Censorship Goes Viral
April 03, 2012
When Vice Magazine used a cover photograph by the Italian art-pranksters Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, it was understandable that the beleaguered US Postal Service might object to the very NSFW image of a realistic rubber phallus protruding from mail pouches across America. What's remarkable is that they would allow a cover-up sticker that literally screamed DILDO in its stead.
Granted, the original photo is garden-variety, shock-for-shock-value art. But much more interesting is the spontaneous and genuine art happening that sprung up when those stickers reached the hands of Vice readers. Reacting to the censorship (and the absolute silliness of the remedy) readers took to the streets. With stickers in hand, the public set out on their own art campaign to "censor" everything imaginable in their urban landscape -- from fireplugs to street signs to actual people. It's hard to suppress a smirk at the sight of these street shenanigans. Of course, Vice was at the ready to document the viral art wave and assembled the street photos here on FB for your viewing pleasure.