October 19th, 2004

rock shadow

Culture-jamming, anyone?

I want a TV-B-Gone. Maybe I'll get some for others in my family too; they often ask wait staff at restaurants to turn the TV down or off, and often the wait staff don't comply. (Unfortunately, I can't find out how to get one because their website has exceeded its daily bandwidth allotment. I'm sure blogging it doesn't help, but I couldn't help it.)

A couple of months ago, the billboard on the corner of my street featuring an SUV and some slogan like "Powerful. HEMI blah blah blah." was adbusted to read "Powered by blood." It stayed for about a week, then was papered over. Adbusters used to have a photo gallery of similar adbusting ventures (anyone remember the "Color. That's holiday. Sweatshop labor. That's GAP." adbusting at Shattuck and University a few years ago?), but they've radically changed their site since last I've visited. Gone is the sundry archive of unconnected projects, from anti-SUV tickets to Channel One diatribes (speaking of which, I had one somewhere in my blog, and now I can't find it), that stretched back in time and web savvy. Now they have a small set of campaigns and an opaque site for "Jammer Groups" that looks like it's more about organizing future culture jams than exhibiting (and providing ideas from) past ones. That's too bad - I used to wander through their archives semi-regularly, getting excited about various culture-jamming campaigns. I still remember their spray-paintable chalkboard culture-jams with fondness.

Since I've last looked, they have added a "true cost economics" campaign (and commercial) that ties into my longstanding interest in alternative indicators to GDP and other traditional misfits. It's not true, though, that campuses aren't teaching sustainability and developmental economics; you just find the classes in departments like city planning and African-American studies.