Poster Boy

At many stops in the subway, mostly concentrated along the G and L lines (in NYC), you will notice ads that are slightly off. They range from super obvious alterations bordering on the juvenile need to leave your mark and spell out fart, to the more subtle pieces like above which make a comment on our world at large but always within the framework of advertising, after all that is their medium (quite literally).

I thought all of these ad alterings were just kids mucking around and occasionally, accidentally, they made something good. I guess there are a lot of copy cats out there, but it looks like the bulk of it is Poster Boy.

In addition to some great ad altering I also like the bright tape line boxes that he makes and the pieces that reference pixelation. Make sure you check out his full portfolio on flickr.

I think there is a fine line between pranks and art, and just because I appreciate these mostly as art doesn;t mean that they aren’t also acts of vandalism (or are breaking the law). Lot’s of art in the past was of an anti-establishment, prankish nature, just look at Duchamp, so there is a lot of precendent, but I’m still conflicted and I feel a lot of “street” art really is just pranks and uses the label “art” as an excuse. Maybe poster boy is just pranks I happen to like, or maybe time will show him to be a “famous legitimate artist.”


It also looks like Poster Boy occasionally collaborates with Jordan Seiler. I’m a fan of his more minimalist approach. Jordan is smart and he also knows what he is talking about when it comes to this kind of art which often has to cross the line into legally murky territory.

In fact, a couple of weeks ago (I think it is still there!), I noticed a really great piece at a gas station on 15th street and 10th ave:

I had no idea it was Jordan’s!

also for many more things street art
check out the woostercollective

Scott McLoud


If you haven’t read Scott McLoud’s Understanding Comics you should. This guy is really a master of his craft. If you are a graphic designer, artist, or do any kind of visual expression this book will really expand your understanding of visual communication. Reading it put a lot of things into a new perspective for me.

I found a Ted Talk video, it doesn’t do his books justice, but it does give you a glimpse into his mind:

Wow he looks totally different in real life than his comic alter ego! (I guess the checkered shirt is the same.)

Being Digital


Nicholas Negroponte’s 1996 bestseller was an interesting read. I must say reading old tech oriented books is amusing. So many predictions are so wrong and many futuristic maybes become long gone relics of the past, just a little over a decade later. If we set all that aside, I think this book is still a quite useful read.

Many a CEO or layman of today still have trouble comprehending the fundamental difference between bits and atoms, and the huge implications that difference brings. Now more than ever this discussion is coming to a head, in the music business, in the distribution of media between television, cable and the internet, and finally in the discussions surrounding ebook distributions. “Move bits, not atoms,” is his motto for a reason.

I also think some the ideas he touched on, their heyday is yet to come. This is particularly true of his idea that we should use bits to encode instructions for things, not just as a means of creating an image of something by sampling it. It’s incredibly wasteful and lossy to just encode things by sampling. There are many advantages to vector graphics over raster, advantages to actually encoding text rather than just taking a picture of it, and he even describes how you could encode the information for how a piece of music was made instead of just sampling it at 44k times a second, and in the process shaving off the amount of space it takes up by factor of 1000.

Despite all this, faxes are still around (which take pictures/sample instead of encoding), even though tech people thought they would die a long time ago, and as much as ten years ago Negroponte already thought “the fax machine has been a serious blemish on the computer landscape.” I think the PDF format answers that quest/question nicely.

Here’s a 1994 Wired article that summarizes some of his ideas nicely.

scary? or just our future


“To test whether I was being paranoid, I ran a little experiment. On a sunny Saturday, I spotted a woman in Golden Gate Park taking a photo with a 3G iPhone. Because iPhones embed geodata into photos that users upload to Flickr or Picasa, iPhone shots can be automatically placed on a map. At home I searched the Flickr map, and score—a shot from today. I clicked through to the user’s photostream and determined it was the woman I had seen earlier. After adjusting the settings so that only her shots appeared on the map, I saw a cluster of images in one location. Clicking on them revealed photos of an apartment interior—a bedroom, a kitchen, a filthy living room. Now I know where she lives.”

-Mathew Honan

Scary? yes.

But this is the future. I don’t think there is any way of getting around it. I remember reading, I think it was The Age of Spiritual Machines by Ray Kurzweil, and he was explaining how in the future there will be absolutely no privacy. He was speaking mostly about tiny cameras, but he made a very convincing argument, and this just adds to the proof.

Yous should check out the full article
from wired