Art on ATM screens: Cool, but wait 'til the naughty bits patrol is called

August 25, 2009 by Dave Haynes


Phil Gauvin up in Montreal spied this new art program running on an ATM screen at a Toronto site. The notion of using art on screens has always made a bunch of sense because the works are usually interesting, often beautiful, and once in a while provocative.

This ATM is on Queen Street West, which is bohemia central for Toronto. So an image of some people showing their naughty bits would not elicit much of a fuss at all. And this is probably in a bar, and definitely not in a branch of a bank.

The image, among many being rotated through the “exhibit”, speaks to the larger idea of just how screen networks could partner with artists collectives to do more, without eventually running into some sort of trouble because freedom of expression runs smack into some people who don’t see beauty, just naughty bits.

A handle with care thing, for sure, and anyone cutting a deal with artsists to show work publicly should probably ensure the final approval is in their control, and nothing goes up without review.  

Note: If this is not obvious, the yellow circles are added after the fact. I don’t need the emails from people complaining about my running a shot of a little kid’s willy. I have no opinion on the artistic merits, and am just pointing out that while some people will like it, others definitely won’t, and the poor guys just trying to mix up their screen network with some different content might get caught in the crossfire. 

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