Snippet of Hope #2

After the dismal failure of Snippet of Hope #1, I shall try to keep this post chipper and cheery at all costs.

It is very very difficult to think clearly in the city, AND LO!, I shall explain to you why!

Firstly, as we know from Neitzsche all decent thoughts are born while walking. This is why, in Ecce Homo (perhaps the greatest book every written by a man in the throes of syphilitic insanity), he directs his reader "Sit as little as possible; credit no thought not born in the open air and while moving freely about -- in which the muscles too do not hold festival. All prejudices come from the intestines. -- Assiduity -- I have said it once before -- the actual sin against the holy spirit." What he means by the last bit, I cannot begin to fathom.

Secondly, it is certainly true that a good think occurs very slowly. Moral quandaries in particular require a slow, almost glacial, thought process to resolve themselves. This is why all cultures of the world, when facing spiritual challenges, have turned to solitude and meditation.

And yet, whenever we go outside, we are assailed by advertisement; short, eye-grabbing semiotical bombs, slipped willy-nilly into our minds, reducing our great card-castles to rubble long before we are ready to cement them, leaving time only for piddling, paltry, provincial thoughts, such as shopping lists and birthday cards. Perhaps there is a place for advertising on television and in magazines and various other places where I may choose not to look, but public advertising is an assault on self-awareness, philosophy and humanity itself.

And so, now you see why it is that we are all doo... m... ed? Where was I going with this? Oh yes, HOPE! Right then, onwards towards hope.

Two artists, a pair of caped crusaders called Steinbrener and Dempf, are taking on public advertising head-on, hoping to show the public what it is that we are missing. They have started a project called DELETE! which uses computers to remove advertisements from cityscapes with the intention of producing a thought-provoking compare-if-you-dare experience.

And what's more!, they recently covered over all the ads in an actual Vienna shopping district in a reification of their conceptual masterpiece!!! Read about it here.

Or look here to see how much more thinking you could do in ad-free environment.


Blogger justin said...

I like how the use of bright yellow to call attention to the lack of advertisement becomes itself advertisement for nothing. Did they choose Christof's yellow, I wonder? I think his work more effective in reifying space. Chris Burden also did something similar, purchasing TV prime time to air blankness or information about himself as an artist.

Interesting ideas, but ultimately futile... well, mostly futile. Reno passed a bill to limit outdoor adspace recently. If only people could be convinced of the importance of good design, ad messages could become OK to look at. But this is a pipe dream also. Oh well.

4:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey man...it's Shaun. Heard from your financial advisor (weird eh) that your writing is going well. Give me a shout sometime (I actually post crap..uh..stuff...on my journal again!) Later

2:40 a.m.  

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