Digital billboards of adorable animals in Astor Place.
Cutevertisements is a public video installation that demonstrates a socially positive role for the advertising world by encouraging feelings of love, appreciation, affection, and acceptance of others. A series of electronic billboards show images of adorable pets that are automatically culled from the ever-so-popular animal photography blog cuteoverload.com.
Visitors to cuteoverload.com describe the experience as "taking a happiness pill," "a sweet website to check out in those moments of quiet introspection when you're just sick and tired of the daily grind of life," and a website that "makes the internet a better place." One point of this installation is therefore to see what happens when this personal moment of appreciation and affection is introduced into the real world and as a shared, communal experience.
The billboards are placed in 360-degrees around the current location of "the Cube" in New York City's Astor Place. The intention is to attract the many people who move through the space on a daily basis, those traveling to St. Marks St. and those using the space as a central meeting point.
Four electronic billboards are updated with images every 30-seconds. The billboards utilize the language of advertising without using any text. New images are updated in a way that emulates sliding print billboards found in bus shelters in North America and Europe, where one ad moves upward revealing the next one. However, because they are connecting to a website with a tremendous amount of content (and new content is added daily), Cutevertisements will continue to show a new assortment of images every day.
Some references for the project include the billboard modification practices of culture jammers and graffiti artists, the billboard poetry of American artists Jenny Holzer, and the appropriation of images from advertisements by Richard Prince.
Exhibition HistoryUrbans Screens Festival. Melbourne, Austrailia. October 2008.