The workshop consisted of two components: 1) The participants selected the advertising posters in the urban space of Ehrenfeld with which they had a conflict in terms of content. They tore off only a small fragment of the respective poster and brought it to the workshop as a trophy. The resulting breach, i.e. blank space, in the poster was documented photographically and geographically located on a Google map → A web page was created for each place of action, where a photo with a personal statement of the respective participants (the participants happened to be all female) on the content of the poster can be seen. The texts varied in style: short emotional exclamations, poems, or essays. 2) The collected snippets became components of a new poster that was unauthorizedly placed on a randomly selected billboard over an existing poster on the last day of the workshop. While this new poster appeared visually like an abstract collage, it actually carried a message: each fragment of the collage was marked with a QR code that linked back to the corresponding fragment webpage. Thus, one can read online the personal statements of all participants for each informal snippet of the poster. Thus, the website is not to be seen as a mere documentation or project memorial, but as a necessary link between the produced collective poster and the commented advertisement. Since both elements were only temporarily present in the urban space, the website itself remains as a kind of digital poster. Thus, the website is nothing more than a digital tool that enables public commenting on outdoor advertising. The billboard vandalism by the Naked City workshop is thus different from the usual vandalism, as each attack is politically articulated. Thus, this tool can be reused worldwide.


The basic idea of Guy Debord's Naked City project is to critically examine the linear, authoritarian concept of city. Debord cut up a standard Paris city map and created a non-linear map from the randomly assembled snippets. This map created a completely new concept of getting around the city, alternative routes, connections, and most importantly, a new perspective on urban space in general. Such a non-linear concept is exactly what embodied the idea of Dérive for Debord. Dérive means not having a predetermined destination and choosing routes for purely pragmatic objectives, but instead drifting aimlessly through the urban landscape; avoiding the magisterial streets, not orienting oneself to defining features and tourist attractions, and going where one has never been before; not being afraid to get lost or waste time. The title was taken from the photo book of the same name by Weegee (Arthur Fellig), a U.S. photojournalist who photographed New York's social hot spots in the 1930s to 1940s. By Naked City he meant the "exposed, unveiled, unmasked city." In my workshop I wanted to combine the following aspects: dérive, mapping, collage, advertising and billboard. I allowed myself to compare a linear city map with an advertising poster. Some of the outdoor advertising on the streets of Ehrenfeld is so aggressive that one can almost speak of a blanket billposting of the entire cityscape. This idea of a cityscape degraded to an oversized advertising space suggests a comparison with a traditional printed map: a sheet of paper that reproduces the entire cityscape as an image. While Debord took the Paris city map under his scissors, the workshop participants cut the Ehrenfeld advertising landscape into pieces. They collaged the fragments of the advertising posters in question just as freely as Debord collaged the snippets of the Paris city map. While Debord thereby created a graphic Dérive manifesto, the workshop participants produced an anti-advertising poster. While Debord's Naked City map offered a walking route, the Naked City poster reproduced ad tracking. Similar to Iconoclash, I sought to transform a commercial billboard into a political billboard that rejects the commercialization of imagery in public spaces through advertising.

re:print - naked city
Andrey Ustinov