As visual images increasingly cover the façade of social space and public life, the utility of these surfaces-of-display must be examined beyond displayed content. The preponderance of surfaces says something about the publics that stand before the invitation of visual communication. Before an encounter with content, there is the encounter with surface. As the Nike, Inc. advertising campaign “Chamber of Fear” reveals, that encounter serves a vital purpose in the relationship between publicity and visual communication.

I thank Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Robert Hariman, Keith Topper, and countless others for providing feedback during the development of this project.

This content is only available as a PDF.