Add Art: A Clever Firefox Extension news article: Planck Studios Chicago Prints and Photos

Add Art: A Clever Firefox Extension

Replace online ads w/ art from contemporary artists

Posted Mar 5, 2009

First, let me say that this is the kind of thinking I love. I've been using Adblock Plus for Firefox since it's been available. So instead of annyoing online ads, I see clean white space. Add-Art, a new add-on by artist Steve Lambert takes this idea one step further and opens up a brand new avenue for artists to show their work.

Add Art works in tandem with Adblock Plus and allows you to use that empty white space as a gallery - placing artwork on your screen from a selection of contemporary artists.

How Add Art Works

It's an open source project where even the selection of artists is available to the online community. These volunteer curators are asked to contribute by building shows of 5-8 artists that will run for 2 week intervals. A curator and artist can even team up to build a show that targets the ads on a specific website - Lambert's suggestion of FOX News should get plenty of ideas rolling in the minds of artists. Each page of replaced ads is devoted to a single artist. Read more on the background of the project.

Instead of slowing down your web browsing, Add-Art downloads images en masse. It amounts to roughly 5 megs of space per 2 week showing. After the download, you'll be prompted to restart Firefox before the images are visible.

Add-Art does not give the viewer control over what artists are shown or what sites are hit. That, says Lambert, isn't the point:

  • The art changes every 2 weeks on a Thursday. Maybe it might grow on you. If you really don't like it, you can disable Add-Art until the next show goes online. Add-Art's goal is not to replace ads with decoration or wallpaper that everyone finds comfortable or pleasing. You might like the idea of seeing art, but not like all the art you see. That's ok. That's how art is.