Imagine a world without advertising. Setting aside all the awesome creative people this void would put out of work, imagine how it would look. Perhaps it would look like São Paulo, a city which has more or less banned outdoor ads, or perhaps it would look like it does in the No-Ad NY app, which removes some of the sensory overload from Times Square. As these examples illustrate, though, once the ads are gone, there would just be empty space–the visual equivalent of silence. That is, unless we put something beautiful in their place.
In a new project called “OMG, Who Stole My Ads?” French street artist Etienne Lavie makes it his mission to transform the ad space in Paris into an outdoor art gallery. He has been travelling around the city, snatching up posters and billboards, and replacing them with fine specimens of French art from an earlier era. If our senses have over-developed to the point where we need to be visually stimulated at all times outdoors, just to keep up continuity, then we might as well at least occasionally glimpse something that moves us–something we might elect to look at voluntarily. Lavie’s project gives that gift to a lucky subset of Parisian commuters.
Have a look at more installations in the slides above.
H/t to The Awesomer