Public space can be a contentious concept. Here’s a selection of global interactions encompassing New York, Palestine and Liberia – all aired out in the open – and thus subject to the court of public opinion.
New York’s lively Public Ad Campaign aims at “expanding curatorial responsibilties in the city”. It seeks to question the commodification of public space via outdoor advertising. This week it co-ordinated the volunteer whitewashing of over 100 illegal street-level billboards between Soho and Chelsea and their subsequent transformation by street artists.
[Via Wooster Collective and the Gothamist. Photo by Ji Lee]
Brings to mind another global activism platform in the public space – Palestinian peace efforts at Send a Message. You pay: Palestinians spray. For €30 you get your message sprayed on the Israeli Palestinian separation wall and 3 digital pictures disptached to you by email. Proceeds go to local NGOs. Check out the Guardian interview with the project’s co-ordinator Faris Asouri.
[Photo by delayed gratification]
And finally on a less activist note but definately in the realm of ‘public’ is Liberia’s Blackboard Blogger. Alfred Sirleaf chalks up daily news on blackboards which are centrally located in the country’s capital city, Monrovia. He co-ordinates news feeds through his mobile phone – and as part of his objective to deliver news to those who can’t afford newspapers, includes symbols and pictures on his boards so as to assist illiterate viewers.