Artist Replaces Billboards with Photos of the Landscapes They’re Blocking


Visible Distance / Second Sight is an art installation by Jennifer Bolande for DesertX. It’s a temporary artwork which can be found along the Gene Autry Trail near Vista Chino (33°50’41.70”N 116°30’21.02”W), where a series of consecutive billboards have been replaced by perfectly aligned photos of the landscapes they are blocking.

From the DesertX project page:

Each photograph is unique to its position along this route and at a certain point as one approaches each billboard, perfect alignment with the horizon will occur thus reconnecting the space that the rectangle of the billboard has interrupted.

In the language of billboard advertising this kind of reading is referred to as a Burma-Shave after the shaving cream company of the same name who used sequential placement to create messaging that could be read only from a moving vehicle.

Within the desert empire of roadside signs, Bolande chooses to advertise the very thing so often overlooked. Looking up at the billboards our attention is drawn back to the landscape itself, pictured here as a stuttering kinesthetic of real and artificial horizons.

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