Being huge fans, we are once again completely thrilled about Florian Rivière’s latest coup. The French urban hacktivist has converted ordinary street signs into signs with subliminal messages that are only detected by the attentive eye. Watch out and see whether the subliminal message gets to you!
Literally meaning “below threshold” subliminal messages are beyond an individual’s conscious perception. You will have to read between the lines and have to look at least twice to even notice a subliminal message. Advertising, for instance, has long had a reputation to make use of subliminal messages. They are said to influence the audience to such an extent that one would feel an inexplicable urge to consume a certain product. Whether this theory is true is, however, widely debated.
Last month Florian Rivière began to set subliminal messages into an urban context by converting street signs, which in most cases are parking signs, around the city of Indianapolis, USA. In an ordinary context these signs are usually used to exclude a certain part of population. By inserting an erasing line Rivière alters these signs so new semantic word constructions can suddenly appear. Handicapped Parking becomes Handicapped King, Police Vehicles Only turns into Ice Vehicles Only or Funeral Parking Only transforms into Fun King Only. Simple, no deep thoughts and yet another way to hack the urban environment that, for a minute, changes the perspective on the present landscape of a city.