Half A Brick In A Carrier Bag

A Circle of Surveillance

Conneally & Pugh

'Half A Brick In A Carrier Bag' is a piece collected during Invigilator : Digbeth a psychogeographic exploration of Birmingham's developing 'Cultural Quarter'.

Paul Conneally and Nikki Pugh ask teams of 'Invigilators' to choose a starting place from somewhere within Digbeth - each team chose a different starting place. The teams set off following a single set of directions - the left and rights and straight overs of Pugh's former 'Walk to Work' as a gallery invigilator at VIVID.

When they feel that they have reached their destination the Invigilators tidy up the area a little and watch over it for a set period of time before returning to VIVID where Conneally and Pugh lead a conversation around the feelings, perceptions, stories that arise out of the invigilation process.

One team become aware they are themselves being constantly watched over as they walk and in fact they then begin to consciously watch the watching devices. As they settle themselves down to benignly watch over the area the CCTV operators get curious as to why their cameras are being watched. This sets up a circle of surveillance - the watchers watched by watchers - one set watching in the name of security, the other in the name of cultural exploration. This leads to the Invigilators being stopped and questioned by a police surveillance van. When told simply that they were 'doing art' the police say "oh.. ok" and the van moves off. The team at this point have a carrier bag with half a brick in it and wonder what would have happened if this had been discovered.

In our streets it is now almost impossible to vanish. We are now watched it seems from almost every building, every corner and yet somehow we feel less safe. Conneally and Pugh ask us to consider what might happen if we were to ditch the cameras and instead benignly watch over each other, look out for each other when we can, leaving the space for one to physically, culturally, morally vanish if one so chooses.

INVIGILATOR : DIGBETH is the 5th in the INVIGILATOR series the others being INVIGILATOR:NEW FOREST, INVIGILATOR:DERBY, INVIGILATOR:TOKYO and INVIGILATOR:NUNEATON. The INVIGILATOR series itself forms part of Conneally's ongoing Walk to Work series of works.

"for a better world play golf on the moon"