An artist has replaced digital billboard ads with ‘unvertising’ photos of nature – simply as a gift to aid the daily grind of commuting.

Artist Brian Kane bought space on two digital billboards in Massachusetts in June through to July, replacing the space usually dominated by ads with photos of nature.

Named, ‘Healing Tool’ after the tool of the same name in Adobe Photoshop, Brian comments that the campaign is “designed for people in cars. The goal is to provide a moment of temporary relief and unexpected beauty during the daily grind of commuting.”

“It’s also a form of ‘unvertising’ – a campaign without a message”

The piece builds on a body of work that simulates digital experiences in the real world.

In this case, simulating the Photoshop Healing Tool to replace or patch over the landscape that is blocked by the billboard.

During daylight hours, a series of images from the specific location are shown on the display.

The team replaced the missing background, commenting that “a dynamic motion parallax effect occurs as the vehicle passes the location.”

During the evening hours, high-resolution images of the moon are shown.

Synced to the daily phase, people can view the moon despite the effects of urban light pollution. An image of the Milky Way is shown on new moon night.

“The dynamic image sequences provide an additional level of intrigue for frequent drivers and commuters,” says Brian. “As the images change hourly and daily, viewers have something to look forward to: a curious and abstract narrative over time.

“Thematically, the piece is ambiguously green. It appears to be replacing the artificial with the natural, but it’s really just using technology to simulate a nature replacement. It’s also a form of ‘unvertising’ – a campaign without a message. By removing the marketing message from the advertising space, we create an unexpected moment of introspection. People are allowed to interpret an image based on their own experience, and not necessarily with the singular focus of the advertiser’s intent.”


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