Can a Billboard Help Sell Clean Air?

Washington's anti-billboard draws the eye to what's already there.
Trying to sell the planet back to the people, one billboard at a time. (Photo: Ian Gill courtesy of Lead Pencil Studio)
Aug 25, 2011· 0 MIN READ
Originally from Baltimore, Oliver lives and writes on a quiet, tree-lined street in Brooklyn.

When was the last time you saw a billboard that made you ponder the planet?

Seattle-based art and architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio has achieved just that. Instead of the colorful images and language that we're used to seeing on highway advertisements, their half-billboard, half-sculpture installation features a rectangle of negative space.

“Borrowing the effectiveness of billboards to redirect attention away from the landscape…this permanently open aperture between nations works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond," said Lead Pencil Studio’s Daniel Mihalyo in a statement.

In other words, with none of those mouthwatering 3-D burgers to contemplate, passerbyers in Blaine, Washington have no choice but to feast on the natural landscape behind the billboard -- rolling fields, calm waters, and (mostly) gray Pacific Northwest sky.

Even more surprising than a billboard hawking something that's free? The fact that the artwork was commissioned by the federal government. And here we thought nothing gets done in Washington.

Thanks to Inhabitat for the scoop.