The Beirut billboard project arose in response to an accelerating crisis. In 2021, Lebanon was experiencing galloping inflation and rampant corruption and trust in government was at an all-time low. The Aïshti Foundation, a contemporary art space in Beirut, commissioned Karlssonwilker to create an unattributed campaign that would reach the city’s younger generation with messages that would resonate with their sense of apathy and despair. We landed on the idea of typographic inconclusiveness. Hence, 18 static and 11 digital billboards that featured confounding and contradicting messages were installed throughout Beirut. Using a series of blithely optimistic platitudes with strike-through lines atop blurred images of the city, we sought to stir up thought and conversation while at the same time honoring and reaffirming the reality of a civic crisis.
- Environmental Graphics
- Digital & Sound Design
For the digital billboards, we created individual animation loops as well as a longer video cut with a custom soundtrack. We developed the animation style and sound to underscore the messages’ sense of ambiguity.