Sao Paolo: City With No Ads

From Text-In-Transit to …And Then The City, we’ve spent a lot of time  researching ways in which we can subvert some of the advertising spaces in Windsor, but what if we were to just eliminate all of the advertisements entirely?

In January of this year, the mayor of Sao Paolo, Brazil decided to ban all the 8,000+ advertisements in the city in order to “rid the city of visual clutter.” I’d be interesting to see how this changes a person’s behaviour or the city’s culture and personality.

What do you think?  Would you be able to live in a city completely empty of commercial advertising?  What if this happened in Windsor?  How would your re-think all of the empty spaces?

Via: DesignVerb

Steve Lambert: It’s Time to Fight

Two things I can’t get enough of — Steve Lambert and huge text signs.

Lambert’s latest work, It’s Time to Fight was installed recently in Pittsburgh, PA over a waffle shop.

Text-based work continues to inspire me; it’s accesible, layered, timely, and tactical. It can be hidden in plain sight. If you catch it, it can disrupt your experience of a landscape, and if you don’t, it patiently and quietly stands in waiting, alongside its capitalistic brethren. Text can steal our attention and interrupt our experience of space, particularly urban space, and that’s why we like working with it, I suppose.

To take a page from Josh’s book: thank you for existing, Steve Lambert.

Double Happiness

Here is a magnificent use of billboard space created by architect Didier Faustino. He has titled the work/installation/swing-set Double Happiness for pretty obvious reasons. Clever ideas like this usually don’t come from passivity towards the city, but an engaged, analytical, and curious attitude. I found this summary of the conceptual framework behind the project:

“Double Happiness responds to the society of materialism where individual desires seem to be prevailing over all. This nomad piece of urban furniture allows the reactivation of different public spaces and enables inhabitants to reappropriate fragments of their city. They will both escape and dominate public space through a game of equilibrium and desequilibrium. By playing this “risky” game, and testing their own limits, two persons can experience together a new perception of space and recover an awareness of the physical world.”

Via: Eyeteeth: A Journal of Incisive Ideas

“You are Still Alive” Billboard

Steve Lambert was just one of the artists who were included in the 2010 Art Moves Billboard Festival in Torun, Poland. His work, titled “You are Still Alive” is a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of motivational imagery. The photograph is fantastic and seems to draw my attention more than the billboard itself. It seems like the outcome is a little different when billboards are used to hold an exhibition instead of used in their original locations to a non-commercial end–like our previous …and then the city billboard project. Even though I enjoy the idea of a billboard exhibition, somehow I feel this specific work would make more of an impact in a busy urban center.

Continue reading ““You are Still Alive” Billboard”

Urban Interventions by OX

OX works on billboards across Paris, France to disrupt perspectives, commercial aesthetics, and daily encounters with forever-scaling urban signage.

The artist has sent us a few emails in the past, so I’m happy to finally be able to post about it. You should check out OX’s site featuring a huge number of works and on the Poster Time blog. Many of the interventions are quite playful, other times being rather loud with oscillating colours and lines.

Having just arrived back from the Creative Cities Summit, and hearing a really incredible presentation by the organizers of the Philadelphia Mural Arts project (which we’ve posted about before), I’m feeling rather anxious to consider how we could transform the many, many surfaces across the city that intensify the sense of non-place that seems endemic to Windsor.

Paying for Art with Billboards


Beautiful City is a new campaign based out of Toronto that is trying to persuade the city to create a tax for billboards that would do the following:

  1. A historical 53% increase to the annual municipal funding available to all artists, festivals and arts institutions,
  2. Close to $100 000.00 dollars for public realm improvement for each Toronto ward, every year — for projects such as greening,
  3. Almost a 1/3 of a million dollars for each of the 13 priority neighbourhoods to fund accessible youth arts programming, and
  4. Hiring 17 dedicated officers to enforce the new billboard bylaw.

The premise of the campaign is that billboard advertising, unlike all other forms of advertising, provides no content to the public in exchange for taking up public space (editorial to advertising ratios for TV is 75/25, for print is usually 50/50 but for billboards is 0 to 100).

Sounds like a fairly genius idea. What other ways could we think of generating new revenue for arts organizations in the city, given the likely continuing or eventual decline of funding for the arts in the city?

[via View on Canadian Art / image of Three Billboards About Love by Peter Fuss]

Art Replaces over 120 Illegal Billboards in New York City

delete key instead of illegal advertising

Late last week, over 120 illegal billboards were taken over by Jordan Seiler’s incrediblely ambitious “New York Street Advertising Takeover.”

Organized as a reaction to the hundreds of billboards that are not registered with the city, and therefore are illegal (and yet not prosecuted by New York city), the NYSAT whitewashed and then over 80 artists went and repainted the spaces. Above is just one of the many treatments artists gave the former advertising space.

Conversation about looking into getting a small portion of the huge number of billboards going up in Windsor for artists was brought up at last night’s Artcite. Oh, the things we could do with billboard space.

[via Wooster Collective]