Brandalism is a revolt against corporate control of the visual realm. Drawing inspiration from anti-advertising movements that came before us, we began in July 2012 in England with a small team in a van. Over subsequent interventions, Brandalism has spread across ten UK cities and most recently to Paris for the UN climate talks. Armed with high-vis jackets, 'H60' allen keys and creative artworks, these networks are skilled up in reclaiming outdoor advertising space.
Following on in the guerilla art traditions of the 20th Century and taking inspiration from Agitprop, Situationist and Street Art movements, the Brandalism project sees artists from around the world collaborate to challenge the authority and legitimacy of commercial images within public space and within our culture.
Brandalism has shared skills and techniques for 'subvertising' - the art of subverting advertisements. We start from the democratic conviction that the street is a site of communication, which belongs to the citizens and communities who live there. Our interventions are a rebellion against the visual assault of media giants and advertising moguls who have a stranglehold over messages and meaning in our public spaces, through which they force-feed us with images and messages to keep us insecure, unhappy, and shopping.
Round 1 // 2012 - The '48 Sheet'
As protective brand mania swept across the UK ahead of the London Olympics, two friends sick of the visual pollution in their city, spent five days reclaiming 36 large format billboards (known as '48 sheets' in industry speak) in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London. The artworks submitted by 28 artists addressed the inter-related impacts of advertising on society including body image, debt, cultural values, the environment and visual pollution.
Check Channel 4's three minute video below of the 2012 Project page for photos.
Round 2 // 2014 - The 'Six Sheet'
Overwhelmed by the positive response to the 2012 interventions, we decided to expand the Brandalism network across ten UK cities. Over two days in May 2014, separate teams in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Oxford, Brighton, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and London installed 365 artworks in bus stop advertising spaces (known as 'six sheets'). Later the tactic would spread with the formation of the Special Patrol Group taking aim at the Metropolitan Police and DSEi arms fair in London.
Round 3 // 2015 - COP21 climate talks
With the world's media and climate justice movements gathered in Paris for the UN climate talks, Brandalism took aim at the airlines, car manufacturers, banks and fossil fuel energy companies sponsoring the talks. 600 poster artworks were installed by a network of approximately 70 people. See our press release and press coverage so far.
Brandalism provides resources and support for anyone who wants to reclaim their visual space. Check out the Resources page, and get in touch through brandalims [at] riseup.net