How to project a message on a building
“Musk trolled as a lawless oligarch by a projection activist.” – Daily Mail
What is ‘projection bombing”? What technology is needed to project a sign? Is the approach cost effective? How have other activists used the approach to get attention to their message ?
“Projection bombing”, a technique pioneered by marketing agencies and more recently embraced by activists where a message is projected onto a building.
This blog explains the technology involved with projecting an image on a building or some other object. THIS BLOG DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE SEEK LEGAL ADVICE AND COMPLY WITH ALL LAWS. DemLabs is not liable for any losses or damages caused by acting or failing to act on the content of this article.
Activism through signs
Activists project messages
Elon Musk trolled as ‘space Karen,’ ‘mediocre manchild,’ and ‘lawless oligarch’ in news-ticker projection on Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters as platform sees mass resignations. – Daily Mail
- Elon Musk was trolled by someone across the street from Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters last night with projected taunts and insults
- The Chief Twit was called ‘space Karen,’ ‘bankruptcy baby’, ‘cruel hoarder’ and a ‘mediocre manchild’ – among other insults
- According to Gia Vang, an NBC Bay Area reporter, the messages are from an individual calling themself a ‘projection activist’
- The anonymous taunting came amid a mass exodus at the social network that was prompted by Musk’s ‘hardcore’ ultimatum to Twitter’s remaining workers
Outdoor digital projection is a cost effective way to get your message seen. In addition to the people seeing the message directly, activists are also likely to get press exposure. The message is created on a laptop which is connected with a VGA cable to a digital projector. An inverter provides a portable power source to run the projector.
- Digital Projector. 2000 ANSI lumens is the recommended minimum value for projecting anything bright enough to be viewed outdoors in the city. A popular model is the Sanyo Pro Xtra projector. Specs here. Average Cost (used): $300. (Instructables)
- DC to AC Power Inverter. Size: 600W – 1200W. Average Cost: $100
Any tactic should be measured by the time, effort and cost required for a project vs how many people will see the message. Projecting images is a rapid response tool where the message can be prepared in hours. Hundreds of people are likely to see the message directly and thousands more will see it with press coverage.
“Projection bombing”, a technique pioneered by marketing agencies and more recently embraced by campaign groups. In Britain, government buildings are routinely bathed in slogans following a simple – and affordable – formula: knock up an image, get a projector and a decent battery, flick the switch until the cops move you on. Oh, and don’t forget to alert a news photographer.
“It’s a great way to get out a message that’s not being heard inside a building, but has grassroots support,” says Nick Dearden, a veteran projection bomber and director of London-based campaigners Global Justice Now. “Media come to us when an issue is emerging, but when it gets high up the news agenda, we get drowned out because political parties get involved. So this is one way to get coverage, but it’s also something people can share on social media.”
Dearden recruited an anonymous guerrilla projector operator who had contacted him. They threw “#REFUGEES WELCOME” on to the white cliffs of Dover just before a far-right rally in the town. Using a standard, powerful projector and some smart software to prevent distortion, the man set up a tripod on the beach below the cliffs. – The Guardian
This blog does not constitute legal advice. Please seek legal advice for your project. DemLabs is not liable for any losses or damages caused by acting or failing to act on the content of this article.
Visitors to the Trump International Hotel in Washington were greeted with a provocative message: “Pay Trump bribes here.” Artist and filmmaker Robin Bell said he projected those words onto the hotel’s façade from a van across the street, hoping to call attention to accusations that President Donald Trump is allowing foreign leaders to pay for access by staying at a Trump property just a few blocks from the White House … Bell also projected the text of the emoluments clause, which prohibits US officials from accepting foreign gifts, onto the hotel’s façade, alongside images of the Turkish and Russian flags.
Is this criminal trespass — or perhaps grounds for a civil lawsuit? It turns out that the answer is probably not, whether it’s anti-Trump messages, anti-Islam protesters projecting a Muhammad cartoon on a mosque wall, antiabortion protesters projecting an image of an aborted fetus, or (as is more common) unions projecting critical or offensive messages on the walls of businesses that they are protesting. I think a specially designed law might well be able to forbid all projecting of text or images onto others’ property. But existing law likely doesn’t, at least unless the projection so interferes with the business (and for a considerable time) as to constitute an actionable “nuisance.” – Fee / Washington Post by Eugene Volokh who teaches free speech law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law at UCLA School of Law.
Take Away: Think creatively to get attention for your message.
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Reposted from Democracy Labs with permission.
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