Skullphone: Did anyone see it?

March 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm 5 comments

Image Credit: Wired (click for article)

A Los Angeles street artist claimed that he “hacked” into Clear Channel’s billboards and put up his Skullphone tag on quite a few L.A. billboards. The picture above is from a billboard right down on Lincoln in Marina Del Ray.

However, Wired picked up on it and contacted Clear Channel, who says that they billboards were rented for two days – as in he paid for it then claimed he “hacked the system.”

Two things piss me off about this.

1: “Hacking” is ridiculous. Sure, there are a lot of people out there that do it for fun, for information purposes, and some with malicious intent. I don’t know a thing about hacking, but claiming that paying Clear Channel to put up your “street art” is not hacking, it’s advertising. You got some people talking – but about what? Everything is a “hack” today. Remember this old story about how people have “hacked” Coke bottles so they can see the iTunes code on the cap and get their free song? Yeah.. the “hack” was tilting the bottle and squishing it up to your face. Way to bring down the system! In fact, here is a link to the story.

2: I think I just covered both things in #1.

Anyway – I didn’t see these billboards up anywhere, but if I did they would just get lost in all the other visual pollution here in Los Angeles. This guy is no Banksy, and if he wanted to really do something cool in Los Angeles, he could have done something like painting a building using lasers. (Click the link and watch the video – you’ll agree it is awesome)

A sample from Flickr:


Entry filed under: garbage sacks, Los Angeles.

What a doozy of a week! feeling gravity’s pull


  • 1. thamastahacka  |  March 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm


    you’ve been hacked.


  • 2. Robert  |  March 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm


  • 3. DON"T BRING DA M-16  |  March 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    That video is cool. And the song used is even cooler! BLIPITY BLIP!

  • 4. dave  |  March 30, 2008 at 10:05 am

    My friend Tim was way into all the different high-tech forms of graffiti. I’m not sure what I think about this stuff. On one hand, I appreciate the fact that it’s pretty non-invasive. The image is there for a few minutes, and then it’s gone. The buildings and landscape aren’t permanently altered by paint or some other substance. We don’t have to continue seeing it for years. But on the other hand, the impermanence of it also seems to weaken the impact. It’s kind of like tagging for pussies. I think what bothers me the most about that video is this: Here are these guys with a mobile laser that they can project onto the entire side of a skyscraper, thereby reaching a mass audience, if only for a few minutes, and they’re putting up their lame-ass tags, or worse, tired crap like “fuck cops”. What a waste.

  • 5. Robert  |  March 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I’m going to agree with you, Dave, EXCEPT:

    I think the impermanence of it is pretty rad when it is being used on something that is pretty much impossible to do anyway – like tagging an entire building.

    But yeah, the messaging is pretty weak. “Fuck cops?” That’s like flipping off the damn camera. When will people stop flipping off the damn camera?

    When will people stop being so punk rock that they have to flip off the camera every time a picture is taken?

    I’m not sure what I would write on the side of a building, though.

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