While in Brussels I got to visit Harlan Levey Projects gallery and had the chance of getting a very thorough tour of all the exhibits of the ongoing Public Data Explorer Group exhibition, by Mr Levey himself.
The part of the exhibition that really caught my attention though was Brooklyn-based Jordan Seiler’s project, titled: Public Ad Campaign. Essentially, Seiler's project explores, or creates if I may, the common ground between public and monetized communication in public spaces. Public Ad Campaign attempts to use the space intended for paid communication via “bold acts of civil disobedience” as the artist puts it, and repurpose it as a tool for our communities to regain visual control in the public space. Seiler “counter-invades” the public space by replacing outdoor advertising with his work.
From the artist’s website:
“I carried a polaroid around in my pocket for 6 years until it looked like the first image [you see here]. I decided to give it life by putting it in as many different ad venues as possible and will continue to do so until I run out of locations.”
In addition to the above, Seiler in conjunction with Heavy (with whom he creates more projects pertaining to the topic of the public space under the name Re+Public), created a hand-made box called Public Access (Heavy Edition). In the box one can find the right tools (literally) -the Public Access Keys- to break and invade the spaces that host outdoor ads and indirectly (yet very directly) be a part of this project. In the box there is also a tablet with an Augmented Reality App (another “forté” of the Re+Public team) which detects the typography on the lid of the box to display information on the project in a pretty, visually eloquent manner.