LA///STREET LIFE///SKULLPHONE SPEAKS…

March 31, 2008  |  art, News, Skullduggery, Street Life

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The Barracuda staff proves that life imitates art beneath Skullphone's warm, digital glow...

Following our earlier report on Supertouch breaking the news that SKULLPHONE had hacked his way into the Clear Channel network to post his iconic skull image onto the network's LA digital billboard network illegally, WIRED MAGAZINE has reported that it was all a hoax, and that Skullphone actually paid for the ads:

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FROM WIRED MAGAZINE:
"The Los Angeles street artist known as Skullphone managed to get his iconic skull-holding-a-cell phone image to display on 10 prominent digital billboards throughout Los Angeles last week — leading some blogs to report that he'd hacked into the signs. Alas, Clear Channel Outdoors, which owns the billboards, says no. "He paid to get it up," says spokeswoman Jennifer Gery. "It only ran for two days." Update: Clear Channel's Tony Alwin is unhappy about the hacking rumors. "The advertisement was bought under the assumption that it was art that was in an art show," he says. "Any claims about hacking into our systems is false. It's a lie, even."

And while we at Supertouch know how to read between the lines (Skullphone's hack represents the first big breach of the system in what's certain to become a regular occurrence), Supertouch ally and PAPER MAGAZINE publisher DAVID HERSHKOVITS met up with Skullphone himself late last week to have a few words about the situation:

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FROM DAVID HERSHKOVITS/PAPER MAGAZINE:
Finally caught up with Skullphone and had a quick conversation about the brouhaha that's been stirred up by his tag popping up on 10 digital billboards around LA. Skullphone would neither confirm nor deny Wired's report that the billboard time was purchased from Clear Channel. The firestorm began when the story was originally reported on Supertouch. I had reported that sources had told me that it was indeed a hack. Here are some sound bites from my conversation with Skullphone:

"The art of hacking I know nothing about. What is hacking? What is art?"

"People thought Bob Dylan sold out when he went electric. I guess people weren't ready for it."

"To me it's American art. The (now digital) billboard on the side of the highway."

"'Skullphone digital billboards.' It was a logical fit."

"Once again, it’s a matter of semantics. What does it mean to hack the system? Is getting people to think for themselves hacking?"

"Skullphone has a right to be there."

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