4: It’s timeThe Billboard needs to be put into place
In the beginning of March 2003 the US Government announced a speech by G.W. Bush where he would address the nation about there progress with Irak. This was the moment i was waiting for. If I could get a Billboard up in Times Square right before the speach, I might get a lot of media attention. The US would probably give an last ultimatum to Iraq and then go to war if there requirements are not meet.
A week before this speech, I started to look with my agent for possible billboard spaces in Times Square. It wasnt easy for me beause I had to divide my time between work and the project, but we managed to get it going.
On tuesday we found a billboardspace on 42nd street next to Madam Tussauds that fit my budget. Midweek I got together with some friends to brainstorm about some additional artwork ideas, just to be shure to get the best out the situation. On Thursday I finalized a simple version of the original „ I love you“ Artwork Idea. I send it for approval to New York, and in the evening a friend helped me to do a press release and inform the media.
That day I created a first obstical, I changed the artwork to «We are made by love not war» instead just «LOVE». I changed it, because I had a lot of responses from people who said «LOVE» is just not enough, there should be an antiwar message. But then the Artwork was not approved by the Billboard Company, and I changed it back to «LOVE». I was glad that that happend, because that’s what I wanted originally.
That evening my agent told me that they needed more money for installing the Billboard, because they had to block off 42nd Street with a truck and needed more people to install it: + 4000 U$.
That blew my budget. All of my savings to finance the billboard were allready used and I had only little sponsoring.
A friend of mine in New York then helped me that evening to find the money. He organized 10 People who each would give 400 Dollar for a Sponsoring on the Billboard. Thats how the names got there place on the Artwork.
To get the billboard produced and hung up by monday I transfered all my money on Friday Afternoon to New York. That put my bankaccount to 0.
The same evening our local newspaper came by to run a story for the Saturday issue. On Saturday I took a plane to New York. I also had my roomate come along to support me on location. Everything was a last minute improvisation, but we managed to find a nice hotel in New York and hat a great Saturday night out at the living room in New York.