This will obviously raise eyebrows in the the advertising community, as well as in companies that depend on advertisement revenues. But it also raises important questions about authorship, the dissemination of art, hacking theory, and web site design.
Who, for example, is the author of a web site with an add-art replacement? What are the ethics of hacking the site to replace, for example, the New York Times’ rotating selection of advertisements in certain locations? Eye tracking studies have shown us that users are now reading web pages in an F pattern that essentially makes invisible most web page advertisements (which very often appear in the space between the two horizontal lines in the F). Could this impact the way we read? Or, more exactly, what we pay attention to on web pages? These kinds of hacks are exciting because they help show how maleable texts are and how antiquated the term “single-authorship” is.