Posts tagged with "Billboards":

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Nation’s largest public art project funded via Kickstarter and launching in September

The largest public art campaign in U.S. history features 52 artist-designed billboards and will commence in September in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, thanks to more than 2000 backers across 52 Kickstarter campaigns. The publicly-funded campaign is part of the 50 State Initiative, organized by For Freedoms, a project sponsored by non-profit arts service organization Artadia. The 50 State Initiative also amasses more than 200 institutional partners and 250 artists to produce “additional billboards, lawn signs, town hall meetings, and special exhibitions to encourage broad participation and inspire conversation around November’s midterm elections,” according to a statement from the organizers. Kickstarter Director of Arts Paton Hindle explained that he was pleased to help the For Freedoms team with their first step. “At their core, both For Freedoms and Kickstarter seek to make art an integral part of society. Having all 52 projects succeed on Kickstarter is an affirmation that the greater global community believes in the power of art to spark dialogue and participation.” The billboards will tackle nationwide topics such as democracy, religion, sexual orientation, expression, and systemic oppression. Through the launching of the 50 State Initiative, For Freedoms hopes to create “a network of artists and institutional partners," as well as to “model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.”
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Video artist Pipilotti Rist takes over Times Square’s billboards for January’s Midnight Moment

Artist Pipilotti Rist will break out of Times Square’s usual electronic billboard programming with her Open My Glade (Flatten), 2000-2017, which will be on display every night in January from 11:57-midnight. The programming is part of Midnight Moment, the longest-running digital art exhibition synchronized on electronic billboards throughout the famous intersection, curated by Times Square Advertising Coalition and Times Square Arts every month. In this month’s Midnight Moment, video artist Pipilotti Rist re-confronts the screens of Times Square in a new, multichannel edition of a work commissioned by the Public Art Fund in 2000, which originally appeared on a single screen in Times Square. In the 2017 edition, Rist surrounds the plazas of Times Square on multiple screens in vivid color, flattening her face against the glass as if to break through the screens completely. "The human being wants to transgress any screen and jump out onto the square," Rist said of her digital art piece. "She wants to jump out of her skin and melt with you." With her features humorously distorted and her makeup smeared, Rist addresses expectations of women in media while also questioning the invisible boundaries placed on women and their history, experiences, pains, and wishes, in ways that resonate just as strongly in 2017 as they did in 2000. “At a time when the larger political currents are making many women feel both the glass ceiling and the walls closing in on their bodies, this work resonates more than ever," said Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance. This month’s Midnight Moment is presented in partnership with Rist’s Pixel Forest, on view at the New Museum through January 15.
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How Tom Wiscombe Architecture will reinvent the Sunset Strip billboard

Tom Wiscombe Architecture (TWA) has been selected as the winner for “The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign Request for Proposal” (RFP) competition for a site located at 8775 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, California.

TWA’s proposal reinvents the billboard as an overall typology, replacing the static, image-based, automobile-centric qualities with digitally driven, interactive, and public-space–making approaches.

The RFP comes as the City of West Hollywood, California, seeks to modernize the ubiquitous billboards that dot the Sunset Strip, a 1.5-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard that cuts across the city’s northwestern edge. The municipality’s RFP called on designers to “design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure” while also inspiring “a 21st century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media, and multidimensional graphic design.”

TWA’s proposal reinvents the billboard as an overall typology, replacing the static, image-based, automobile-centric qualities with digitally driven, interactive, and public-space–making approaches. The scheme takes the typical “sign-on-a-stick” billboard and rotates it 90 degrees so that the short edge of the sign rests on the ground. In the process, the billboard transforms from a sign to a bell tower and, in the architect’s words, “speaks to a world where commercial and cultural content can be hybridized, and media is no longer just a way of advertising but a way of life.”

These two, now-vertical billboard planes are then bent and folded into a configuration that allows for human occupation. The billboard assembly is placed onto the site, which is articulated in the manner of a public plaza.

Wiscombe described the project this way: “Just a few months ago, Elton John and Lady Gaga did a pop-up duet right nearby our site, in support of his AIDS Foundation. I like to think of ‘The Belltower’ as a contemporary catalyst and venue for civic engagements like that. We are also committed to making it into a kind of digital testing ground for artists, who will be curated by our partner MoCA. They will essentially be able to take it over for periods of time. I think that fusing together the worlds of art and commerce will give the project life and force us out of our habitual modes of consuming media.”

