I often lament the over-marketed world we live in. Can you imagine a world where residents vote to name their own sports stadiums?  Where the soda you purchase at a movie isn’t covered by the name of the manufacturer but rather by appealing images selected based on aesthetic quality? Where everything we see isn’t covered in the branding of the companies who want us to buy their products?

Given my sentiments about our advertising-saturated world, it’s a welcomed change to see there are others out there who agree with me and acted to do something different. Seattle-based art collective Lead Pencil Studio created “Non-Sign II,” an art installation that sits at the US-Canada border. The sculpture is assembled with small stainless steel rods attached together to create what physically looks like a billboard but frames only the landscape behind it.

I realize the irony behind my ‘too many ads’ concern given where I work.  Certainly, digital signage and visual experience design are supported by Mersive’s display technology, which is often used for corporate advertising and outreach.  With that said, it is truly enabling visual communications between individuals and democratizing the use of displays that drives our passions at Mersive. “Non-Sign II” reminds us what is most important to look at, and it is in that same spirit that we work to broaden access to the pixel landscape – so one day it will be so affordable and abundant that people can easily use it for greater purposes than advertising.

About Christopher Jaynes

Jaynes received his doctoral degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he worked on camera calibration and aerial image interpretation technologies now in use by the federal government. Jaynes received his BS degree with honors from the School of Computer Science at the University of Utah. In 2004, he founded Mersive and today serves as the company's Chief Technology Officer. Prior to Mersive, Jaynes founded the Metaverse Lab at the University of Kentucky, recognized as one of the leading laboratories for computer vision and interactive media and dedicated to research related to video surveillance, human-computer interaction, and display technologies.

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