The Billboard Project

2010

I created four site-specific projects for a digital billboard on route I-195. The digital billboard was seen by passing cars that had visual contact with the “canvas” for twenty to thirty seconds (two to three images), and from spots under the billboard where people stopped and watched the images as long as they liked.

The four different projects were:

1. You Are Here:
Starting with an image of the solar system and ending with an image of the exact site in which the billboard was located, You Are Here pokes fun at the idea of locating oneself.

2. Ancient Chinese Secret:
I wanted to conceive a project that created “objectless” to the billboard surface. Matching the aspect ratio of a fortune from a fortune cookie to that of the billboard, I referenced the entire text from a previous video piece in which a father doles out advice through an endless stream of fortunes.

3. International Sign:
For International Sign, I was interested in disrupting the way in which a billboard communicates through text. I did this by breaking the text down to its most fundamental element, the individual letters of the alphabet, and then translating it into fingerspelling. Manual alphabets (fingerspelling) are used in sign languages, mostly for proper names and technical or specialized vocabulary borrowed from spoken languages. Each hand sign is accompanied by a corresponding phonetic image.

4. Empty Frames
I frequently take existing media and alter it to demonstrate how easily its methods of communication can be disrupted and its content transformed. For Empty Frames I scanned and then removed all the identifying text from vintage labels and transplanted fields of color in the spaces in which the text originally resided.