Every place is a mangle of spatial relationships involving motions and emotions of scale, speed, perception, attention span, directionality, and distance. Posters are vehicles of urban communication which materialize these spatial relationships. Posters mobilize populations of perception. We behave differently because of the promiscuity of these kinds of signs in public space. We slow down, think about, read, reflect on, change plans. Urban signs are coordinated around the rhythms of our movement but they also help to coordinate that movement.
Spatially, posters involve a precise set of relationships between the material conditions of the poster (size of poster and surroundings), the curated placement of content on the poster (font sizes, color volume), the curated placement of the poster into public spaces (lines of sight, eye height, walls, walkways, where cars stop by street lights), and the phenomenal conditions of the way we work (how far away vs. how close a person vs. how fast we are moving; attention span vs. information overload vs. sticking memory; how long we take to scan vs. read something; image with word reading, etc). Seen in this way, posters are mirrors which confirm an approach, a direction of arrival, a route of passing through. Posters reflect the population’s psychological relationship to things we personally feel we want or need, and the things we go out of way for. Because posters have the ability to transport image and text information on a massive public scale, they are often only exploited in commercial markets as spatial flags for advertisements, solicitations, private or public events, and public announcements. However, used artistically to mediate the world around us, posters offer a phenomenal vehicle to hitchhike an encounter with art, and a formal opportunity to subvert the complete comodification of our public space, while materializing diverse art projects without predetermining an artistic content.