Tag Archives | Street Art

Altered Smartphone Advertising In San Francisco

dronesSF Weekly notes the latest work of the California Department of Corrections, who suitably update street-level advertising to better inform the public:

Muni bus shelters are supplying a blank canvas for the California Department of Corrections, a media organization that distorts other people’s ad campaigns in order to reverse their message.

This month, the CDC decided to confront America’s drone policy by adulterating a series of smartphone ads on Muni bus shelters, including the one at Seventh and Market streets.

The new ads show a cellphone picture of predator drone strike, with the word “Pakistan” swapped in for the phone logo.

“As these operations are shrouded in secrecy, the California Department of Corrections released the rehabilitated smartphone ads to assist our colleagues in the federal government and explain the benefits of drones to war-weary Americans,” the organization explains, in a statement.

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Surveillance Cameras Wearing Party Hats For George Orwell’s Birthday

Dutch artists Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle, who use the moniker FRONT404, adorned the surveillance cameras in their city of Utrecht in adorable party hats for George Orwell’s birthday:

On Tuesday June 25, to celebrate the 110th birthday of George Orwell, surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats! George Orwell is best known for his book ‘1984’, in which he describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by Big Brother. By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality.

orwell's birthday

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Artist Behind Faux-NYPD PSA Ads Arrested Following Investigation By Counter-Terrorism Unit

The creator of the previously noted fantastic poster campaign was apparently regarded as a terrorist threat and subject to a manhunt for daring to mock the police, the Verge reports:

A street artist who hung satirical posters criticising police surveillance activities has been arrested after an NYPD investigation tracked him to his doorstep. Essam Attia placed the Big Brother-style adverts in locations throughout Manhattan, using a fake Van Wagner maintenance van and uniforms to avoid detection. Attia now faces 56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and grand larceny possession of stolen property.

Months after forensics teams and a “counter-terrorism” unit was spotted on the scene, the NYPD last Wednesday successfully tracked down and arrested the 29-year-old art school vandal, who identified himself in the video as a former “geo-spatial analyst” serving US military operations in Iraq.

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Guerrilla Art Collective Fixes Toronto’s Downtown Advertising Pillars

The company Astral Media paid off the city for the right to install irritating “info pillars” displaying bland maps — and advertisements — throughout downtown. The group cARTographyTO took it upon themselves to correct matters by breaking into and altering the pillars to feature art-maps, created by Torontonians (with examples below), that are decidedly more thought provoking and visually pleasing. They explain:

cARTographyTO replaced ads in Astral Media “Info” Pillars with art-maps created by Toronto residents and local artists. This site-specific art, donated by over 30 concerned citizens (and supported by many times more), offers new possibilities for these spaces, and information about the surrounding neighbourhoods. This is a response to sidewalk billboards, and the erosion and privatization of public spaces.

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NYPD Paints Over Apartment Building’s Political ‘Murderers’ Mural

Doesn’t it kind of constitute vandalism for the police to deface the entire side of a property with black paint against the owner’s wishes? New York Magazine explains:

New York City graffiti artist Alan Ket has the permission of an Inwood building owner to paint freely on their outside wall, but the NYPD doesn’t care. DNAinfo reports that the department sent two plainclothes officers to cover up his latest mural yesterday, calling it a “bad idea.” The art featured the text “We know the real … Murderers,” the last word blown-up and bullet-ridden, surrounded by tombstones for various controversial organizations: McDonald’s, Halliburton, Shell Oil, Bank of America, that kind of thing. Oh, and the NYPD is in there too.

“I can’t confront them, because I don’t want problems,” said the building’s owner in Spanish. “There is no freedom of expression. It’s a bomb, and now here I am in the middle of a bomb.”

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San Diego Says Yarn-Bomber’s Stop Sign Flowers Must Be Stopped

stopsignIs it art? Is it vandalism? The city of San Diego is putting the kibosh on one of the most extensive yarn-bombing campaigns in history, in which 100 stop signs were turned into flowers via knitware. San Diego CityBeat relays a message from the artist:

I started planting flowers in earnest starting March 1st. The 100th one was planted last night. But today I got an email from Bill Harris who works for the city. I had expected it, and was considering an obstinate stance. After a 15 minute phone call, I decided to work with them, and plan an ending.

He started the call with “Congratulations on making it to 100.” He explained how people within the city had gone to great lengths to find a way to keep them. They even contacted other cities to find out what they did. “Even Berkeley takes them down,” he told me. The problem is that the stop sign is a traffic sign.

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Bahrain: Social Media, Graffiti Art and Revolution

‘Social media’ conjures up thoughts of instant internet communication, global chatter over the web, computers, mobiles, tweets, posts etc. But there is a communication form that predates these modern tools – political street art. Street art can be dated back to ancient Egypt and throughout history it has been employed by those with a political point to make.

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