I'd like to welcome our newest contributor, Jenny Bowen, who's worked in the arts from a variety of angles. She'll be writing about how artistic culture is changing in the face of our current Breaking Time. This first piece is on Microsoft's increasingly aggressive attempts to worm its way into the street art scene.
For the first time since 1987 Microsoft has redesigned its corporate logo. While Apple continues to push forward as the most profitable business in the world, maintaining an image to meet the needs of hipsters and executives alike, Microsoft has patiently been biding its rebranding energies for nearly 25 years.
But this post isn't about open-source freedom versus quality control sleekness: this is about advertising crossing the line into art.
Recently news broke that New York City and Los Angeles started seeing a new game of street art about town. Thing is, this isn't art: it's advertising mimicking art.
In June, Microsoft unveiled a new design for its Surface tablets; an incredibly sleek computer running the new Windows 8 OS. While the tablets aren't set to debut until October, that hasn't prevented Microsoft from taking on an advertising campaign that has already drawn much attention around the country and online. All around these cities "street art" is popping up on walls, depicting a rectangle with the word Surface and a keyboard painted below.
Microsoft's only comment on the situation is "no comment." But the company has a long history of trying to advertise on the heels of the street art movement.