Stay Cool, Be Positive

Cham, Karen (2006). Stay Cool, Be Positive. Video in the Built Environment, USA.



'We live inside the sign; change & transformation must come from within' - Jacques Lacan.
The physical transformation of the built environment by media technologies has considerably increased the number of visual messages the city user is exposed to in the course of a day. As the built environment develops an increasingly visual interface, the lived experience of the passer by is increasingly mediated. This is, in effect, a visual interface to the experience of the built environment.
Most of the information city users are currently exposed to is in relation to timekeeping (clocks, dates, timetables etc) a sense of personal identity (advertisements) or with regards safety (news). All these types of messages are anchored in some form of anxiety. What type of society might we see if we saturated ourselves with different messages?
Reminiscent of 1960s submliminal advertising, which was later banned, Ambient Blipverts propose to capitalise upon cultural mediatization by re-appropriating existing media aesthetics and anchoring them to a different message. By using established aesthetics to infiltrate the psychology of the city user this work aims to create a moments conceptual space for the passer by.
Designed as video interventions for the ubiquitous screens of busy urban stations, squares and shopping centres 'Ambient Blipverts' are a series of 10 second video loops, designed as branded logos for positive thinking. 'Stay Cool' and 'Be Positive' are two from a possible series of generic positive messages designed on the 'plus' sign using the archetypal symbol of transformation - fire.

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