New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today unveiled “Blotto,” a temporary installation by acclaimed artist John Morse that features a thought-provoking inkblot test-inspired design to engage New Yorkers and get them thinking about the dangers of drinking and driving. The artwork, which has been placed in more than 100 phone kiosks at locations in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx with high concentrations of drunken driving crashes, is part of DOT’s ongoing education efforts to curb instances of driving while intoxicated (DWI), which has contributed to at least 46 deaths on New York City streets and led to more than 19,000 arrests by NYPD in just these past two years alone. The posters will be on view until June 17, and feature a black and white image that lends itself to the perception of two cars colliding into a martini glass. Bold typeface spells the word BLOTTO, slang for “very drunk.” Morse selected this word to invoke the outcome of a DWI crash—messy, confusing and destructive. Posters of “Blotto” also are on display at eight DOT-owned parking garages throughout the city.
“We’re using creative imagery to help motorists recognize there is no room for interpretation when it comes to drinking and driving,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Drunken driving is reckless driving and when motorists raise a glass, it’s the lives of other New Yorkers they hold in their hands.”
“Sometime you state the obvious but other times go subtle, even a bit mysterious,” said John Morse. “’Blotto’ is an abstract image, but upon study it reveals a clear indictment of drunk driving. For those who see it, the goal is they will remember it with as much clarity as ‘don’t drink and drive.’”
While “Blotto” posters are scheduled for a limited-showing, DOT will be using the image and the vital message it conveys as part of its broader anti-DWI education initiatives. The image will be printed on limited-edition posters, T-shirts and in materials used by the agency’s Safety Education and Outreach team when working with teens and college students this summer and fall. DOT also will distribute “Blotto”-branded items at the minor league stadiums for the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees. Staff will host tables with games and prizes designed to educate New Yorkers about the dangers of drunk driving. The stadiums will also distribute “Blotto”-branded coasters and napkins. “Blotto” also will be promoted via social media and will add fresh new visual content to DOT’s “You the Man” anti-DWI campaign Web site, which has been used by the agency for the past three years. YouTheManNYC.org will be updated in the near future with BLOTTO-inspired imagery while also providing helpful tools and resources such as the Ride Finder, which uses GPS to connect users to their nearest taxi and livery services across the five boroughs.
DOT partnered with John Morse for the Curbside Haiku pedestrian safety campaign, launched in Nov. 2011. “Blotto” is paid for by the New York City STOP-DWI program, which is funded with fines from DWI offenders collected within the five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.