I’ve seen the future of online advertising and it has something to do with Dr. Zizmor, 1968, and Mel Bochner. More specifically, it has to do with, Ben Coonley, Jason Corace, Charles Gute, Brian Kennon, Elke Lehmann, Jessica Slaven, Maya Schindler, and Sheilah Wilson, the 8 artists I invited to create work for The Future of Online Advertising, a show I put together for Eyebeam’s Add-Art project. To view the exhibitions you’ll need to install Add-art, a firefox add-on that replaces ads with art. Once you’ve done that, the add-on randomly selects one of the 8 artist’s “exhibitions” in the show, and as you surf, replaces ads with art.
I suspect there will be a few readers who can’t be bothered to either install the add-on or figure out what it is, so I’ve included a few screenshots below to give you all a sense of the show and how it works. I have also included a curatorial statement after the jump. Please note that add-art unrated will be arriving shortly. This way those who don’t need to worry about work safe environments can have their ads replaced by Brian Kennon’s bare-breasted woman with a carefully manicured pussy and a dog on a chain.
A special thanks to Add Art’s brain child Steve Lambert. He was an immense help putting this show together!
Brian Kennon’s, Monster Love on Time Out NY
Curatorial statement and screengrabs after the jump!
The Future of Online Advertising, a group exhibition featuring the work of Ben Coonley, Jason Corace, Charles Gute, Brian Kennon, Elke Lehmann, Jessica Slaven, Maya Schindler, and Sheilah Wilson appropriates a familiar turn of phrase in the same way the participating artists in this show draw upon pre-existing cultural material. Taken from the similarly named annual New York online advertising conference, the title means to broadly describe a utopic form of advertising; which is to say, in the future, all advertising is art. It is aesthetically challenging and engaging, it is inventive and it is smart.
Providing a great initial model for discussion Coonley simply replaces online advertising with ads he likes better. Choosing the New York subway ad celebrity Dr. Zizmor, Coonley’s animated gifs build Zizmor’s web presence on his behalf. Sheilah Wilson also prefers to replace ads with other ads, drawing upon the Internet’s version of carving “for a good time call” in a tree, bench or bathroom stall. Using the anonymous commentors on Craigslist’s Missed Connections, a website where people try to locate people with whom they’ve shared desire, Wilson photographs plaques with selected appropriated text. “Last name, I believe it to be Sparks,” reads one particularly amusing pun, no doubt selected as a line that might double as advertising for a car parts.
Reflecting on the form of the ad itself, Charles Gute’s 17 Standards (After Bochner), references Mel Bochner’s Standard series in which the artist used black tape and butcher’s paper to measure its own dimensions on a wall. Similarly minimal, Gute’s pixels serve more or less the same purpose; the re-iteration and articulation of form describing the most essential quality of the ad. By contrast, Jessica Slaven’s quotation of well known literature is less an homage to these thinkers than a practice of subtle alteration to their work. Flawlessly photoshopping the titles of well known books, artist Martin Kippenberger’s No Drawing, No Cry, humorously becomes No Drawing, No Cry, No Tear, while Susan Faludi’s Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women becomes lashback: The Undeclared War Against American Women.
Also working with literature, Jason Corace, uses the Modern Library’s ten greatest English Language Novels list as the basis of his work. Compressing the text from each book and animating those images together in a 1 second loop, the result resembles a typographic permutation of television snow. And yet, while beautiful and imbued with meaning the piece doesn’t change the functionality of space; the context and format of ads almost inevitably reduces some of the most important knowledge in the world to visual noise. Corace has titled his piece after all the books in his exhibition, ”¨ulyssesthegreatgatsbyaportraitoftheartistasayoungmanlolitabravenewworldthesound
While government representatives may not represent such perfected knowledge Elke Lehmann’s Flag series, describes American identity using the flag as a garment. Appropriately timed for the United States elections, Lehmann places the red white and blue motif — frequently unwoven or torn and against exposed skin — revealing an erotic undertone to American nationalism. Similarly political, Maya Schindler’s text based images speak to the message of Change presidential-elect Barack Obama built his campaign around, while Brian Kennon’s Monster Love refers to the 1968 presidential election year in which Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated along with Martin Luther King Jr.. Bringing together images of fucking pigs, Alice Cooper, a shock rocker known for his use of the Ouija board, and a bare breasted woman with her dog, Kennon’s exhibition proposes a future cultural reaction to political changed based on the carnage of 1968. It was after all, only four years after an election that until this one just past, drew the largest number of voters in American history.
A screenshot of Ben Coonley’s, Thank-You Dr. Zizmor. His work replaces Bergdorf Goodman ads on the Times front page.
Sheilah Wilson’s Missed Connections text at the Sun
This screengrab captures a fraction of the noise in Jason Corace’s animated gifs compressing the text of 10 of the world’s greatest novels.
Jessica Slaven’s untitled exhibition at the Miami Herald
Elke Lehmann’s Flags on Time Out NY
Charles Gute’s, 17 Standards (After Bochner) on the New York Times. The screengrab unfortunately doesn’t capture the teeth chattering gif