CHOREOGRAPHY OF CROWD CONTROL
The ability to express dissent in the public sphere is increasingly under threat from the privatisation of public space, the repression of protest, and a restrictive definition of legitimate democratic activity. All of this is cloaked and justified in the language of security, safety and consensus. Two works will be shown at PICA that explore these themes, Public Circulation (keep moving) and The Public Eye (Watching the Watchers).
Public Circulation (keep moving)
Public circulation (keep moving) is a stylised, choreographic performance based on crowd control techniques. Created in consultation with people who have first hand experience of the regulating techniques used by police, security guards and public administrators, this new work features a team of security professionals that will occupy public spaces within PICA and the Perth Cultural Centre. Through a series of live interventions, this security presence will interact with members of the public, reworking familiar methods of public control and redeploying them in humorous, absurd and sinister ways.
Public Circulation (keep moving) is part of the Public Order series. This series of works began in 2014 with Nothing to See Here (Dispersal) and Closed to the Public (Protecting Space). It sits between performance, live and participatory art and is presented in diverse contexts, including galleries, performance spaces and the public sphere. The artisys employ an accumulative model of creating, in which each work is both an experimental development and an independent outcome.
Their 2014 work, Nothing to See Here (Dispersal) was nominated for a Green Room Award for Outstanding Contemporary and Experimental Performance. Amy and Catherine recently presented another work in the series, Ordering the Public, at the 2015 Vienna Biennale. With each new work, the artists test and build new strategies into the repertoire of techniques the use in live, interventionist performances.
The Public Eye (Watching the Watchers)
The artists will also be developing a new work: The Public Eye (Watching the Watchers) in the PICA galleries.
The Public Eye (Watching the Watchers) is a series of tests and experiments for a new delegated performance involving security guards being developed by Amy Spiers, Catherine Ryan and Ashley Dyer. The work is about surveillance, watching and being watched.
In all sorts of public spaces, indoors and outdoors, surveillance takes place. Most parts of our urban environment are bristling with security cameras. Many of us carry two cameras and a microphone around with us in our pockets at all times (our smart phones). Security personnel everywhere are kept busy profiling, risk assessing, reporting, surveilling, monitoring, securing, ordering, tracking and observing. The Public Eye (Watching the Watchers) draws on the skills of real security personnel to make these activities visible and audible in absurd, humorous ways.