At any time
At Any Time
There must be hundreds of thousands (millions, perhaps?) of these signs in the UK. They are so utterly ubiquitous that most people don't even see them, except when they're trying to park a car. Curiously, we've found that if we ask a typical British adult "Do you know those little yellow signs which say 'at any time'...?", they don't know what we mean.
In the spirit of the previous Interdimensional Pixie Broadcast Network exhibition (which involved red triangular roadsigns), we decided that these little yellow rectangles could be used to convey furtive messages of inspiration and enlightenment. Taking into account their omnipresent nature and the quiet authority they carry, we considered various messages which could be spliced onto the phrase 'at any time'. The underlying theme is one of spontaneity, possibility, and the unexpected.
We came up with these:
- "Absolutely anything can happen at any time."
- "You can drop your preconceptions at any time." /li>
- "You're free to be whoever you want at any time."
- "You are free to be happy at any time."
- "Take heart. Things could drastically improve at any time."
- "You can completely transform your life at any time."
- "You can completely change your point-of-view at any time."
- "Remember. You can take off that mask at any time."
- "You can overcome your fears at any time."
- "Any boundary can be dissolved at any time."
- "Peace could break out at any time."
- "Go on. You can break those chains at any time."
- "Live in the moment. Your life could end at any time."
- "Be grateful for your life. It could end at any time."
- "Don't forget. The global economy could collapse at any time."
- "No illusions at any time."
- "No ambiguity at any time."
They were designed to follow the existing "at any time" signs as closely as possible, being exactly the same size, using the same font, etc.
We printed them on thick yellow paper, cut them out, and stuck two-sided tape around the edges of their reverse sides. We decided to replace the blue-circle-with-red-line-through-it symbol with a circular symbol which we felt might be more beneficial to the unsuspecting viewer. We chose the Buddhist Sri Yantra used in one of the triangular roadsigns, reproduced in blue and red. Here is the original JPEG which was printed out and stuck on. The signs were then laminated with transparent stick-backed plastic to avoid rain damage.
The signs were stuck over existing "At any time" signs as temporary installations. We felt like this was a reasonable enough thing to do, as they would be very unlikely to affect the practicalities of parking in Exeter, and could be removed easily enough if anyone was in any way upset by them. In order to be as responsible as possible about this, we avoided those "At any time" signs which contained additional information about parking restrictions ("8am-6pm", "except for loading", left-right arrows, etc.), and locations associated with any emergency services. Several copies of each sign were installed, but we've just chosen one picture for each. Some pictures are better than others...
Here they are. And remember, this could happen in your town at any time.
"Go on. You can break those chains at any time."
"You're free to be whoever you want at any time."
Here are some responses from our audience:
It's Paul Giblin here from the St David's Ambience Society/The Future Sound of Exeter, just emailing to say what a great job I think you're doing, the world needs more active surrealists (even if you don't subscribe to the label, I'm sure you know what I mean) so keep up the good work.
If you get time, surf our ambient website, you may like our ambient ambulance...
Best Wishes, PAUL"
"Just returned from Ausi to our fair isle. One of the many things i did on my travels was to change the signs 'FORM ONE LANE', seen all over the place as a dual carriage way becomes a single lane to 'FORM ONE PLANET' - a simple matter of a P and a T made of good old gaffer tape or even a black marker kinda worked. No photos though, sorry...
keep up the good work,
the fluffy one..."
"Ok, as the person who got the most coverage from the last lot of signs which went up, I have to congratulate you on this one. Excellent. Unfortunately, I'm not out and about so won't be able to track these down. I will however do my utmost to get at least one before they all go. Well done, mysterious ones. I never did find out who you were. Steve Stewart"
(from Davey of Ancient Albion Studios)
Your groovyness is a candle lighting wind.
"Hi, I saw some of your signs around Exeter and subsequently checked out the web site. FANTASTIC. I'm glad to see someone with a sense of humour AND an original idea!! I've been doing a few wacky things around the town recently and I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one. Keep up the good work.
"Thanks for keeping me up to date with Pixie news - have written a short blurb for Bizarre about the 'at any time' exhibition and it will go in issue 49 - out in July. Just checking it is OK to use pics.
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