OMG who stole my ads?
March 27, 2014 12:58 PM   Subscribe

Imagining art triumphing over consumerism in an urban utopia. (Art project, via.)
posted by RedOrGreen (28 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Commercial art can still be art.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:07 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]

It's a beautiful thought. But in the future, ads displayed on your contact lens TwitterBook news feed will augment whatever fine art that exists in reality. It's a battle to get as close as possible to the nerve fibers that can be commanded to unravel your purse strings.
posted by hanoixan at 1:14 PM on March 27

It's damned odd - I know what's being done, and the art substituted doesn't really do it for me, but each of the photos feels like the poison's been removed.

It almost makes me wonder if there's actually fnords or if the premise of They Live was real.
posted by Mooski at 1:14 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]

It probably doesn't help that most of these classics have already been co-opted for marketing purposes in some way or another.
posted by Think_Long at 1:18 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]

I like it. Like this page, too.
posted by rtha at 1:23 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]

I've thought about buying ad space and displaying art if I had the money to. One less surface with some bleached face, pupils dilated, and teethed bared, staring right at me and triggering some kind of anxiety, while screaming at me for money.
posted by hellojed at 1:40 PM on March 27

How do we know what art to choose?

Maybe the artists could publicly lobby in some way to let the public know that they are good painters and the public could rent their services some how.
posted by joelf at 1:41 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]

Liberty Leading the People.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:58 PM on March 27

I don't mind a whole bunch of ads in some places. Downtown Osaka and Tokyo would be weird without them, I'm sure the same could be said for New York (Times Square anyway) and London (Picadilly Circus, anyway). There's some places where ads are out of place and take away form the surroundings, for sure, and some good ones here, but I don't think all of these are them, necessarily.
posted by Hoopo at 2:03 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]

Paintings made to be seen by candlelight or in a church will never look right outside on the side of building at twice their natural size. Who wants to look at Ingres outside by a lake?
posted by Ideefixe at 2:13 PM on March 27

Unexpectedly, I dislike this pretty strongly. I associate advertising spaces with people trying to grab my attention, to impose a message on me or otherwise try to manipulate me. Seeing what I perceive to be highbrow art in those spaces feels like someone has decided that we WILL appreciate these pieces of culture, for our own good. It's oddly dystopic.

With that said, a collective artists' space close to my flat has just such a billboard on the side of their building. They fill it with nice swatches of colour and tessalating patterns, and I like it. Possibly because it's less obviously high-status, fine art, so it's not so jarring.
posted by metaBugs at 2:17 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]

(Loosely related? Generic brand ad.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:18 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]

Imagining classic art triumphing over consumerism in an urban utopia.

Art heavily endowed with respectability: pictures of well-dressed renaissance men, bare hinies, and hairless coochies, made respectable by the fact that their owners are now skeletons, and the wealthy men who commissioned them are dead as well.

How would this idea change if they dared include some more unusual art, that is not immediately recognizable as Art(tm), or even art that is transgressive or NSFW?

As it stands, this is not just replacing commercial advertising with art, but specifically with safe, publicly unchallenging art.

Me? I say let'er rip... but then I love modern art for its transgressiveness and daring-do, so I'm hardly unbiased. Still, this isn't just "art".
posted by IAmBroom at 2:47 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]

High Line Billboard
posted by moonmilk at 3:00 PM on March 27

More like ab-fesses, amirite?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:26 PM on March 27

Hahahahaha I just read this, and thought the title of this post was OMG, who stole my Nads.
posted by Chuffy at 3:38 PM on March 27

None of that looks particularly out of place, because Paris is lousy with adverts for art museums.

That, and adverts for high-speed internet.
posted by Omission at 3:39 PM on March 27

The thing that tickles me is that nobody seems to get that a chunk of the "art" replacing the "ads" are in fact ads: sponsored work; portraits, commissioned for the greater glory of the sitter; works to advertise the Church and the greater glory of the Deity.

"Visual things that promote other things" aren't a post-millennial invention. But shine on, you crazy, well-meaning diamond. Some day somebody will be dropping MTV videos to promote musical acts, replacing whatever's in our G+Glass Vidstream, and thinking they're celebrating High Art.
posted by Shepherd at 5:09 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]

Oh yeah, they did this in the UK last year. I saw a few pieces around on my commute, and other travels. It was pretty boring and unimpressive.

And look, now it's all done. So the people who arranged it can high-five each other and maybe do a TED talk about it, but people are still going to be visually illiterate and not understand what these things mean, so basically... take your context-free cultural artefacts and get off my lawn.
posted by The River Ivel at 5:42 PM on March 27

I pretty much agree with others here. I hate advertising—it's both an eyesore and an inescapable psychic noise that assaults you relentlessly in any urban space—but I don't see this as a big improvement. The street just isn't a place that I want to see art (unless it's graffiti, or maybe sculpture, or the rare nicely done mural), and especially not classical art. It's better than advertising, but it's still noisy and distracting in that setting.

How about we just take down the placards and billboards instead, and let architecture be our public art?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:25 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]

How about we just take down the placards and billboards instead, and let architecture be our public art?

Related: Sao Paulo: The City With No Outdoor Advertisements
posted by suedehead at 7:31 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]

Renaissance art seems really out of place in that environment. Couldn't they have picked paintings that are a little more relateable to people walking by, or have people not been painting for the past few hundred years?
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:07 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]

The Sao Paulo link is interesting. I have never been but did not know they prohibited advertising. Lack of ads was one thing that I noticed in Israel. They did have some, but overall the lack of ads seemed significant and distinguished the feel of the area from North America, Asia, and Europe.
posted by seesom at 5:44 AM on March 28

Commercial art can still be art.

Could you point me to an example of contemporary commercial art in a public space?
posted by Quilford at 6:20 AM on March 28

From the Sao Paulo link: “Advertising is both an art form and, when you're in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom," Silvanom added.

So that feeling of wanting to tear my hair out is "entertainment"? Good to know.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:41 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]

Maybe the art they chose isn't perfect, but christ, it's better than ads, isn't it? I'll take some vaguely defined form of condescension or cultural imperialism over an outright attempt to brainwash me through, usually, even shittier art (i.e. ads).

Not to mention, even if it isn't perfect, it's a perfectly good starting point towards using our public spaces in a responsible and respectful way.
posted by Drexen at 7:59 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]

Quilford: "Commercial art can still be art.

Could you point me to an example of contemporary commercial art in a public space?

This sculpture outside One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St, Pittsburgh PA, a prestigious business office.

There are several other examples in my city - the life-size triceratops coin bank outside Dollar Bank is another.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:02 PM on March 31

« Older Dispatch from Haiti: Quiet Before The Storm   |   A kind of institutional doppelgänger Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments