The metro is a popular place for advertising. People are just standing and waiting with their eyes focused on the opposite wall. The digital artists of The Heavy Projects think it’s a great place for art too. They developed NO AD, an Augmented Reality app that replaces billboards with artworks.
Millions use the subway in New York every day, so it’s quite an attractive place for billboard placement. Whether it’s in the trains, on the platforms, or in the hallways, brands try to advertise their products and services all over the place. But since there’s advertising there’s also artists who try to take over the advertising space. Keith Haring, for instance, was one of the first to reclaim the underground canvas by replacing an ad with one of his own recognizable drawings.
NO AD is an app for smartphones and tablets that enables users to project artworks over the advertisements and transform the New York subway into a personal exhibition space. For the project the makers have worked with over 50 artists, including some big names from the street art and graffiti scene. This makes the project even more interesting. It generates a way to explore truly great works of digital art, varying from digitized paintings and collages to photography and fine art. Among the works are also some short movies and digital remakes of graffiti artworks from the past, such as Haring’s Subway Drawings.