Sunday, January 08, 2006

Free Speech, Vandalism or Art on Traffic Signs - you make the call.

This one is not for the kids due to the strong language used.

Saw this clever modification of a traffic sign on my travels today. We pulled over to take a picture. Certainly the use of the profane language makes a bold statement that grabs the eye of a potential audience. What is the author trying to communicate? It looks like someone printed out the word on a printer and then taped it on the sign using clear tape. They should have used a slightly larger font to match or even spent more money and used a sticky printable label for durability.

On the whole it is a bold statement on how this person feels about the traffic. Maybe we shouldn't be turning, we should be doing something else, perhaps the suggested act. Do you think this is free speech, vandalism or art on this traffic sign? Post your opinions and criticisms in the comments.

2 comments:

The Virtual Ranger said...

This sign alteration is a practice derived from a popular book, the title of which my corporate firewall will not allow me to enter here! But you can probably guess. See this link:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0811850722/202-3103774-9799833?%5Fencoding=UTF8

The book makes a specific point of the signs being in a different style and font, to make it clear that the sign has been defaced, and a statement is being made. I've yet to see sich a sign in the wild, but the book is full of fantastic 'artistic defacements'.

Steve Nordquist said...

The original sign was bad enough!
Merging?! That's like saying to beware 'self-levelling road' (in the rockies.)

Beware Trucking Traffic?
Mind Turning Traffic?!? LOL.

What's vexing is that in an area with a high last-degree-completed residency average (but also natch gray hair) someone put down blue silly impossible lines (spirals, etcetera) by and in an intersection, and someone got confused but not too confused to complain. GAH! Off they came (court order, grinder;) in 30D.

Complete Conversions would be nice.
Recall that the artist in worn-signs-in-dirt-happy (1990s) Minneapolis was simply required to post below the real signs or midstreet. Does it cost my works department any if I try?
'HYDRAULICS REQUIRED AHEAD'
'TUPPING NARCISSIST TINTJOB'
'FAIL CARPOOL ON 3X; WE OFF YOU'
'JOGGERS NOW BEATING YOU TO WORK'
'WELL INVESTED'
'BICYCLISTS BEAT YOU HOME STUD'
'SAILSKATING PROHIBITED THOUGH FASTER'
'No thru allcaps'
'OUR STEREO IS STILL GRANDER'
'No hydrogen next 70 exits.'
'NUCLEAR FUELS ONLY: KEEP DISTANCE'
'TAKEAWAY, DRINK STILL ON ROOF'


Now, if it had said 'Fup Obeying Traffic' it would have been a clear defacement; but as it is, you are at least left cues as to the original words and Hunter S. Thompson Driving Manual.