MANCHESTER BLIND SPOTS
Performative research, walk and lecture video.
Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester (UK)
Get Lost! Psychogeography festival and Territories Reimagined: International Perspectives, (TRIP) MMU June 2008.
Manchester Piccadilly Gardens is a public park in the centre of Manchester that was renovated in 2001, winning multiple architecture and landscape awards. Based on a 5 day long period of research including interviews with passerbys, participant observation and performative disruptions Blind Spots was a performance lecture that combined performance and architecture, practice and theory, intervention and lecture to explore the city as a stage for every day performances which construct reality. We investigated the architectural design of the Gardens, its history, the legislation that controlled the space and how these elements sometimes contrasted with and sometimes reinforced the formal and the informal actions that took place there. The lecture walk highlighted the conventions and rules that organise the ‘social character’ of Piccadilly Gardens, focused on what can be done and where and offered a socio-spatial critique of these structures, alongside inviting the audience to playfully intervene in the routines of the Gardens.
The on-site research and the performance lecture formed the base for a lecture video of the same title.