Traffic Jam

Traffic signs around the world have recently been breaking free from the shackles of traffic laws, thanks to the initiative of culture jammers and creative street artists. This exhibition of urban interventions will be updated with the work of street artists who creatively reclaim roadway signposts.


 “By creating and performing with the help of familiar traffic symbols, our eyes are directed towards the language of the city – a language we all know and relate to, although we might not always realize it. After a walk with Dead Ends, urban existence reaches new levels, histories are rediscovered and spaces and materials in our everyday surrounding comes to life,” say Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren, innovators of the Dead Ends project. The following are some of their “renovated” street signs:

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Banksy’s “September 11” street sign:

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Norwegian street signs by Etisk Vandalism (Ethical Vandalism):

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Syrian street signs by Tammam Azzam in protest of the repression of the Syrian popular uprising:

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Iranian rebel street signs by graffiti artists Icy and Sot:

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Austrian street sign by Tobias Batik:

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Italian street sign:

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Norwegian street sign announcing a crosswalk “renovated” to reference Monty Python’s “Silly Walk” skit. In response, locals often walk in a silly manner when crossing the street at that spot.

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French street sign:

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Romanian street signs:

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pedestrian crossing

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Street signs altered by Dan Witz in New York, London and Copenhagen:

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Canadian street artist Peter Gibson began creatively altering the streets of Montreal a decade ago. At first his work focused on bicycle lanes, but he has since expanded his repertoire to critique car culture in general. In 2004 he was arrested while applying a piece to the street.

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The French painter and sculptor Clet Abraham has devoted the past several years to adding his own commentary to Italian street signs, mostly in Florence.

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Clet applies his modifications using stickers that can be easily removed – a fact that did not prevent him from being slapped with a 400 euro fine after he got caught.

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Last but not least: a culture-jammed street sign in the United States, from the website Cargo Collective:

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