Skip

THESE WORDS HOLD NO POWER OVER YOU
June 17, 2014 12:04 AM   Subscribe

The Last Billboard is a 36 foot long rooftop billboard located on the corner of Highland and Baum in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Each month a different individual is invited to use the billboard. The custom designed billboard consists of a rail system with heavy wooden letters that are changed by hand.
posted by frimble (50 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is awesome. I think I am going to have to steal this idea and implement it somehow. Anyone have a rooftop in a metro area that you aren't using?
posted by PerfectlyCromulent at 12:27 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


All-encompassing should be hyphenated.

No, I have no joy in my soul, why do you ask?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:33 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


ahem...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:34 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: No, I have no joy in my soul, why do you ask?
posted by hippybear at 12:38 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


There was a similar art project (using some very similar slogans) on New York's 42nd Street around 1979. It used the marquees of all the abandoned porno theatres left there just prior to redevelopment.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:51 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Slick aesthetic liberty in 'sliberty!
posted by rudster at 12:55 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I love the way the letters seem to float like a message from on high in the night photos.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 1:08 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


Boy, it devolves quickly into PostSecret and physical tweets.
posted by chavenet at 1:18 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I would do quotes from They Live
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:26 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Paul, that was Jenny Holzer. I love Holzer and Barbara Kruger, and their descendants (like Anthony Burrill), and stuff like this. But once you start producing these aphorisms, you can't stop and everything gets reduced to endless seemingly important sound bites (which is arguably one of the goals of the pieces). For your sanity, and the sanity of those around you, don't start! That way lies madness!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:10 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


DO NOT TAKE OUT LOANS FOR ART SCHOOL
posted by thelonius at 3:14 AM on June 17 [26 favorites]


FOR YOUR SANITY AND THE SANITY OF THOSE AROUND YOU, DON'T START!

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS!
posted by jeremias at 3:35 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


Thanks, Admiral - I couldn't think of her name, and therefore couldn't Google to look for photographs of her 42nd Street work. But now I can.

Holzer's own slogans veer from the witty ("Savour kindness because cruelty is always possible later") to ones that read like cryptic crossword clues ("With a flourish the waitress leaves behind rearranged smears") to the appallingly banal ("A man can't know what it's like to be a mother").

Oh, and Joe? I share your pain at the lack of that "all encompassing" hyphen. But note Holzer's use of the hyphen in "self-interest" and her correctly-placed apostrophe in "it's". Joy returns!
posted by Paul Slade at 3:50 AM on June 17


This is actually the third post here about that one little office building in East Liberty (Pittsburgh). First there was one about the Conflict Kitchen which still exists but has now moved closer to the universities. Then one about the Waffle Shop which is now gone and replaced by a high-end cocktail bar. This area is gentrifying quickly and probably won't have a place for funky art projects much longer.
posted by octothorpe at 4:01 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


THIS AREA IS GENTRIFYING QUICKLY AND PROBABLY WON'T
HAVE A PLACE FOR FUNKY ART PROJECTS MUCH LONGER.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:07 AM on June 17 [16 favorites]


WITH PROPER PUNCTUATION JOY RETURNS
posted by frimble at 4:07 AM on June 17 [7 favorites]


YE ARE NOT MY PEOPLE

AND I WILL NOT BE YOUR GOD.

HOSEA 1:9
posted by Segundus at 4:15 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


RED SOX BEAT YANKS 5-4
ON CHAPMAN'S HOMER
posted by chavenet at 4:35 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
    EUROPA
  ATTEMPT NO
 LANDING THERE

posted by jenkinsEar at 4:36 AM on June 17 [12 favorites]


THINK GAME OF THRONES
MEETS OKCUPID MEETS CAR
TALK MEETS GERTRUDE STEIN
MEETS DURAN DURAN
I would never stop watching, using, listening to and/or reading this.
posted by Etrigan at 4:36 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I always wondered who was behind that and why.

