about deadspace darktext livescan
a live art event based on the telephone interception bill that was passed in australia during july 2000.
deadspace creatively interrogated the telephone interception legislation that allowed for civilian phone lines to be tapped and recorded without their permission or knowledge if a ‘subversive keyword’ was triggered during a conversation.
pvi begin the performance by announcing their intentions to call a number at random from the phone book and engage a complete stranger in an intimate conversation. deadspace aimed to subvert a seemingly innocent conversation by highlighting any keywords or phrases that may be deemed ‘dangerous’ by the joint uk / usa international phone-tap system.
the piece also looked to confront audiences with the growing social appetite for voyeurism as tv entertainment. deadspace strategically places the audience as a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ voyeur, listening in to the personal calls live in the performance space, incriminating them in an ‘illegal spy activity’.
deadspace was subject to criticism due to the ethics involved in broadcasting the phone calls for a live audience, as the assumption was made that our callers were unaware of the live audience on the other end of the phone line. it also went on to win ‘the best of the fringe’ award at perth fringe festival in 2002.
devised & performed by pvi collective
putting on an act festival, perth institute of contemporary arts, july 2000. wa fringe festival, blue room theatre, february 2001
wa fringe festival award for best performance in the fringe 2001