Umbrella Revolution's projector guerrillas splash huge messages on public buildings

The Add Oil project lets anyone in the world write a message of support to Hong Kong's protesters, which is then beamed in 16' tall letters on the sides of buildings near the protests.

"Add Oil" is a transliteration of a Cantonese phrase meaning "stay strong." The Add Oil team started the project to give inspiration and comfort to protesters waiting for arrest in the streets of Hong Kong.

I absolutely dote on this tactic for protests; it was the mcguffin of my novel Pirate Cinema, and whenever I've seen it deployed in real life, it's been startlingly effective.

Using the projections to transmit messages to the crowd may seem like a step backward technologically, but according to the group, it may be the most effective means in this situation.

"Some people are suggesting using FireChat," Wong said, "but most of the time, when the number of people in the crowd increases, it's almost impossible to get a cellular signal."

Fresh off a long night of managing the text stream, projector and the generator that powers it on Tuesday, the team, which only projects the messages at night, were preparing for this evening, which may be the most important night of the series of protests in Hong Kong.

"This has grown into an atmosphere that has never been seen in Hong Kong ever," Wong said. "It's correct that many of the protesters are students and there's a unique culture in the way that they are communicating …. We wanted to do something that offered emotional support to them while they are facing a tough situation."

Add Oil

Messages Supporting Hong Kong Protesters Stream from Web to the Streets [Adario Strange/Mashable]

(Image: Umbrella Revolution-3299.jpg, Doctor Ho, CC-BY-SA)

(via As It Happens)