BY: CONNOR BRIAN
Advertising has become inescapable. The imposing glare of a commercial message is likely cluttering your computer screen as you read this. Step outside onto city streets and you might notice the flashing neon signs, billboards, kiosks, posters, and wrapped vehicles that bleed into our consciousness every second we remain in a public space. Silently they are shoving a grease soaked McLobster or the seasons hottest male enhancement pill down your fucking throat.
Over time this domination of one’s surroundings becomes normalized and dulls the public perception of environment. Advertisers are consistently increasing their output and being met with little resistance. In fact Yankelovich, a market research firm, estimates that a person living in a city thirty years ago viewed 2,000 ads in a single day, while the modern citizen will view up up to 5,000.
The question is should advertising really control every inch of available space?
The work of Brian Kane gets people to question the effects of highway advertising. It creates an unexpected moment of contemplation for Massachusetts drivers during their morning commute. Loud commercial messages have been removed from these highway billboards, and instead have been replaced with breathtaking images of nature. Each work corresponds with the surrounding environment, substituting the chunks of landscape that advertising billboards usually block from view. Hopefully this will increase public awareness of corporate graffiti and the ability to fight back and democratize our outdoor environment.