Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Utility box graffiti fighter billboard

Utility box fights graffiti and earns cash
  (+2, -8)(+2, -8)
(+2, -8)
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Problem: Utility boxes are magnets for graffiti. Utility companies and graffiti fighting organizations spend a great deal of time and money cleaning and covering the graffiti.

Suggestion: Advertising inserts that cover old graffiti by attaching to the utility box. The utility company makes money from the advertisements; the advertisements can be changed after graffiti collects on the ads themselves.

The utility company could donate the advertising income to charities or neighborhood graffiti fighting organizations.

True that advertising in itself is graffiti to some, but I would rather have the advertising than the gang territory markings.

Advertising is now being done on trash cans deployed in public places by eyeballgarbagemedia.com, but I think Eyeball's intention is only to advertise, not to fight graffiti at the same time.

For utility box graffiti examples, search for graffiti and utility on Google image search.

Nov. 10, 2005: I ran across some years old notes I made on this idea. One proposal was to place "tear offs" on the utility boxes so that once a tear off was painted, the damaged tear off could be peeled off and replaced by a fresh one. I did not state at the time if they would have advertisements on them, or just pretty pictures, or nothing at all. Tear offs are now used on racing car windshields and racing motor cycle helmets as a means to quickly clean the driver's view.

Sunstone, Nov 01 2005

Now *there's* a tag! http://www.africanp.../photo.php?photo=11
[DrCurry, Nov 02 2005]

[link]






       As you say, advertising is graffiti, and vice versa. If someone is going to splash their message all over a utility box (what's that?), I'm as happy with it being a kid with a spray can as some overpaid Madison Avenue type.   

       (Yeah, yeah, I have friends who are overpaid Madison Avenue types. I also have friends who are kids with spray cans.)
DrCurry, Nov 01 2005
  

       Round London there are utility boxes (I presume you mean phone network boxes, trafficlight controls etc.) that are covered in advertising - normally pasted on flyers for bands, shows etc. and it looks much worse than graffiti.   

       I say give the kids with the cans lessons so they do better graffiti - It looks much less frightning when people spend time on it rather than just tag everything with something quick and rubbish
miasere, Nov 01 2005
  

       Artist wuz here
Texticle, Nov 01 2005
  

       Bone. Sorry, but I like graffiti much much better than advertisement.
Trickytracks, Nov 01 2005
  

       TMax35 seezu
normzone, Nov 01 2005
  

       Graffiti isn't all bad. Recently, there was an anti-war quote from Einstein written in spray paint on a building.
jellydoughnut, Nov 02 2005
  

       //I see nothing redeeming about graffiti// It's nice to look at? The obvious caveat, as touched on above, is that it has to be produced by someone with at least a modicum of skill. Some of the graffiti designs I've seen are extraordinary. It's also fascinating to watch the artists at work.
DocBrown, Nov 02 2005
  

       There is a difference between graffiti art, which is, at its best, dynamic, colourful and arresting and graffiti tagging, which is annoying and pointless.
calum, Nov 02 2005
  

       But not, frankly, very much.
DrCurry, Nov 02 2005
  

       Referring to graffitti as art may be hyperbole (akin to comparing it to sexual deviancy and torture) and some buildings are attractive in their own right, but I'm amazed at how much money is spent cleaning up colourful and inoffensive paintworks and returning structures to their former dark, dull, uniform grey state.
egbert, Nov 02 2005
  

       //I probably have more art in my home than all but [bristolz] and [benfrost]...//
UnaBubba, given that I have not now and have never had any reason to doubt a word you say on this site, I am happy to believe that your collection of art is indeed characterised by prodigious girth. But even if this is so, I am alarmed by your willingness to make the foregoing comparative statement based upon evidence known (or, at least, shown to be known) of one element of the comparison.
  

       And the first and second sentences of your second paragraph do not logically flow. The size of your art collection has little, or, if we're being more honest, no, bearing on what it is that you consider to consider a valid art form. Effie McSpang, croft dwelling spinster from Scourie, may have an art collection that begins and ends with "Dogs Playing Snooker" (or, worse still, Jack Vettriano) but this is entirely not relevant when she sits in the pub discussing what constitutes great art with Erchie McToot and his border collie, McGlashan.   

       [Of course, all this is entirely off topic, so apologies to Sunstone].
calum, Nov 02 2005
  

       Heck, I think Jack Vettriano is the best artist currently painting! [Strikes calum off Christmas card list.]
DrCurry, Nov 02 2005
  

       Yeah, an artist shouldn't be despised just because (s)he's popular!   

       (Adds [calum] to Christmas card list, makes note to send Vettriano card)
egbert, Nov 02 2005
  

       I don't despise Vettriano, I just dislike his work.   

       *makes note to send [DrCurry] and [egbert] Bacon's "Study after Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X" as Christmas cards*
calum, Nov 02 2005
  

       I was an early devotee of Bacon, but he stopped painting a while back. And the advantage of Vettriano is that you can put it in the living room without scaring the cleaning lady.
DrCurry, Nov 02 2005
  

       Yeah, I have had this discussion with my better half, who likes Vettriano and all things pretty. I find pretty bland. I like Bacon (and I realise that he is dead) and Whistler (dead) and Jan Matejko (dead), for instances, because their work provokes a visceral impact. Vettriano does not and appears to have no interest in doing so. Dragging this discussion back to a point that is at least nearer the topic, it is this ability to create a direct impact that means that I like some (but not all) graffiti. Plus, I think some of it looks nice.
calum, Nov 02 2005
  

       <looking round> god, Ive got a load of crap on my walls...   

       shit, is it xmas card time again. bah humbug!
po, Nov 02 2005
  

       //Not so much prodigious girth as prodigious variety// e.g. green girl scratching her bum :)
po, Nov 02 2005
  

       //property crime, lionised by a certain subset of the arty-farty Leftist set// Well put! Thanks, UnaBubba.
baconbrain, Nov 03 2005
  

       Ok, can't argue with that. Bridges and underpasses are public property, after all. But the Brits seem to be so obsessed with making and holding onto a dull, unattractive environment that it saddens me when public money is spent removing attempts to brighten it up.
egbert, Nov 03 2005
  

       Yeah, give us some spray cans and we'll fix them for you!   

       (Just wondering what kind of a communist state you live in where you can't paint out graffiti? Is there such a place? In this town, kids can be arrested just for carrying a spray can, but that doesn't stop us from enjoying their better efforts.)
DrCurry, Nov 04 2005
  

       Fuck the buff!
ben reeve, Nov 04 2005
  

       Graffitti can be artistic if it is done well and carries a message.   

       Tagging can be informative if you're travelling away from home. It tells you what gang territory you're in, so that you know what colors not to wear.   

       At any rate, the presence of either is indicitive that an area is sufficiently urban. Why mute it?   

       Pastry nonetheless, its practical, and its what a group known as *most people* would probably prefer.
ed, Dec 27 2005
  
      
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