trusterbuster is a 20 minute split-site piece which works with ex-military lie detection software, multi-screen video projection and live performance. trusterbuster begins as an intimate interview and descends into an interrogation exploring the pursuit of truth at the expense of personal freedom. set simultaneously in a performance space and a public phone box, performers are equipped with a list of probing questions to ask an invited guest over the telephone, who we suspect of being a potential threat to national security.
with the aid of ex-israeli military lie detection software [truster™], pvi openly interrogate a willing participant of a much loved organisation, who was placed in a public phone booth, wired for sound and monitored via 4 street cameras. the call is aired live and the video is beamed back into the performance space via split-screen video projection.
they are ‘tested’ in front of a live audience for the possibility of having committed international acts of terrorism in accordance with latest anti-terror legislation. truster outputted real time data on the legitimacy of the answers, as pvi performers analyzed, interrogated and interacted with the caller via a series of quick change disguises.
can I say that we have agreed today on unusual laws for australia… we do live in very dangerous and different and threatening circumstances and a strong and comprehensive response is needed. i think all of these powers are needed… they go the necessary distance to do all we can to protect the australian public.”
prime minister john howard on the police powers bill, 27.09.05
trusterbuster is the first in a series of artworks presenting pvi’s tactical campaign to enforce and uphold national security laws and take them to their next logical step. responding to global tightening of anti-terror laws, t r u s t e r b u s t e r questions the breach of our fundamental rights to privacy and the overthrowing of the presumption of innocence in the interests of public safety.
of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. if we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists.?but that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live.”
senator russ feingold on the patriot act, oct 2001
devised & performed by: pvi collective with new associate jackson juliani
production manager: mike nanning
soundscapes by: pvi collective
putting on an act festival, pica jul 2005
trusterbuster performance: 20 minutes. 2005.
a pica commission