Billboard #1 was a one-week text installation on the Waffle Shop marquee-lettered billboard in Pittsburgh, PA. At the time, the Waffle Shop juried all text proposals and physically installed the letters for each accepted project. The billboard had a limited number of letters that could be used (16 E's, 8 P's, etc.) and pieces are confined to 5 lines with a maximum of 25 characters per line.Marboe coordinated the project from Oakland and hired/directed a wedding photographer in Pittsburgh to photograph the work. Her aim was to tell a short, personal story about storage within the public setting/space of the billboard.
The billboard has been advertising a different message nearly every week for the past two-and-a-half years and has become "almost a speech bubble for the building," said Jon Rubin, an artist and an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art…Mr. Rubin, whose specialty is contextual art, is the creator behind the Waffle Shop…One of Mr. Rubin's favorite submissions came from Kari Marboe, a woman who lives Oakland, Calif. Ms. Marboe, an artist who is interested in how art can be both fleeting and archived, heard about the billboard and the request for submissions. She sent in her own, a love letter to her boyfriend as they moved in together into a tiny loft in California. For a week in February, her words were perched above the East Liberty storefront: " I love you is such an enormous gift that I need to house it here for a week so that we can use the apartment."