Are you familiar with the term “Burma Shave”? It is a term, normally used among those with knowledge of billboard advertising. It refers to the shaving cream company’s “Burma Shave” innovation, of creating a billboard message specifically to be read by people inside a moving vehicle.
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Fresh from Desert X, the billboard-sized photo-graphic series Jackrabbit, Cottontail & Spirits of the Desert by Cara Romero will be featured at Indigenous Now, this Saturday, May 11th in Santa Monica, CA. Experience the work of Indigenous artists and discover the relationship between Tongva hosts and their guests. For more information on this free event, visit the link in our bio. Photo Credit: Photo by Lance Gerber, courtesy Desert X Artwork: Cara Romero. 𝘑𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘣𝘪𝘵, 𝘊𝘰𝘵𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭 & 𝘚𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘋𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘵, 2019 @cararomerophotography @lance.gerber #ArtSaMo #IndigenousNow2019 #desertx
Jennifer Bolande’s Visible Distance/ Second Sight art installation follows the same principle. But the essence of the message is quite different from organic advertisements.
“Each photograph is unique to its position along this route and at a certain point as one approaches each billboard, perfect alignment with the horizon will occur thus reconnecting the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted.” The artist explained about “Desert X”, which Visible Distance / Second Sight is part of.
The artist, elected the Gene Autry Trail as the place for her latest installation. So now, on billboards where normally one would fleetingly see a generic ad, different pictures and messages are being showcased. Specifically, on the billboards now photographs are displayed, of what passers-by would see, if the billboards weren’t there in the first place.
“…Looking up at the billboards our attention is drawn back to the landscape itself, pictured here as a stuttering kinesthetic of real and artificial horizons.”
Essentially, the billboards tend to draw our attention, away from the natural beauty of a place.
Distance / Second Sight’s purpose, is to bring back our attention to nature and the indigenous allure of the world. Let’s close with Desert X’s broader meaning. It is meant to “amplify and articulate global and local issues that may range from climate change to starry skies, from tribal culture and immigration to tourism, gaming and golf.”