FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, November 19, 2004

Fading Ad Gallery

I'm a firm believer that anyone interested in the future has to be mindful of the past. To that end, I'm fascinated by urban relics -- abandoned buildings and the like. They say a lot not just about where we've been, but where we're going as well. After all, there was a reson why these places were left for dead, and that reason impacts our lives today and tomorrow.

Also, as a former (or recovering) advertising copywriter, I'm interested in vintage advertisements. And so, when I came across the Fading Ad Gallery, I couldn't resist.

Ever walk by an old building and notice a very old, faded advertisement painted on its side? Some are recognizable today (Coca-Cola ads are common in almost every city), while others clearly evoke another, very different time. Like fossils, they speak to us over a great distance, telling us what life was like long ago, and illustrating how much (or how little) times have changed.

The Fading Ad Gallery is a Brooklyn-based art project designed to "explore our changing urban landscape," and includes photos of vintage building ads from all over the world. You can visit the actual gallery at 679 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn, or you can simply browse the website (NOTE: It's a graphics-heavy site that may load slowly on less robust Internet connections).