Artist Replaces Billboards With Photos Of The Landscapes They’re Blocking

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Visible Distance / Second Sight is an art installation by Jennifer Bolande for DesertX. The temporary artwork can be found along the Gene Autry Trail near Vista Chino (33°50’41.70”N 116°30’21.02”W), where a series of consecutive billboards have been replaced by perfectly aligned photos of the landscapes they are blocking.

From the DesertX project page:
“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.

In the language of billboard advertising this kind of reading is referred to as a Burma-Shave after the shaving cream company of the same name who used sequential placement to create messaging that could be read only from a moving vehicle.

Within the desert empire of roadside signs, Bolande chooses to advertise the very thing so often overlooked. 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.”

From Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017, the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape will become the canvas for a curated exhibition of site-specific work by established and emerging artists, whose projects will 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.

The art works, in various indoor and outdoor locations, will be available free and will offer visitors a way to see the valley and reflect on serious and playful issues through the lens of the participating artists’ creativity and work.

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