Farewell

Ever want to turn an annoying billboard into a sliced-up mess? Here's how.

Some urban artists fight against the proliferation of public advertising with paint, stickers, even industrial solvents. Those tactics don't go far enough for the French trickster known as "Farewell": He wants billboards so utterly destroyed that they look like they made several laps through an office shredder.

And he's devised the perfect tool to do so – a strip of wood studded with razor blades so that it resembles those tire-popping strips at high-security installations:

Farewell

While one of these weapons could do significant damage to a billboard just by swishing it around, "Farewell" has devised a safer method (both for his skin and chances of winding up in jail). First he finds the kind of mechanical billboard that regularly scrolls to display different ads. Then he sticks the blade-board inside to wreak havoc, to the confusion or delight of people passing by.

The artist conducted this hack sometime in 2013 but released the footage this spring. Call it a step in the right direction away from his more annoying interventions, such as locking a bunch of commuters inside a Parisian subway car for the sake of art:

 

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  2. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  3. Design

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities

    An excerpt from Jeff Speck’s Walkable City Rules, a step-by-step guide to fixing America’s cities and towns.

  4. Design

    The Town That Doesn’t Exist

    Slab City, buried deep in the California desert, is a land of squatters, artists, and migrants—and few rules. In a new book, an architect and a photographer document “the last free place.”

  5. A fleet of electric vehicles in Pittsburgh.
    Transportation

    Can We Go Electric Before It’s Too Late?

    Plugging in cars and trucks will be critical to averting climate catastrophe, according to the IPCC. How far has the U.S. come?