The Spy School exercise #8


One focus of my recent work has been public space, its regulation and control. In the UK, the struggle against the private appropriation of once-common land (the enclosure movement) has a long history. In recent years, technologies such as CCTV surveillance systems exercise control over space without the need for physical borders. The twin forces of corporatisation and technological control of space exert considerable pressure on citizens' abilities to claim basic rights (of free association, of diginity). Similar trends are seen globally, including in Hong Kong.  Manu Luksch




A short presentation some works and ideas on the ab/use of public space, workshop participants were introduced to a set of questions regarding its disappearance/function/control/ownership.

The main task was to identify 'public' spaces on Hong Kong's map and to imagine a  temporary enhancement of their usability.
The new suggested use was  developed as a scenario, which was carried out through the use of an "unfoldable temporary public space"  – a plastic mat based area, about 2m x 2m, on which activities took place. The mat indicated the layer of rules of the space and the rights that may be exercised there. THE UPS should be easily portable by 1 or 2 people, and may also include folding stools or tables, games, offices, etc.

 - discussion / online research local laws that restrict activities in public space (eg. hawking), and also legislation (in Hong Kong or elsewhere)  that grant rights (eg. of access to green space).
- scripting of implementation of improvements for the use or creation of public space
- video filming of ideas, possibly outdoor, or with blue screen (to be inserted into photographed space later, or against found online image of space in question...)


reading material and links can be found at the website of my recent project about the hyper-regulation of public space, Limitations Permitted


supported by Para/Site Art Space and Videotage