You know how the networks often digitally superimpose ads onto sports stadium billboards for TV viewers? For his newest project, artist Jeff Crouse is working to do the opposite: His web service Unlogo "gives people the opportunity to opt out of having corporate messages permanently imprinted into the photographic record of their lives." Presented at this year's 01SJ Biennial in San Jose, it's an augmented-reality "corporate-identity filter" that recognizes and either blocks or replaces brand logos on videos and cellphone photos. In a prototype version (see video below), he's replaced logos in footage he shot at a mall with the faces of the CEOs of the companies behind the brands.
Crouse based the project on work he was doing for paying clients and took inspiration from art projects like Steve Lambert's Add-Art (which replaces web ads with art) and the software platform Artvertiser, which does the same thing with billboards. His project is open-source, and he's "training" Unlogo to recognize more and more logos; he plans on adding a way for online users to submit logos for inclusion. Eventually, he expects to have an online service where users can upload their own videos to have them "un-logo-fied." An iPhone app will allow users to replace logos in cellphone photos with an image of their choosing.
Listen to an interview with Crouse. If you'd like to support the project, go to the Unlogo Kickstarter campaign.