November 1, 2005
The commercial breaks during last night's Colbert Report saw a couple somewhat peculiar ads, both bearing the mark of "Optimus" (which I'm thinking might just be these folks, though I certainly wouldn't swear by it).
The first was an animated agitprop number featuring sullen, wind-up business drones going about their morning commute, ending with the motto: "Beware the trappings of leisure."
The second, a tad less strident, offered nothing but a lone banjo player picking on an urban rooftop.
Both had the feel of either short-form art (if only by virtue of having little immediately discernible raison d'être from a strict marketing perspective) or MTV-style branding exercises.
Perhaps these are just the mysterious first shots in some sort of slow-reveal, buzz-marketing campaign but, whatever their agenda, they did get me thinking about the potential of media art and television as a public space—particularly in terms of the pay-to-play 30-second world of television advertising.
So, a question... I'm aware that a slew of artists have tackled the very public medium of the billboard (both with licit support and without). And I know that our good buddy Chris Burden logged some NYC broadcast airtime of his own back in 1976, on his own buck. But, is anyone aware of any public art groups that have done serious TV ad buys for art's sake?
Update 11/2, 3:15 pm: A "hi" and a "howdy" to the horde over at Optimus... I see you (seeing me).
"More Than Meets the Eye?"
Posted by Dan at 11:57 AM
Amazon: Billboard: Art on the Road—Laura Steward Heon, Peggy Diggs, Lisa Dorin
Billboard Liberation Front
Iconoduel: This and That—An Institutional Burden
Media Art Net: Overview of Media Art: MassMedia—Page 25
Media Literacy Clearinghouse: 2005-2006 Prime Time TV Season 30 Sec Ad Rates
Wikipedia: Digital video recorder
Wikipedia: Jeff Koons
Wikipedia: Video on demand