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Signs of Life
digital prints
2012

Signs of Life is, on the one hand, a study in the structures of advertising and business. This means both the conceptual structures as well as the often very intricate systems of beams and lattices that hold up billboards, the varying proportions of Burger King and Shell signs across the country, and the shades of stucco in our giant compound shopping center signs. This structuring is often overlooked, testament to the signs' effectiveness at delivering messages straight into our consciousness. But underneath this effectiveness is hard work and maintenance. A long, thin platform runs the length of each billboard-- a reminder of the occasional person who will peel down this slogan and put up the next one.

More generally, though, Signs of Life is a record of messages from humanity to itself. It reflects a collective preoccupation with movies, cell phones, lotteries, alcohol, sports, amusement parks, and "new lower rates" of all kinds-- but also marriage counseling, weight loss, debt management, rehab, and adult education. The population pictured falls for everything huge and free (a "Splash of Cash", a dangled "MEGA MILLIONS") at the same time that it strives to turn its life around once and for all. It sprawls restlessly across the country, trailed by giant yellow M's, red targets, chevrons: curious letters in the alphabet of human existence.

202 Billboard Structures

153 Signs for Shopping Centers and Entertainment Complexes

295 Roadside Signs


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