SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A local artist is claiming responsibility for the “No Tech Zone” signs posted in several San Francisco parks last month.

The official-looking signage featuring a red line struck across a smart device threatened violators with a steep $300 fine. Confused onlookers wondered its authenticity as the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department worked quick to take the signs down from Alamo, Dolores and other city parks.

Then last Sunday, San Francisco-based interactive artist Ivan Cash revealed in a video he was behind the project.

The surge of free WiFi in public places and the proliferation of smart device use in recreational places inspired Cash to give residents “just a little reminder,” he explains in the video.

“Parks have historically served as safe havens from the fast pace of city life. And for this reason it strikes me as bizarre, seeing so many park­goers staring at their screens rather than taking in the scenic view of their natural surroundings,” Cash told The Guardian. “To me it feels especially paradoxical, being totally consumed by a screen in a place defined for its lack of modern technology.”

Aside from making social commentary, “I hope the signs put a smile on people’s faces,” Cash said.

Nicole Jones is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco. Follow her musings @nicjonestweets

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