Adbusting is a growing trend in the Eastern and Western U.S. Adbusting, also known as culture jamming, sees artists coming together to change existing advertisements with works of art. These works often hold some cultural commentary and are seen as vandalism in large cities. For some artists, the issue of vandalism can be quite the deterrent. As such, artists have begun using augmented reality as a way to carry out their adbusting goals.
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The Public Ad Campaign, a group of New York-based artists that considers all advertisements to be public property, has developed an augmented reality app for the iPhone and iPad. The app is based on augmented reality technology coming from Junaio, a technology company based in Germany. Using the app, smart phone owners can point their devices at advertisements and see them replaced with pieces of art done by members of the group. In this way, the Public Ad Campaign can circumvent vandalism laws as these laws do not apply to virtual space.
Replacing ads with artistic commentary has long been an underground trend in the world of art. Artistic vandalism began gaining mainstream appeal after acclaimed UK artist Banksy grew in fame. While some would consider virtual adbusting as vandalism, augmented reality has become a very powerful tool for artists looking for a new medium in which to express themselves.