Freeway Blogging

We are all the blue dress now

There’s a lot to be said for a (mostly) free and open Internet that allows anyone to sit behind a computer, get a blog, and blather on about any subject they desire. It’s a 21st century version of the founders’ ideal of a free press. One problem with this medium is that these blatherings tend to be read mostly by folks with similar inclinations, IOW preaching to the choir. Freeway Blogging is a combination of political free speech, visual art, and performance art, and, it’s lower tech and more accessible than the internet. Best of all, the audience is far more demographically diverse – and often more numerous – than that of the usual poli-blog. Combining Freeway Blogging with the Internet yields a site like Tales of the Freeway Blogger, where people can share their efforts. One of my favorite sharings happened a few months ago, in Chicago:

George Bush is a Lying Sack of Shit

One of the artists who created this wonder describes the effort (and the reward) in the comments:

Hi, I was one of the (2) people who put up this banner in Chicago. Thanks for your supportive comments. We used a roll of cheap plastic white tablecloth, available at party supply stores or websites. Using a Sharpie I traced out the letters with a digital projector (you can also use an overhead or slide projector) using Adobe Illustrator (Word or Wordpad is fine too). I tacked and untacked the roll to the wall as I moved down the roll. After tracing, I rolled it up and took it to my comrade’s house. There, we laid it out on his very long driveway, held down edges of the plastic with a few rocks and painted the letters in quickly with cheap red latex paint. Don’t spend too much time being perfect with the letters, because from 10-20 feet, nobody can detect those imperfections. Then we duct-taped some pieces of wire to the edges: on the corners and about every 8 feet or so. All in all, it took about 2 hours (results may vary). At the pedestrian overpass at Bryn Mawr over I-90 (inbound to Chicago loop at rush hour) my comrade unrolled as I fastened the wires to the chain link fence. Once unrolled, we went back and further secured the sign from the wind by stretching duct tape from the top to the bottom about every 4 feet (if you look closely at the pic you can see it through the light plastic). It took about 3-5 minutes to set up with two people, but I recommend 3. If it had not been for Illinois Dept of Transportation clean up guys seeing it so quickly, it could have stayed up for a lot longer. While we were putting it up, the supportive honks from the hundreds of cars passing by was DEAFENING! It was so visible, that people in the opposite 4 lanes were honking as they read it in their rear-view mirrors. Try this at home kids! Thanks again for posting your comments of support! (my emphasis added)

I encourage you to visit Tales of the Freeway Blogger for inspiration, and for a look at a different, low-tech way to reach others. Also, the photos shown here have been cropped from the originals, which are much more impressive than what you see here.

9 thoughts on “Freeway Blogging

  1. Pingback: The Mahablog » The Wisdom of Doubt, Part XI

  2. Bless you, Freeway Blogger… and for providing such clear, easy-to-follow instructions! Let’s get those signs up in every state, especially the red ones.

  3. “And the Words of the Prophets are writeen on the subway walls, and tenement halls” Sounds of Silence Simon & Garfunkle 1964

  4. Off topic but it resounded with me – recently read an article on Barsky, the famous (also infamous) graffiti artist who said when asked how it all started that in the beginning he was ‘out to save the world and now is not sure he likes it enough.’

  5. Felicity (#6) your remark reminds me of Bob Dylan’s dark Things Have Changed. The chorus goes like this:

    People are crazy and times are strange
    I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
    I used to care, but things have changed

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