0000 – The BLF Manifesto – Billboard Liberation Front
In the beginning was the Ad. The Ad was brought to the consumer by the Advertiser. Desire, self worth, self image, ambition, hope; all find their genesis in the Ad. Through the Ad and the intent of the Advertiser we form our ideas and learn the myths that make us into what we are as a people. That this method of self definition displaced the earlier methods is beyond debate. It is now clear that the Ad holds the most esteemed position in our cosmology.
- Advertising suffuses all corners of our waking lives; it so permeates our consciousness that even our dreams are often indistinguishable from a rapid succession of TV commercials.
- Different forms of media serve the Ad as primary conduits to the people. Entirely new media have been invented solely to streamline the process of bringing the Ad to the people.
- Old fashioned notions about art, science and spirituality being the peak achievements and the noblest goals of the spirit of man have been dashed on the crystalline shores of Acquisition; the holy pursuit of consumer goods. All old forms and philosophies have been cleverly co-opted and re"spun" as marketing strategies and consumer campaigns by the new shamans, the Ad men.
- Spiritualism, literature and the physical arts: painting, sculpture, music and dance are by and large produced, packaged and consumed in the same fashion as a new car. Product contents, dictated by trends in hipness, contain a half-life matching the producers calender for being supplanted by newer models.
- Product placement in television and film have overtaken story line, character development and other dated strategies in importance in the agendas of the filmmakers. The directors commanding the biggest budgets have more often than not cut their teeth on TV Ads & music videos.
- Artists are judged and rewarded on the basis of their relative standing in the ongoing commodification of art objects. Bowing to fashion and the vagaries of gallery culture, these creators attempt to manufacture collectible baubles and contemporary or "period" objects that will successfully penetrate the collectors market. The most successful artists are those who can most successfully sell their art. With increasing frequency they apprentice to the Advertisers; no longer needing to falsely maintain the distinction between "Fine" & "Commercial" art.
- And so we see, the Ad defines our world, creating both the focus on "image" and the culture of consumption that ultimately attract and inspire all individuals desirous of communicating to their fellow man in a profound fashion. It is clear that He who controls the Ad speaks with the voice of our Age.
- You can switch off/smash/shoot/hack or in other ways avoid Television, Computers and Radio. You are not compelled to buy magazines or subscribe to newspapers. You can sic your rotweiler on door to door salesman. Of all the types of media used to disseminate the Ad there is only one which is entirely inescapable to all but the bedridden shut-in or the Thoreauian misanthrope. We speak, of course of the Billboard. Along with its lesser cousins, advertising posters and "bullet" outdoor graphics, the Billboard is ubiquitous and inescapable to anyone who moves through our world. Everyone knows the Billboard; the Billboard is in everyones mind.
- For these reasons the Billboard Liberation Front states emphatically and for all time herein that to Advertise is to Exist. To Exist is to Advertise. Our ultimate goal is nothing short of a personal and singular Billboard for each citizen. Until that glorious day for global communications when every man, woman and child can scream at or sing to the world in 100Pt. type from their very own rooftop; until that day we will continue to do all in our power to encourage the masses to use any means possible to commandeer the existing media and to alter it to their own design.
- Each time you change the Advertising message in your own mind, whether you climb up onto the board and physically change the original copy and graphics or not, each time you improve the message, you enter in to the High Priesthood of Advertisers.
Aunque se desconoce la fecha de publicación del manifiesto, éste fue publicado en la web oficial de The Billboard Liberation Front en el apartado “Our Mission” (1). The BLF Manifesto también forma parte del archivo del sitio web Tactical Media Files donde se publicó el 18 de junio de 2010 (2). Por otra parte, los firmantes del manifiesto son Jack Napier, uno de los fundadores del colectivo, y John Thomas, quien está acreditado como redactor de The Billboard Liberation Front (3).
The Billboard Liberation Front fue fundado en 1977 por Jack Napier e Irving Glikk en San Francisco tras su primera acción como colectivo realizada el 25 de diciembre (4). Dicha acción fue una “alteración y mejora” a 9 anuncios de los cigarrillos Fact Cigarette, la intervención logró un alto impacto y exposición con la ayuda de Simon Wagstaff, primer agente de prensa de The Billboard Liberation Front (4). Desde su creación, la agrupación se considera como “una entidad privada secreta, sin número de teléfono ni dirección permanente” (3). The Billboard Liberation Front se dedica a modificar anuncios publicitarios a través del cambio de algunas palabras que alteran el contenido con la finalidad de ofrecer mensajes anticorporativos (4).