Up in the Air
As you drive, walk, or ride through smog-choked Los Angeles, it is impossible not to run into the ubiquitous billboard. Legal or illegal, digital or traditional, the billboard has inhabited the city long enough that they have become a seamless part of the urban landscape. The advertisements slipping subconsciously into your brain while you wait in Wilshire Boulevard traffic.
While most of the public may see billboards as innocuous at best and an eyesore at worst, Los Angeles artist Stephen Glassman sees only opportunity. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake he noticed that billboards were one of the few structures that suffered almost no damage. For his latest project, “Urban Air” he strives to replace the space of billboard advertisements with his free-form bamboo installations and create an “open space”, that floats above Los Angeles streets. Glassman imagines, “floating, globally connected urban forests where billboards stand” and plans to turn a billboard in Los Angeles, preferably one located near a major thoroughfare or freeway into a living, suspended bamboo garden. But first he needs some funds to carry out his vision of utilizing advertising technology to promote urban sustainability in Los Angeles and around the world.