The Fading Ad Blog, among other notable blogs on the subject – was mentioned again by the NY Times. J. David Goodman wrote a wonderful article that focuses on what I have coined “fading ads” and the work of the veteran urban archaeologist – Walter Grutchfield of the 14to42 website.
Before I started The Fading Ad Campaign in 1997, these urban palimpsests were known as ghost signs. In an attempt to raise them from the dead, I used the term fading ads since I was wrestling with my own mortality with HIV/AIDS and drawing parallels to these signs’ unexpected long life and my own. I see them as metaphors of survival rather than a spectral afterglow of capitalism’s castoffs.
In 1999 when I launched my website, I realized I belonged to a community of urban archaeologist that included the likes of William Stage (Riverfront Times & Ghost Signs), James Lileks (The Bleat), Kevin Walsh (Forgotten-NY) and Walter Grutchfield – all of whom were supportive of my early online presence. Since then, a wave of documentation has occurred on both sides of the Atlantic with Sam Roberts UK Brick Ads in London and other micro sites in the US from Lawrence O’Toole’s Philadelphia Ghost Sign Project and Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY.