invigilating Digbeth

Since May last year, Paul Conneally and I have been invigilating.

First I invigilated some of the New Forest. Then Paul replied by hopping on the train with the morning commuters and invigilating a building site in Derby.

Shortly after that I wanted to explore what would happen if you had more than one invigilator. I wanted to see how the presence of multiple invigilators affected the dynamics of an area that has to be walked through (rather than just a point location that people can walk past).

invigilating Tokyo

I was in Japan at the time so this gave rise to Invigilator: Tokyo and – inevitably – a whole barrage of further questions!

More recently, Paul and I met up in Nuneaton for the first of the invigilations that we have done together. More questions!

We now feel it is time for us to turn the process around on itself and use the next invigilation to examine its origin: my old part-time job invigilating the gallery space at VIVID.

We want to dissect what we have learned so far.

We want you.

We’re currently gathering people who would like to don red t-shirts and join us on Saturday the 29th of March for Invigilator: Digbeth. We want to scale up the Tokyo action and send small teams of invigilators percolating out through Digbeth: turning the whole cultural quarter thing inside-out to extract people from their barricaded, security-protected warehouses and onto the street for an hour or so.

As a nod to how this series of works came about, we’ll be using VIVID as a base, liberating their red t-shirts, and also returning there for the debrief session and refreshments afterwards.

The invigilations themselves involve following a set of left/right/straight-on directions and then probably about 30 minutes standing around that location being watchful. What we’re after, in order to give Invigilator: Digbeth some clout is a) as many invigilators as possible so we can properly cover a large area and b) some suggestions for relevant starting points for the random walks.

So, for now, we’d like you to do three things for us:

  • Put that date in your diary: 29th of March, 2-5pm.
  • Suggest some cultural venue/art institution-esque starting points that the random walks to the invigilation locations can start from. We know about the obvious ones near to VIVID such as Ikon Eastside, the Custard Factory and the soon to be opened Eastside Projects, but we’d like more. Are there any? Bung something in the comments and let us know about it!
  • Let us know if you’d like to take part. All welcome, but we’d be particularly keen to hear from anyone who would normally work as one of the aforementioned venues.

More details to follow a bit closer to the day, and further invites are being circulated in the real world too.