New York City has always boasted of a robust art scene. Ambitious artists from all over the world often travel to the city to make a name for themselves in one of the most influential places on the planet. However, it can be difficult to display art in the city, as most of the space available is monopolized by advertisements. Given that street art is often considered a form of vandalism, the Public Ad Campaign, an anti-ad group of artists, have developed a new mobile app that allows artists to plaster their works over advertisements.
The app shares the same name as the advocacy group and seeks to replace advertisements with artistic works. This aim is accomplished through the use of augmented reality technology, which allows virtual displays to be superimposed on the physical environment. The app makes use of a smart phone’s camera to spot and replace advertisements.
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The app is part of the Public Ad Campaign’s attempt to take back public space from advertisers. As far as the group is concerned, the streets of New York City are cluttered with advertisements, most of which go ignored by residents because of overexposure to the same content day after day. By replacing ads, the group hopes to inject some originality back into the city and its peoples.
There have been some issues with the AR aspects of the app and the group stresses that they are still in the early stages of testing. Nonetheless, those interested in the concept are invited to view a demo of the application on Vimeo.