good hands with Allstate, Reach out and touch someone, The quicker picker-upper, A little dab’ll do ya, Please don’t squeeze the Charmin, It’s Miller Time, Drivers wanted, and Some times you feel like a nut, some times you don’t“
While you may limit the messages from your mother, it seems less likely you can limit the ones from advertisers every day. They are even posted over urinals in bathrooms, for crying out loud. There are messages from advertisers on your phone, at the checkout counter, on the floor in the subway, on lightposts, on websites, – holy Jesus and Mohammed they are everywhere!
How do those messages get to you on the street? There are laws for these things, and there are certain spots that are approved by the public, and certain ones that permission is denied for. But what happens a lot these days is that big outdoor ad companies make more money if they can erect more posters and billboards, and they know that they won’t be punished most of the time. If they are, it will take a long time and the penalty will be a tiny amount compared to how much money they make.
And don’t even compare this sheer quantity of illegal billboarding happening to the amount of illegal street art there is – it dwarfs it in square footage and paper and paste and hands and feet by 10,000 to 1 (not scientific but I’m guessing). But of course, it’s all up for discussion.
So, in the past few years some people have been drawing attention to the fact that slowly but surely all of your public space is being covered by private companies messages. And there is a gradual awareness of this fact, and a movement to re-claim public space, or at least reclaim the space that has been taken without permission.
Here’s a video about one group, Public Ad Campaign, that took a proactive and positive pleasant approach to reclaiming public space last spring in New York. They identified locations of outdoor advertising that had not been approved by the City, and replaced the images with hand-made art by a few of the thousands of artists who live here. Amazingly, most of the advertising was replaced in a day! Wow!
POSTER SCHMOSTER! The Bayer Company’s former Headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany is now a so-called “Media Facade” Built by ag4 media facade GmbH and GKD AG, the massive display apparently consists of 5.6 million LEDs that cover the entire 17,500 square meters of the building, and which can be lit up at will 24 hours a day. How does that affect the people in a city? (original source Public Ad Campaign site)
Someone’s favorite quotes from Grey Gardens