UPDATED: "Check Your Phone" guerrilla art sign appears on busy street


A curious sign seemingly ordering drivers to take a look at their cellphones popped up Friday afternoon in downtown Vancouver.

Reading “CHECK YOUR PHONE” with a simple illustration of a smartphone, the sign looks at first glance to be official City of Vancouver signage–but the message is anything but what the city hopes drivers will do. It appears to have been placed on the sidewalk on southbound Burrard Street just before Nelson.

The sign is likely the work of popular Vancouver street artist iHeart, who posted a photo of the sign to his social media accounts with the query “What sign?”

What sign?

A photo posted by iHeart (@iheartstencils) on

The street artist is well-known for his work on the subject of social media and technology. Earlier this summer he set up a rogue exhibition called “#asignofthethetimes” in the Granville Loop Pedestrian Tunnel, which the City of Vancouver promptly took down.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 1.18.49 PM

SEE ALSO: #asignofthetimes street art exhibition under the Granville Loops

We’ve reached out to the City of Vancouver regarding the guerrilla sign, and will update with any comment, should any be provided.

UPDATE: A media representative for The City of Vancouver says they were, indeed, made aware of the sign, and had it taken away as soon as possible. “The sign was removed as it contravenes several bylaws including the sign bylaw, the street and traffic bylaw as it is chattel on the street, and the graffiti bylaw,” explained the City of Vancouver rep via email to Vancity Buzz. “Also, such a distraction is not safe for road users – motorists [and] cyclists not pedestrians.”

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com

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