Ad banners as art. It seems a foreign concept yet that is exactly the objective of Banner Art Collective, a project operated by Brandon Barr of the University of Rochester (in New York). The goal is to create, collect, and distribute net.art and poetry within the limitations and context of web advertisements. It is a medium that is often overlooked and frequently degraded but that can nonetheless offer some pleasant and even provocative messages if crafted well.
By creating and distributing art within the limitations of WWW advertising, net.artists are forced to work under stringent rules. In that regard, banner art follows in a historical tradition of working against and within the limitations of a strict, sometimes arbitrary, form. In exploring this form, they also explore the marginalization of net.art; in banner art, this marginalization is quite literal.
Banner art also forces viewers into a position of empowerment; as they discover banner art, they will become aware of the both the pervasion and possibilities of advertising space on the web, experience new art in new contexts, and be granted a sort of patron status, as they can host on their own websites work they find compelling.