‘Brandalism’ Takes Over the U.K.
Robert Montgomery, an artist who typically hijacks outdoor advertisements and transforms them into poetic works, recently joined an international artist community to materialize a project called ‘Brandalism.’ Because walking around London during the 2012 Olympics means being spammed by brand messages, the U.K. was this group’s target. The idea was to reclaim a fraction of the 100,000 billboards in the U.K. that are devoted to advertising. The project spanned over 5 days, covered London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, and subverted over 33 billboards. It is known to be the largest ever subvertising project in U.K. history.
“If anyone wants to understand western cultures and societies they had better come to terms with the role and power of commercial images,” says a representative of the artist group in an email to Fast Company. “Advertising does not stress the value of a collective long range future and the prevailing values of the commercial system provide no incentives to develop bonds with future generations. Faced with growing ecological and social crises, and with advertising being the engine of an unsustainable and detrimental economic system, it must be viewed as one of the major obstacles to our survival as a species.”