O Christmas Tree

Well before Time2Ad‘s giant billboard reared its obtrusive head on St-Laurent Boulevard, OTL’s Reclaim the Main campaign had been challenging corporate and monoculture intrusions our heritage site through culture jamming.

Every summer during the street fairs we were greeted with a new corporate sponsor monopolizing a celebration that’s supposed to be for the people as buskers, artists and other citizens were told that their voices were not welcome and essentially less important than those of PartyPoker.net, Bavaria Beer and as of this year Koodo Mobile.

The group responsible for bringing in the corporate presence over the past few years has been the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent.  Not only have they brought in this corporate influence but they literally rent off public space to them so that it temporarily becomes private property.

Just before the holiday season last year they held a series of events celebrating the Main’s re-opening.  One such event was Pimp My Tree which invited participating groups to decorate one of the many Christmas trees planted between Sherbrooke and Mount-Royal.  We decided to take part and reserved a tree.

We decorated our pine with ornaments wrapped in images of some of the corporate spam elements brought in by the société as well as of ad trucks, a form of visual pollution also plaguing the Main that our city government refuses to do anything about.  Instead of a star, we had a cardboard signpost pointing at some of the intrusive elements that were right around the tree, including a surveillance camera overhead.

Needless to say, this brought out some interesting and interested reactions from passersby and some expected criticism from members of the société.

They’re doing another shindig this year for the holidays and our invitation to participate has somehow been lost in the mail.  It’s coming up pretty soon, so if you have any ideas of how we might take part and jam the monoculture yet again, please contact main@optative.net

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