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Zaha Hadid, Gensler, and more, vying in Sunset Strip billboard competition

The Sunset Strip, a 1.5 mile stretch of West Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard, has established a reputation for eye-catching billboards. Attempting to magnify this, city authorities issued a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) for "The Sunset Strip Spectacular Pilot Creative Off-Site Advertising Sign" on 8775 Sunset Boulevard. Subsequently, a select number of teams were solicited to "design a technologically advanced, engaging, one-of-a-kind, billboard structure... The Sunset Strip Spectacular should inspire a 21st century vision with contemporary digital and interactive technologies, media and multi-dimensional graphic design." From this, nine applications were submitted and four were selected for further deliberation: JCDecaux and Zaha Hadid Project Management Ltd.; Orange Barrel Media/Tom Wiscombe Architecture/MoCA; Outfront Media/Gensler/MAK Center; and Tait Towers Inc. The proposals feature a range of ideas from kinetic design to viewer engagement through social media platforms and strategy for an adjacent multi-use public square. In Hadid's design, titled The Prism, the billboard becomes a civic gateway operating as a an "innovative, captivating hybrid environment." The sculptural brushed aluminum form, in classic Hadid style, twists elegantly as it rises into the air. Nearby, a public plaza uses shaded seating, drought-tolerant landscaping, and various lighting techniques to create a tranquil environment. Gensler, working alongside Outfront Media, have put forward an "unfolding sunset." Its series of moveable panels create an illusory experience that blends adverts with art, performance, and social media, coalescing into a single image as viewers travel toward and past the billboard. Tom Wiscombe, on the other hand, aims to reinterpret the classical billboard of old. "Our design is a vertically-oriented, three-dimensional media monolith, in contrast to the ubiquitous flat, horizontal billboards of the strip," the design team said in their proposal. Using LED technology, high-resolution systems, and an array of lighting devices, social media content will be displayed while the billboard promotes events and shows art curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA). Interestingly, only one quarter of the billboard's surface area will be used to display commercial content. Finally, the most unique design is the aptly named Spectacular by TAIT. It features a rotating billboard that's meant to mimic the bow-ties worn at the Sunset Strip's infamous black-tie clubs of the 1930 and '40s. The billboard is set to display both static and animated content using multimedia commercials.
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All through May, Times Square billboards to display Andy Warhol video footage from the 60s

The artist whose name is linked inextricably to screen prints of Marilyn Monroe and the Campbell’s soup can also had a fruitful career in feature films, producing  Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein and Chelsea Girls. As part of the Midnight Moments series, Times Square will run screen tests by Andy Warhol on its billboards to replace its million-dollar neon advertising—for a fleeting three minutes a day, anyway. The footage of Warhol’s piercingly personal screen tests with friends and celebrity guests will appear each night from 11:57p.m.–12:00a.m. Lapses in ad revenue should be marginal, if negligible. Some of this footage has rarely, if ever, been shown outside of a museum setting. Candid shots of screen and music legends Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Edie Sedgwick, and Dennis Hopper filmed from 1964 to 1966 will be blown up to epic proportions on the world’s most iconic billboards in Midtown Manhattan from May 1 through 31. The Midnight Moments series is aimed at bringing more art-oriented work into the otherwise corporate vacuum, where deep-pocketed multinationals shell out $3.8 million to advertise for 30 seconds during the Superbowl in one of New York’s most tourist-thronged, well-connected hubs. Previous initiatives include a video installation by Yoko Ono titled Imagine Peace and a multi-screen showing of Bjork’s music video for Mutual Core.
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SHoP Architects’ twisting skyscraper in Miami includes two acres of glowing digital billboards

