Fun with NYC video billboards

December 10th, 2008

Can video billboards normally displaying advertising be transformed into art? Three artists agree they can. These billboards are placed allover NYC at subway stations, and apart from spreading commercial messages, they make perfect light sources for unauthorized art.

The Pixelator is IMO the most innovative of the three. By using a grid of walls and diffusion gel, you get a live pixel effect on any TV screen.

Light criticism by Anti-Advertising Agency and Graffiti Research Lab is using the billboards as a light source by covering it with a board with message cut out. The messages are anti-commercial, like NYC’s TRUE GRAFFITI PROBLEM, GRAFFITI and GRAFFITI = ADVERTISING
You should check out the rest of Graffiti Research Lab’s projects as well.

The idea of the The Abstractor is to mask out everything shown on the screen but a thin horizontal line, and so make an abstract subset of the TV image.

Click on any of these links for a better description and instructions how to build that project. Each link also contains videos of the project in action.

Through: Project October

5 Responses to “Fun with NYC video billboards”

  1. ale/pepino says:

    Love that pixelator and the x|k music on it.

  2. nitro2k01 says:

    Indeed. And the CC (license) notice was there. It should be so obvious, but as history has shown, it isn’t always. (I’m talking about CC (The band))

  3. nitro2k01 says:

    Oh, what I forgot to say in the post is this: Perhaps another venue of modifying the image could be using light polarizing plastic. If the light is polarized (Which the light coming from at least monochrome LCD’s are) it should be possible to block it by attaching a layer of plastic film with the opposite polarization. That way, when someone removes the film they can see through it and don’t know whaat’s going on unless they know about the phenomenon.

  4. Gamma Goblin says:

    I’ve been meaning to build a TV Pixelator for the last two years. I was going to make mine out of used toilet roll inserts. I keep collecting them but then I get bored and all tidy’ish and just throw them cos they’re cluttering up the place.

  5. Photoshop Billboards (Street Art) says:

    [...] recently talked about how you can have fun with video billboards, but you can have fun with regular billboards too, as these Berliners show. The theme is [...]

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