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Here’s What’s Up With the “Parbunkells” Billboard in Brooklyn

Meet Julia Weist, the artist advertising the internet’s negative space.
July 29, 2015, 6:00pm
Images courtesy the artist

The world we live in today is so densely packed with information, sometimes it feels like the internet is busting at the seams. The answer to any trivia question is readily available at the click of a mouse, and this culture of boundless content can be both homogeneous and monotonous. When all imaginable information is at our fingertips, it’s exceedingly difficult to discover anything new. But not for artist Julia Weist.

If you’ve been in the Forrest Hills area lately, you may have noticed the mysterious billboard that says “parbunkells” on it. If the minimalist billboard piqued your interest, you may have Googled the word “parbunkells”—and to no avail, which is the goal of her public artwork with help from collective 14x48Reach.

“I found the word in a 17th-century text at the Rare Book Room of New York Public Library. It was one of a small handful of terms that I found with no Google search results,” Weist tells The Creators Project. “The artwork uses a single piece of information to create a public space—the search results for the word parbunkells. That place, which was built off a void, is much like the communities we live in: it's defined and shaped by those who inhabit it.” These days, however, parbunkells has quite a few more search results.

Visit Julia Weist's website to learn more about Reach.

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