Check out this recent street-art activist campaign, The Pop-Down Project. As a response to the ever-increasing ad-creep that clutters our landscape and mentalscape, the project seeks to “symbolically restore” a user’s power to control their visual environment by shifting the context for how advertisements are viewed. In creating a false empowerment by offering the option for the ad to disappear, perhaps passer-byers will come to question the legitimacy of that ad occupying their field of vision.
It’s a fascinating case of internet literacy taking tangible and functional form at street level. Taken more wholistically, it’s interesting to note that the campaign seeks to wed the democratic spirit that is typically touted in street-art with the networking dynamics of Web 2.0 culture. The Pop-down project has blogspot site, a facebook page, and a slideshow on Picasa where people who have download the sticker from the site (shown below) can upload their finished product. I’d be curious to hear what you all think about the rhetorical maneuver being made here.
This campaign also brings to mind another anti-advertising street-art project, done by Graffiti Research Lab (who also has a strong web presence). Check out the video below, which seeks to collude street advertising with graffiti: