Here is my take on it. Turner was stupid by not securing the proper permissions neccessary for placing these Lite-Brite displays turned ads. A simple inquiry would have probably led to legal placement of the ads, in locations that would probably have been far more visible than what was used. I mean, really... these light boxes were up for at least a week, if not more, in 10 cities!
So, bad Turner. Interesting idea, poor execution.
Now on to the reaction from Boston law enforcement. Was such a display of force neccessary? In the post 9/11 world... maybe. People are now trained to believe we can be attacked whenever, wherever, and however, every minute of the day. And you know what? This is a damn shame. That guerrila art placements, because that's how I view these in the end... can be viewed as bomb threats.
I'm torn on this one. Guerrila art has long had a place in cities. And upon reflection, they were always persecuted for public defacement, trespassing, disturbing the peace. Haring, Basquiat, grafitti artists... etc. So maybe I shouldn't be surprised that 2 men who placed the boxes throughout Boston have been arrested.
But I'm really sad that something that should have caused smiles were instead sprayed with water cannons and disposed of by bomb units.
As an end note, I was reading the NY Times' take on the story this morning. And I noticed that the various web buttons next to the story was sponsored. By Borat of all things.
It all made sense. Borat can only thrive in a world where lite-brites are viewed as terrorism.