Simon Farid: Week 8 - Seeing Unsighted Sites

Posted on Mar 09, 2015 by  | Tags: Simon Farid  | Comments (0)

This week I returned to my interaction with Constance Humphries, centered around me trying out her methodology in developing her 'Seen/Unseen Durational Performances'. Audio of my interview with her about this can be heard here

Using her instructions for finding a private site in a public space in which to perform unseen, I set out on a series of walks around Newcastle city centre in an effort to find such a suitable site. This essentially meant finding somewhere outside, in public space, in which I could remain unseen and undisturbed for a period of time, which I set at 5 minutes. 

From Constance's interview, my methodology for finding these private/public spaces was to look for the following: 

Backs of shops
Places without buildings
No retail
No traffic (human or machine)

Here are some images of spaces around Newcastle city centre which initially seemed right, but actually weren't as private as one would expect:

In each of these spaces I was unable to remain for more than two minutes before someone walked past. 

Walking around the city using these rules was a very productive way of finding new parts of Newcastle. In a sense this in itself was a productive exercise, recalling some of my previous efforts to re-publicise notional public space through covert use. 

After much wandering I found a suitable site. I returned early the next morning and performed my Seen/Unseen Durational Performance. Documentation is below.


Bye ya

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, 2015

This piece explored saying goodbye to a place that has been an important backdrop to my life, and yet has little feeling of true connection. 


I sent the above documentation to Constance before sharing it here. In response Constance suggested her trying my performance:

Being into identity work, I of course said yes to the proposed continuation of our collaboration in the form of 'Can I Be You?'. After discussing some parameters, I supplied Constance with some instructions for finding the site, recalling my interactions with Mani at the start of my residency here: 

Constance then sent me some thoughts about what the work will be exploring:

Constance will be performing 'Can I Be You?' shortly (I shouldn't say exactly when, so as not to disrupt potential unseenness). When this is completed, she will supply me with a report and maybe some documentation of this element of 'Can I Be You?' I will post all in this blog, if completed in time, and we will then consider whether 'Can I Be You?' could be taken further. 

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