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are you ready for some serious play?

about deviator

deviator players are charged with the mission of seeking out hidden audio instructions which encourage them to temporarily transform their city into a playground.

from the tiniest of private deviations to the boldest of public actions, deviator blends radically altered versions of children’s games with subtle live performance, placing audiences as interventionists out on the streets, ready to creatively disrupt the city, one game at a time.

for children, the street has always been a de-facto playground. the ‘juvenile code’ rules supreme in a playground; space becomes transformed from its original intent, reality becomes flexible and the capacity to be creative and deviate from the norm is fundamental. deviator proposes revisiting the city streets with play in mind, inviting adults to rediscover a sense of freedom and consider public space as one of playful enquiry.

deviator is inspired by the situationist’s psycho-geography and ‘the coming insurrection’ an anonymous book written in 2007 which is part anti-materialist manifesto and part manual for a modern day revolution. deviator activates philosophies around revolution, positioning ‘games’ as a potential trigger to alter the official narratives of place.

click image to view the project gallery
click image to view the project gallery
click image to view the project gallery
click image to view the project gallery


the thought the show provokes is about the odd tension, in 21st century urban life, between the infantile and the desperately over-controlled; between leisure lives that seem increasingly childish, and public and professional lives ever more grimly focused and dehumanised. the value of deviator is that it bridges that gap, and reminds us that rich full lives demand a more integrated sense of humanity; both play that is less mindless, and a public life that is more playful, more creative, and less dismal

joyce mcmillan
the scotsman 25.7.12

I felt like a kid with a secret. I felt like I owned the city. [...] My friend and I felt like we’d been on a 45-minute holiday, then returned to our regularly scheduled post-work programming. Deviator stung us awake and made our city new.

Lauren Carroll Harris
realtime isea2013 edition, june 2013

4.5 stars

It’s incredibly effective. The headphones and smartphone reduce, if not eliminate, self-consciousness by giving participants a reason to pole-dance in public and run away from people in clown wigs, and by aurally separating you from the city. Participants are then reconnected to the space under a whole new set of rules for interaction. The work is amazingly clever at every level – from the overall concept, to the philosophies explored, to the individual games presented.

zoe barron

creative team

devised by
pvi collective
remixes by
jason sweeney
deviator games voice overs by
jess chappell & kelli mccluskey
designed by
sohan ariel hayes & benjamin forster
development and programming by
steve berrick & chris mccormick
technical consultancy by
prof. mark billinghurst [hitlab nz]

special thanks to: the motherfcukers in each city

show info

performance history

waves festival, vordinborg, denmark, august 2015

the waves festival motherfcukers: vera hartvig, rebecca schønberg, anton sprange, ricki ploug hall, nana lind, jonna colding, thomas neergaard, lukas kirkeby, christian otto.

malmöfestivalen, malmö, sweden, august 2015

the malmöfestivalen motherfcukers: ben wright, laura lohi, anette jellne, sarah bellugi, kristian refslund, george pelagias, pili abaurrea zardoya, camille marchadour, peter jansson, patrick bregdall.

perth institute of contemporary arts, perth, wa march 2013

the motherfcukers: tarryn runkel, danielle micich, bianca martin, bonnie davies, sarah rowbottam, ofa fotu, laura hopwood, jen jamieson, dank, chris williams, james mccluskey, arielle gray, renae coles.

apam, 2012 (extract)

surge festival, glasgow, uk, july 2012

the motherfcukers: liz strange, laura edwards, justina kaminskaite, alice bunker-whitney, daniel livingston, saras feijoo, dan oliveira, ammie jay, chris a w milligan, stephanie arsoska, mark traynor, macarena andrews, louise shankly, hollie johnson, sooree pillay, carolyn wood, patricia suarez

canberra + sydney

the motherfcukers: leon ewing, kate jane, rosie simmonds, scott parker, sam chester, sian ewers, coleman grehan, ellis hutch, tanya voges, alex rouse, olivia fyfe, sandra carluccio


the motherfcukers: steve glass, kyra kimpton, michele fairbairn, lachlan tetlow-stuart, elizabeth hay, indigo eli, tamara lee, steve noonan


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