Highway motorists are in for quite a surprise when they see artist Brian Kane’s latest project, Healing Tool. The Massachusetts man has bought ad time on several large digital billboards but, instead of the usual commercial product images, Brian is using them to display high-resolution pictures of nature. All day long the billboards display different images of green splendor. Why did he start this project? In Brian Kane’s own words,
The goal is to provide a moment of temporary relief and unexpected beauty during the daily grind of commuting -Brian Kane
We’re used to being pandered and catered to every day. The presence of billboards and pamphlets and commercials will never surprise us. And yet, Brian Kane’s billboards will surprise many. We can hardly imagine a world without constant advertisements, and not everyone is okay with that. British graffiti artist, political activist and film director Banksy is one of those who refuses to accept the intrusion of ads in our lives. And he’s got no kind words for those in the advertising industry.
People are taking the piss out of you every day. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. -Banksy
Banksy would appreciate what Brian Kane is doing: turning the advertisers own tools against them to give us a respite from the constant commercial hassling. But at night his billboards have another surprise in store for us. A dazzling star-filled sky. Many people live too close to major cities and their light pollution to ever see a clear night sky; the excessive artificial light of cities makes seeing the stars naturally impossible. If we want to see the stars in the Paris, New York or Shanghai sky, we’d have to wait for a major power outage. Not even the yearly Earth Hour event, started by the World Wide Fund for Nature, decreases the amount of city lights enough to see the stars. It’s as if the natural sights we have are becoming extinct. Sometimes we need a project like Brian Kane’s to remind us what we’re in danger of losing.