I'd probably write from the perspective of the billboard (HELP, I'M A HUMAN MIND LOCKED IN A BILLBOARD'S BODY), which is not what the artist has in mind.
posted by Turkey Glue at 4:40 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Huh, the letters are shaded to look three-dimensional. You can't really tell from the distant views, but I guess it makes a difference.
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:35 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


I have, on occasion, specifically chosen my bus route home in order to pass by that sign and see what it's up to.
posted by Stacey at 5:51 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


I love this, and it makes me miss Pittsburgh, my birthplace. It's a town like no other.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:03 AM on June 17


ALL THESE WORLDS
ARE YOURS EXCEPT
EUROPA
ATTEMPT NO
LANDING THERE

but... but... where else can I use my pontoon-equipped spaceship?
posted by hexatron at 6:19 AM on June 17


LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS.
posted by kimberussell at 6:26 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


HAPPY B-DAY JULIA
posted by Alison at 6:28 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


HAPPY B-DAY JULIA

That's a deep cut.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:46 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


The Julia window is now in the Google office.
posted by igowen at 6:57 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


octothorpe: This area is gentrifying quickly and probably won't have a place for funky art projects much longer.

Any other city, I'd agree with you. But Pittsburgh had a Robot Repair Shop open in a prime downtown storefront for about two years. (Bonus review from Yelp: "The best robot repair shop in Pittsburgh, and one of the best in the Northeast.")
posted by IAmBroom at 7:11 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


THIS
posted by Kabanos at 7:48 AM on June 17


SURELY THIS
posted by chavenet at 8:13 AM on June 17


RICK
RICK
MY BILLBOARD IS IN PITTSBURGH RICK
posted by lalochezia at 8:21 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


The Julia window is now in the Google office.

Gotta love how they get a couple of shout-outs to Google+ in there.
posted by Etrigan at 8:23 AM on June 17


During my daily commute a few years ago, I'd pass a billboard in kind of the middle of nowhere that remained totally blank white for close to a year. I was always tempted to take a can of black paint and a brush to it one day and write at the very bottom:

THIS MESSAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY ZEN BILLBOARDS INC.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:30 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Gotta love how they get a couple of shout-outs to Google+ in there.

It seems like a shameless plug, but that's literally how it happened.
posted by igowen at 9:07 AM on June 17


YOUR VOICE IS LIKE
THE SNAP OF
A BRA STRAP
UPON A SUNBURNT BACK

The Surrealist Compliment Generator would perfectly complement this billboard.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 9:08 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


What was that 1950s-ish black & white movie ( British, I think ) about a woman who wanted to be famous so she rented a key billboard? When the ad company desperately wanted that key location for a corporate client , they had to haggle, ending up offering her 10 other billboards in exchange instead . Can't remember the rest of the plot , except she became famous
posted by Bwithh at 9:16 AM on June 17


KILL ALL PARANOIDS!
posted by CrowGoat at 9:17 AM on June 17


Bwithh: I think maybe you're thinking of It Should Happen To You?
posted by Stacey at 9:20 AM on June 17


Pittsburgh? 30 years too late, but...

FIRE FOGE
posted by kurumi at 9:48 AM on June 17


Wow, I've lived here for 25 years and didn't get that reference. It's been a while since anyone cared that much about Pitt football.
posted by octothorpe at 10:06 AM on June 17


FNORD

Here in Washington state we've got the Uncle Sam billboard along I-5 near Chehalis that regularly bears messages of right wing crankiness, which is always a high point of the long drive between Seattle and Portland. Being two sided, you get the pleasure of a different message coming and going (no cheating with the rear view mirror). Though the cleverness and clarity of intent significantly dropped off after the original sign came down and the new one went up, I still look forward to it every trip.
posted by calamari kid at 10:58 AM on June 17


THOSE POOR SAPS
ON THE OTHER SIDE
OF THIS BOARD.
THEY KNOW NOTHING.
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:51 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]




Huh, I live embarrassingly close to that neighborhood to have never seen or heard of this sign. I think I might take a ride this weekend.
posted by tryniti at 4:24 PM on June 17


THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
posted by nickzoic at 5:05 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


STOP YOUR MESSING AROUND
BETTER THINK OF YOUR FUTURE
TIME YOU STRAIGHTEN RIGHT OUT
CREATING PROBLEMS IN TOWN
posted by Kabanos at 1:01 PM on June 18


CECI N'EST PAS
   UNE PIPE


posted by jenkinsEar at 7:54 PM on June 19


CECI N'EST PAS
UN STEELTOWN
posted by IAmBroom at 10:19 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


« Older 'felt they are being blamed for their own...   |   Les Invisibles Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post