“Delete!” – Artists cover brands to provoke discussion

Delete - Street Ads covered upVienna, Austria – A popular shopping street in the heart of the city.

The Starbuck brand is covered by bright, yellow fabric and plastic. So are the placards outside a bakery, a jewelry shop, a bank and all other businesses along the street.

The coverings are part of the 2-week art project dubbed “Delete!“, created by artists Christoph Steinbrenner and Rainer Dempf to spark public debate about just how much advertising society can take.

“You can’t see the landscape anymore. It hurts the eyes.” Still, the artists did not set out to just conceal the ads — they want to create awareness about them.

“It was important to us to have a bright, highlighting color. Not black or white … that would have made the signs disappear,” Steinbrener said. “Aside from the visual impact, we wanted to create a discourse about the environment in the public space, that’s happening now.”

The two artists then sought sponsors for the project but they were met by skepticism. City officials did not believe that they could get business owners to agree to have their brands and signs covered up temporarily.

Had we used artistic arguments, we would never have succeeded.

But Dempf and Steinbrener succeeded, using economic arguments. They said the project would spark curiosity, attracting more shoppers to Neubaugasse, which intersects with Mariahilfer Strasse, one of Vienna’s busiest shopping districts. The two were so convincing that the Chamber of Commerce became the main contributor to the project’s $245,000 budget.

More Pictures on Delete! project page

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