Francesco Hashitha Moorthy is a motion graphics designer based in Milan, Italy. For a recent personal project called Adblock City, Moorthy designed a series of colourful GIF artworks that suggest a future in which the major cities of the world would become drenched in assaultive visual advertisements decorating every building.
So visually invasive would these banner ads be, that the average pedestrian may want to have an “ad blocker” plugin installed in their own minds (similar to the app currently available on most internet search engines that enable the user to avoid unsolicited banners and pop-ups).
Moorthy’s art points to a possible eventuality that the ad makers of the world could run rampant on every inch of the visual real estate of our urban spaces. In response to blocking these flashy banners out of our sight in one fell swoop, would we be denied access to the city in the same way that websites block access to those who use ad blocking plugins while browsing online?
Aesthetically, Moorthy chose to emulate ‘Vaporwave’ music, a contemporary subculture of music and internet memery that adopts hallmarks of early 1980s synth culture and vivid glitch art. Each city scene seems sunbathed in neon pink and blue, somehow futuristic and nostalgic at once.
“The project was born from the thought that we are so immersed in advertising of every kind that the saturation of it becomes sickly. If we had the possibility to activate AdBlock in real life like on the internet, what would happen?” says Moorthy. "The project refers to a well-known style on the web, Vaporwave art. These brilliant and bright colours help create an atmosphere of over-saturation that represents the intensity of advertising.”