PROJECT WORKING TITLE: THE STATE THAT WE ARE IN / A TERRIBLE IMPERSONATION
TEAM: ROSIE DENNIS, PAUL GAZZOLA + JEFF STEIN
START DATE: AUG 2009
A new collaborative work that explores the shifting ground between private and public space and the question of intimacy within public exposure.
What are the consequences of the inflationary way that what is private is now being made public? Are people ok with how ones privacy is now celebrated, staged and omnipresent in the media?
We are intrigued to how readily individuals relinquish personal information about themselves in such a voluntary manner and seek to parallel and mimic how such open acts of 'self exposure' within virtual domains would be regarded in the urban frame. Would people be as willing to divulge personal information in real time and space?
What if I stood on the street and told everyone about what I did last night?
What if I stood around asking people if they know me from my school days?
Could I make a YouTube style video of myself dancing in my bedroom and be happy that it is played in the shopping mall where I live?
Would I be happy to make a live recording of myself on the street and allow such a video to be presented in a public setting?
Within the growing popularity of online communities such as Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Blogger and Wordpress, the ability to exchange personal information, share stories, clips, relationship status, histories and future actions, transcends the traditional neighbourhood meet and greets, the workplace cooler discussions and schoolyard gossip. Community now has a global reach and the way one maintains a sense of visibility, within this expanded community inturn has taken on new manifestations.
To - Investigate alternate ways that such 'self confessions' can be made public
- Compare the rules and permissions of virtual spaces with physical public space
- Expose the borders and conflicts that arise between public and private
We aim to do this in a number of ways.
1) Conduct a series of performance experiments ourselves, that include:
- Standing on the street and telling people about what we did last night
- Standing on the street and updating people on what we are doing right now
- Standing on the street and telling people about our holiday
- Ask people if they recognise us from a YouTube video clip?
Film and compile these actions as material for the guerrilla screenings.
2) Set up a roaming cinema and video production house in and around Bankstown that could arrive to a street, offering the citizens to make short movies that they normally would make in the their house and broadcast them to the community. They could make a dance, speak about themselves or someone else, do a duet, lip sync to their favourite pop song, tell a story, stand and do nothing etc
We will take a guerrilla style approach to the filmmaking whereby we shoot, edit and screen the films on the same day. Meetings and interactions with people would be discussed one week before, so that there would be a number of pre arranged meetings but also the chance to create spontaneous films with others.
We will invite people along to the “roaming cinema” screening in the early evenings. Permissions will be sought from the local council to place the ‘roaming cinema’ in Bankstown Old Town Square near the train station.
3) Outline a set of criteria that defines permissible public interactions within public spaces and work on ways to expand and extend the production of intimate spaces within these regulations. Asking how do these definitions/rules of spaces define our actions? What is really permissible in the shopping mall as compared to the cinema, on public transport or in the supermarket?
Make lists of actions both possible and not for certain surroundings
You are not allowed to run
You are not allowed to crawl
You are not allowed to hang out
You are not allowed to wear a hooded jacket
You are not allowed to not carry a shopping bag
You are allowed to listen
You are allowed to look at each other
You are not allowed to talk on your mobile phone
You are not allowed to use a torch to read a book or newspaper
You are not allowed to not have a ticket
You are not allowed to stand up and watch
You are not allowed to talk
You are allowed to find this space ugly
You are allowed to sit around and watch
You are not allowed to take up too much space
You are not allowed to sit on other people’s laps
You are not allowed to sit on other people’s clothing
You are not allowed to talk to other people
You are not allowed to start friendly, serous or inquisitive conversations
You are not allowed to ask personal questions
You are not allowed to comment on other people’s appearance
You are allowed to leave your mobile phone on
You are allowed to be embarrassed
You are allowed to talk a lot
You are allowed to look at each other’s eyes
You are not allowed to put things in the wrong place
You are not allowed to put things in your bag without paying first
You are not allowed to consume goods without paying
You are not allowed to open packages without purchasing
You are not allowed to eat or drink anything and then put it back on the shelves
You are not allowed to remove refrigerated products from refrigerated areas
You are allowed to dance in the aisles
You are allowed to be an arsehole
4) Utilise this set of criteria to create a series of video studies on the theme of intimate locations and places. Make them across a diverse range of public spaces throughout the Bankstown area to film. Screen films at these selected locations and others.