When Billboards Go Rogue
My wife works in movie poster design, and over the years, companies she's worked for have had billboards "hijacked" by vandals -- often with political motives. When it happens, the poster designers are usually thrilled, as they were a few years ago when, overnight, one of their Resident Evil billboards was changed to read "President Evil" -- complete with Bush's face in place of Milla Jovovich's. Then just last month, another Bush-themed parody of one of their posters showed up on Flickr, hitting the top of the Digg charts. Again, the designers were tickled pink.
As it turns out, there's a group out there that devotes themselves to just this sort of (usually political) reappropriation -- they're called the Billboard Liberation Front, or the BLF. They've been "improving" billboards around San Francisco and elsewhere since the late 70s, with early gems like this:
Most recently, they tapped into the fear and malaise created by the current financial meltdown to improve a months-old Wachovia billboard that seemed a little out of step with reality. Before:
Similarly, they had something to say about the Bush administration's ongoing wiretapping controversy:
This billboard used to decry frivolous lawsuits in California. Now it's entirely frivolous:
This one's just saying what we were all thinking anyway:
And this one, which appeared in Texas not long ago, mystified locals for weeks. It's not the work of the BLF, and no one's sure exactly what message it's trying to get across -- but it I find it irresistibly absurd: