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I have not read all the posts. so apologies if this has been covered already. Firstly, I think this is a truly noble idea, so good on you Mr Plunkett.
Secondly, I strongly agree with the point that Art is Good because it makes us think - it challenges our view of the world and it FORCES us to use our brains, this in a world when this activity is so rare.
Even if this project does not 'work' in the sense that London becomes even a little more ad-free, I say no-matter. I think the point will be made more in publicity you generate for the project. the point of the project is not necessarily one four-week installation in one tube stn, but making people all over the world aware of WHY the idea is important/cool/ funky/whatever. This awareness campaign may be a better thing to spend the money on (plus for example, one ad space bought once a year), as otherwise it might become v expensive in ratio to effectiveness in the long term.
Finally, I think that in London there is actually already a lot of art in public spaces, and in truth people living in London are very exposed to culture, music, poetry, etc even just in their daily commute/grind. I now live in a small town in Latin America, where the 'herd culture' you mention on your site is about 100 times more pertinent than in London - with a large portion of the community being unable to read or write and everything this portion of the community does (buys...) is influenced by brash television advertising. 'orrible stuff. So, on reflection, i think changing minds about advertising in London will be a breeze!sazzy, 14 years ago.