You may have seen Specter's stuff around town: the famished African child atop the "Still Hungry" sign at a Taco Bell, the giant cockroach on a McDonald's ad scuttling toward a deli sandwich, or the blinged-out statue of Hydro founder Adam Beck.
Is it adbusting or is it art?
"It's about the act itself," says Specter.
Some 50 people showed up to take in the handiwork of culture jammers at the Take Your Space art exhibit mounted by Toronto-based NGO GlobalAware Independent Media Organization at the Rivoli Thursday, August 16.
While they debated the effectiveness of different ways of reclaiming public space, they all agreed on one thing: jamming isn't a crime.
Dan Bergeron, the artist behind the guerrilla hijacking of an Audiobooks billboard near Dundas West last summer (to an image of Dubya, Bergeron added a photo of rapper Kanye West and the words "Isn't Kanye an A-Rab name?"), likes to think of his interventions as art.
"People don't like spray paint, which means I can get away with a lot of shit because I don't use it," he says. "I don't think advertising is bad. I'm just trying to be educational and funny in an intelligent way."
Photographer Allan Lissner likes to call his shots of people plastering Consumption Kills stickers on shampoo ads "graffiti with a point."
To Joel Black-Beatty, whose three mock iPod ads were on display (one shows a soldier holding an M-16 rifle to the head of a girl), culture jamming is about reflecting reality.
"iPod ads present a lighter side of life where everyone's dancing, maybe to the point of ignorance," he says.