Two 7.3m screens have been erected above commuters’ heads in Canary Wharf Jubilee line station. You’d be hard pressed to miss them.
Any lower and you’d think you’d slipped and died on the escalator and were now walking toward the bright light at the end of the tunnel.
This is the beginning of a new “innovative media contract” being rolled out by TfL in a bid to raise money for the network.
One Tweeting Wharfer, Holly Donahue, has already quipped that TfL should hand out shades for the bright display. Ice creams might be a nice touch too.
Initially I was reminded of the 2003 Tate Modern The Weather Project installation, in which artist Olafur Eliasson used monofrequency lights, projection foil and haze machines to create a giant glowing sun.
For a warm glow now bathes commuters and we seemingly all lift our heads at one to stare up. Fitting.
We like the weather. Or discussing it. And with the clocks gone back for winter, the giganto screens do deliver more light.
Straight into our eyeballs.
But there is something unnerving about colossal overhead screens. Like something from a dystopian sci-fi world.
George Orwell’s 1984 for Generation iPhone.
Our overlords could be controlling us with subliminal messages between ads.
If hundreds of commuters all turn left at once, or start reciting, chant-like, that they “love working late in the office” I’m out of here.
But we could of course harness this superpower for good. Slip in a couple of positive messages. Smile.
Hold the door for the person behind you. Pick up The Wharf. Every screen has a silver lining.
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