Even in a city like Miami, this twisting, LED-emblazoned tower seems a bit over the top. The curious 633-foot structure, called the Miami Innovation Tower, is the work of SHoP Architects, a firm known for adventurous designs, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn to skinny supertall skyscrapers in Manhattan. But even with that reputation, this one takes us by surprise. The Miami Herald reported that the tower is part of developer Michael Simkins' plan for a four-block scheme to be called the "Miami Innovation District." The massive complex would sit between Miami's booming downtown and Overtown, which the Herald noted is one of the poorest parts of the city. Last week, SHoP reportedly submitted plans to the city for the Innovation District. But let's circle back to that twisting tower for a second. The basics: it has three sides, each of which can sport a digital sign up to 30,000 square feet. These massive walls will be put to good use, flashing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are also two more billboards on the tower's podium. So, to recap, in total, the Miami Innovation Tower is poised to include two acres of advertisements. Along with this advertising acreage, the tower will also have lounges, restaurants, gardens, plazas, and observation decks. In a statement to the Herald, Simkins said: “The iconic tower will elevate the city’s brand on a global level, enhance the city skyline, and complement and enhance the surrounding community." That could be true, if by "enhance the surrounding community" you mean flash glowing ads around the clock. The tower definitely has some hurdles to pass before its billboards are switched on, but Simkins' vision might actually happen. "Miami’s zoning administrator gave [Simkin's] Miami Innovation Tower plans a nod in March 2014, and in December the developer signed a covenant with the executive director of the redevelopment agency, which has to sign off on his sign application because it lies within the agency’s boundaries," reported the Herald.  While the project will surely be controversial (the non-profit Scenic Miami has already said it is "appalled, truly appalled" by the plans), large-scale digital ads are not new to Miami. Just ask the dancing LED woman on the side of the Intercontinental Hotel (below). https://youtu.be/ic7mJtOQLr4
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Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects Bends Billboards On The Sunset Strip

Are you an architect seeking a growth sector? How about billboards? A trailblazing firm in this field is Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects (LOHA), who recently designed a new 68-foot-tall sign at Sunset and La Cienega on the Sunset Strip for the City of West Hollywood and Ace Advertising. Instead of the usual featureless, boxy armature, LOHA has designed a blue, wishbone-shaped, steel structure that one could even call (gasp) sexy. Its meandering, tubular shape also brings to mind snaking traffic in the area. The structure's torque was achieved using massive gas pipeline bending machines. "Infrastructure doesn't have to be marginalized," O'Herlihy said. "Why not glorify the structure?" The firm is now planning two more signs in the billboard-heavy area, at 8462 Sunset and 9015 Sunset. One tall and thin sign folds like origami and incorporates seating into its bottom-most curve; the other bends back forcefully as if trying to escape from the street. Coincidentally LOHA is collaborating with SOM on a large mixed-use project (containing residential, hotel, and retail) just across the street from their new billboard, Sunset-La Cienega. Between the signs and the buildings, we've considered nicknaming the area Lorcan-ville.
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Architects & Engineers in LA Reimagine Billboards as Gardens

Now this looks like a good idea: a group of architects and engineers called Urban Air are trying to turn a billboard next to LA's 10 Freeway into a suspended bamboo garden. The technique: they remove the signage, install planters and then the bamboo, and then install water misters and sensors to make sure it's properly irrigated. Voila! If it's successful with the first sign the group wants to create similar gardens across the country. The ambitious plan is being crowd-funded through Kickstarter and with 46 days left has raised nearly $6,000 of its $100,000 goal as of this publishing. You can check out their Kickstarter campaign and contribute here.
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What is your favorite billboard?

With the LA City Council banning multi-story supergraphics, digital billboards and some freeway signs last week (thanks Curbed, as always for the juicy details), we've suddently gotten nostalgic for these building-sized ads. So we thought we'd put together (ok, it was just me) some of our favorite mega-billboards from recent times, including the most ridiculous, of course. We encourage you to post your own favorite billboards here. C'mon people, let's find some good ones! Here are some of our faves (oh, and check out our next issue to read about how the billboard ban will affect architects):
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Billboards: WAIT a minute…

Today  AIA/LA's Director of Government & Public Affairs, Will Wright,  testified to LA's planning commission regarding a revised sign ordinance controlling the erection of billboards in the city. A moratorium on all new signs was passed by LA's city council in December, while the city's original sign ordinance—considered by many to be ineffective— was passed in 1986. Wright requested that the commission delay a vote and consider a revised  ordinance "until comprehensive visual analysis of the proposed regulations is completed." A vote on the revised ordinance is expected in the next few weeks. In a letter to the Commission AIA/LA also recommended that the planning department convene a panel of outside experts or a consultant team with design expertise to work with City staff to review, illustrate, and contribute to the refinement of the draft sign code. "No substantive visual analysis has been completed to date. This is a design issue that impacts the environmental quality, indeed brand, of Los Angeles and nobody knows what it looks like," said AIA/LA President John Kaliski in the letter.