Artvertiser Helsinki


The “improved reality” project Artvertiser by Julian Oliver and Damian Stewart replaces billboard advertising with art – virtually. In the Artvertiser Helsinki workshop, May 4-6, 2011, artists and designers reworked urban visuals and shared the results with citizens on an urban walk.

Artvertiser creates a parallel between urban space and the computer, where files can be accessed in the read or write modes according to administration rights. “Does public space belong to us? For whom do the city administrators grant writing permissions?”, asks Julian Oliver. The last frontier of commercial messages is the visual cortex of the brain, on whose effective coverage the advertisers compete. Thus Artvertiser intercepts the ad messages on their way to our brain – and replaces them with “artverts”.
The project unites aesthetics of subvertising and high technology. Technically, Artvertiser is based on technologies of augmented reality and computer vision. In Helsinki, the “artverts” were viewed with custom-made binoculars, Billboard Interception Units; an Artvertiser app has also been developed for smartphones.

Artvertiser was part of the programme of Media Facades Festival Europe 2010 and it was brought to Helsinki in 2011 bym-cult in collaboration with the Gizmology project at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.

Map of the Artvertiser Helsinki walk.

Map of the Artvertiser Helsinki walk.

Artvertiser Helsinki workshop was organized at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, May 4.-6, 2011 and the Artvertiser urban walk on May 7, 2011, 11-13 on the route Kiasma-Lasipalatsi-Mannerheimintie-Esplanadi-Kaivokatu.

Julian Oliver is a Berlin-based artist and critical developer of games and technology. His controversial pieces such as the Newstweek and Men in Grey have received several awards on international festivals including Ars Electronica 2010 and Japan Media Arts Festival 2011.

Damian Stewart is a musician and interaction and software designer from Vienna. Besides his artistic projects he has realized visualisations for games and museums. Stewart is also an active developer of the openFrameworks project.