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Examples of détournement being done by bixipoesie.ca – all kinds of quotes and bits of text covering the commercial messages on all but one Bixi at a stand in my neighbourhood.
Nigel Spencer, ant6n, mdblog, and 13 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
What a wonderful way to correct mental environmental pollution. With positive messages that actually make you a better person, rather than a more eager consumer.
I’m not sure if no one else thinks these things through, but let’s take a little journey through the logical series of events that will take place as long as ads on Bixi bikes continue to be covered up:
People will no longer see the ads paid for by companies to Bixi.
Companies will realize ad space on Bixi bikes aren’t worth much (or anything, or even have a negative value if Bixi bike advertisers are singled out as ‘mean old corporations who pollute our sight lines’).
Companies will pay less money to advertise with Bixi or even stop advertising with them all together.
Bixi no longer generates much ad revenue, and therefore must raise prices or ask for more government money or go out of business.
People switch back to cars or public transport and people buy more gas! Yay!
In any case, I’m pretty sure the goal of the people covering these ads won’t be reached since their theory on what will happen seems to be:
Cover up Bixi ads.
Why do these people want to make Bixi bikes more expensive and therefore less appealing to people? Damn right wingers and their schemes. I mean, there’s no way left wing hippie liberals could possibly be that stupid, right? And Qatzelok has to be a conservative spy and not actually just a complete moron.
Whoever covers those ads clearly does not have PROFIT!!! as the final goal.
So now we are calling people complete morons. Do we really have to talk to each other in this way?
Jon, you’ve convinced me that the only way we can ride bicycles is to let corporations brainwash us with Pavlov’s dog prompts. There is no other way.
Sorry, I was out. Jon Evans, that kind of speech is not acceptable here. No ad hominem – says so in the notes on commenting. Any future comments will be screened.
No-one has addressed the core of Jon’s argument and I tend to agree with him. (Même si j’aurais évité les insultes.) If I want a product or service (e.g. a Bixi bike) at a price inferior to what the market would otherwise make me pay, it seems reasonable to accept small advertisements such as those. (Bien sûr ceux qui militent pour la nationalisation et la gratuité totale des Bixi seront déçus!) D’aileurs j’aimerais poser la question aux personnes qui prônent cette espèce de “pureté sans publicité”: c’est quoi au juste le fondement de votre philosophie? Dites-moi si je me trompe, mais ça a drôlement l’air d’une extension de la “lutte anti-capitaliste”…
‘People are taking the piss out of you everyday. 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 make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.
You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.
Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.
Bixi ads are like those warning labels on cigarettes – they turn invisible after initial exposure. Bixipoésie is kids screaming “Look at me!” The actual content of their détournement is the shallow piffle of overgrown children everywhere.
I see nothing wrong with ads on Bixi bikes if they reduce the cost of my subscription. I think covering them up is a puerile gesture.
I have no problem with ads on Bixis but I understand if some people do. What I do find intriguing is Ian’s post. It made me ask the question: Who are “The Advertisers”? I think the answer, as disturbing as it may be for all the “revolutionaries” out there who are fighting “the man”, is that The Advertisers are all of us.
If the medium is the message, then the content is the audience. – McLuhan
Isn’t Banksy a millionaire artist who, like the bixipoétes, isn’t content to just put his “content” on public view but has to remind you who to make the cheques out to? How long before “Best of bixipoésie” books start showing up at local craft fairs? Banksky vs corporate logos – it’s just a matter of taste. How many trees have to die to print those fancy art books, and who knows what the environmental impact of that coated stock is? Honestly, I’ve lived in Bixi country the whole time and I’d be hard pressed to name any of the advertisers? Who pays attention to this stuff except those clamoring for s a piece of that attention?
Lots of talk about the goodness of ads here, not much talk about the goodness of poetry.
Vandalism at its finest.
How about the bixipoésie pay for placement, if they feel so strongly about it?
Somebody should put Rio Tinto and Desjardins stickers on top of the bixi poesie stickers, to make a point.
Clicked reply too soon – my concern is losing the use of Bixi because of other peoples ideals about advertising. I try to live a NoLogo life, this is a real service with human benefit subsidised by advertising, as opposed to useless noise in the environment.
(I can’t help but wonder how many of them are wearing Nike logos, etc?)
@ mdblog “The Advertisers are all of us”
If that’s the case, then the poetry is also from all of us. Advertising is a form of corruption of the human spirit. To defend it, is like defending traces of pharamaceutical drugs in our water supply by saying that “Glaxo-Klein is all of us.” As is soylent green, right?
Forcing someone to become a roving billboard is offensive. They PAY the guys who drive billboard trucks around, but Bixi riders are PAYING for the privilege of doing an advertiser’s work. I get that ads subsidize Bixi, and that’s good, I want Bixi prices low, but there must be a better way. Just putting ads on the stations say. Or have ad-bikes be only a small percentage of bikes in the system and get a small discount for riding one.
Personally, I would do my damnedest to search for extra revenue streams in the local community rather than relying on corporate sponsors. Where are the local small business ads on Bixis? Why is it all Telus and Desjardins?
Tux, the answer to the second part of your question is that it’s simply easier to make one or two big deals with corporations and print up a whole lot of inserts with one or two campaigns on them and off you go.
Selling ads piecemeal to small businesses – persuading them they should advertise, getting their logos and information, then trying to collect the nickels and dimes they owe – is a lot more work and requires a whole lot more staff. Big corporations have whole departments for giving away money to improve their image with the public. Small companies often don’t get this idea even if it would be very beneficial for them to do so, and of course don’t necessarily have the funds for it either.
I’m not saying what Bixi is doing is right but it’s almost inevitable given the situation.
Tux, I don’t see how anyone’s been forced. If you don’t like having an ad on your bike, there’s a simple solution: buy your own bike!
Tell me something that isn’t the corruption of the human spirit! Besides, are you the self-anointed guardian of the human spirit? I certainly don’t remember granting you the right to tell me what’s good for my soul.
By the way, unless you were raised in abject poverty and never received a dime of social assistance, you have consumed more precious global resources by the time you were 5 than the great majority of human individuals throughout the world will in their entire lifetimes. How dare you do such a thing and then claim to be representing something as sacred as the human spirit!
The fact that you are using a computer to comment on this website means that you are supporting a vast capitalist network of designers, engineers, logistics providers, managers, primary material extractors (see mining), shareholders, patent holders. You are supporting the use of third world labourers who put together the electronics inside your computer and the cell phone in your pocket. You are supporting the destruction of natural habitat that needed to be flooded in order to generate the hydroelectricity you’re using right now. And don’t get me started on how many hydrocarbons needed to be burned to transport the materials needed to build the dams in the remote north, not to mention the carbon intensity of producing millions of tonnes of concrete.
If Bixi can’t put ads on the bikes to help pay for the system and keep the cost down, then you have to stop using a computer. Trying to defend it is like trying to defend the very worst evils of capitalism such as traces of pharamaceutical drugs in our water supply!
Bixi should consider an “adopt a bike” program, allowing people their own messages, poems, images or possibly personal ads. Make it open for individiuals and small business.
Why not rent out the space: “Your poem here-$5. a week”?
Better yet, a contest with a $5. entrance fee? The winner goes on the Bixis in a chosen neighbourhood for a month. Maybe even one “winner” per Bixi station?
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