How Many Billboards? Visual Rights to the City

Moderated by curator Anne Bray, Executive Director, Freewaves
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Episode Summary
A panel of outdoor media professionals and legal experts focus on the city's recent debate surrounding LED billboards and illegal signage, raising the notion of free speech as it relates to images on the street along the way. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition \"How Many Billboards? Art In Stead\" at The MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, Feb. 5 - March 12, 2010.

Participant(s) Bio
Toby Miller is Professor of Media & Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside. His teaching and research cover the media, sport, labor, gender, race, citizenship, politics, and cultural policy. Toby is the author and editor of over 30 volumes, and has published essays in well over 100 journals and books. His work has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Swedish, Spanish, and German. He has made many appearances in the print and electronic media and previously worked in broadcasting, banking, and politics, and at NYU. His latest books are Cultural Citizenship: Cosmopolitanism, Consumerism, and Television in a Neoliberal Age, 2007<; Makeover Nation: The United States of Reinvention, 2008; The Contemporary Hollywood Reader, 2009; and Television Studies: The Basics, 2010.

A Member of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Hall of Fame, Rick Robinson is a long time OOH Media advocate, creative consultant, public speaker, fine artist, teacher and writer. His 23 years in the business have included stints as a local salesperson for Ackerley Airport Advertising SF, Business Development Manager for Gannett Outdoor SF & LA, and National Creative Director at Outdoor Systems & Infinity Outdoor for several years until he opened up MacDonald Media's LA office in July of 2001. New York based MacDonald Media plans and buys OOH for Nike, Converse, EA Games, ESPN, J&J, AEG/Goldenvoice, and many others. Rick's industry achievements include helping launch the now renowned Tall Walls on The Sunset Strip, serving as a 2 time Obie Judge, Founding Chairman of the OAAA Creative Committee, and as Creative Director for the award winning "Big Boy" Power 106 Radio campaign.

Award-winning journalist Christine Pelisek covers government and crime for LA Weekly, where her in-depth investigations of topics ranging from the city's billboard wars to the use of DNA to track serial killers have won her acclaim. Last year, Pelisek won a Los Angeles Press Club Award for her powerful 2008 cover story "Billboards Gone Wild." Her story delved into the back room deal brokered by Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and billboard giants CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel and Regency - a lucrative settlement deal that gave the billboard giants the right to "digitally modernize" more than 800 traditional billboards in Los Angeles without a single public hearing or zoning debate. Last year, a Superior Court judge ruled the settlement deal invalid. Pelisek has been covering the billboard wars in Los Angeles since 2008 and has written countless stories and blog posts on the subject.

John Tehranian is an attorney, academic and author. He is a partner at One LLP, an entertainment and intellectual property litigation firm in Southern California, and is a tenured Professor of Law at Chapman University, School of Law, where he also serves as Director of the Entertainment Law Center. He has previously served as Professor of Law at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, and as Visiting Professor of Law at Loyola Law School. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, he is the author of numerous works on the interface between law and culture, with a particular focus on issues of intellectual property, entertainment, civil rights and race. He is the author of the book Whitewashed, an analysis of the social and legal construction of race, and the forthcoming book Infringement Nation, an examination of copyright law in the digital age.

Anne Bray has been working at the intersection of public art and media art since the mid '70s as an artist, art teacher and curator. She is an artist, teacher and Director of Freewaves, a media arts organization and festival in Los Angeles. She developed the concept of the multicultural network of media artists and venues in 1989 and has continued to see the organization through the technological, social and aesthetic changes of the 1990s to now. As an artist she exhibits her work as temporary installations in public sites and art venues combining personal and social positions via video, audio, stills and 3-d screens at gas stations, malls, movie theaters, on TV, in department stores, and on billboards. She teaches public art and multimedia at Claremont Graduate University and USC.