If you can’t beat ’em, cover ’em up

ViennaIt would be tougher to do this in Times Square, but a pair of artists in Vienna have covered up all the ads on a popular shopping street with bright canary-yellow fabric and plastic, in order to spark debate about just how much advertising society can take. “You can’t see the landscape anymore. It hurts the eyes,” says one of the artists. (Not that the yellow is especially soothing, but whatever.) The pair got local businesses to forfeit the ad revenue for the two-week project by arguing that it would spark curiosity and bring even more shoppers to the area; after being skeptical at first, the Chamber of Commerce itself eventually became the main contributor to the $245,000 budget. Predictably, there’s been some Gates-like bellyaching from some. Says one woman: “The money could have been better spent, perhaps on something like public toilets.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd