DIY 12: 2015 - Simon Farid ‘Nothing To See Here’

Interrogating covert performance practices

Project Summary

Nothing To See Here will ask what we as performers can learn from covert and surveillance workers. To approach this question we will look at a number of sources, from our own experience of surveillance to MI5 job adverts. From these we will enact a series of covert exercises, collectively and individually, in Warrington town centre. Can an action be subversive if it is unregistered? Does it count as subversion if it’s mostly in your own head? If a tree falls and no one notices, can it have a cultural impact? Activities undertaken during the workshop may include wallet swapping experiments, impersonations of authority figures, investigating M15 job adverts, mapping public space in relation to surveillance workers and machines.

After two days of mimicking, impersonating, avoiding and swapping we will have worked towards a better understanding of what it means to see and be seen in notional public space.

This workshop is about covertness and openness, working towards developing a high level of trust within the group by the end of the second day. It may be particularly interesting to practitioners coming from politicised or socially engaged backgrounds, as well as those with an interest in public space. I’m keen to learn as much as you do throughout.

Reflecting all of the above, selection decisions will be based on creating a varied group dynamic, welcoming artists at any stage of their career.

Participants will have to arrange their own travel and accommodation, but lunch will be provided on both days

Application deadline: Deadline passed.

Dates, times, locations

9 - 10 October, 10am to 6pm

Warrington Town Centre

Exact venue to be confirmed 

The Artist

Simon Farid a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. Taking on the role of a hacker or trickster he looks to playfully intervene in the identity-generation process, operating as ‘other people’ and enacting ways to counter emergent institutional identity confirmation mechanisms. (A quick Google search will, of course, reveal where he lives, works, what he looks like and information about other people with whom he shares his name.)


Warrington Town Centre