CCTV ‘Ballet’

Week starting 23rd March

We have decided after our meeting/ presentation with Conan that we would try to get some CCTV footage of the Castle Square, from the camera situated on the corner of the Magna Carter so we could have it on one of the iPads we will be using.

Our group created a piece of theatre and performed it to a CCTV camera for 30 minutes. Rachel gave us the idea to do this and called it a ‘CCTV Ballet’, we also took some inspiration from a group Surveillance Players who have done a lot of CCTV performances, their performances/ protests focus on political issues and say that “The surveillance camera Players are not watching you. They are watching the cameras, because we have forgotten to.” (Surveillance Camera Players, 2006) We are using their ideas of performing to the camera to create awareness of CCTV cameras and how they are constantly watching us.

We then thought that it would be interesting to walk in any direction across, through Castle Square, Tania still being the constant and following wherever the CCTV camera pointed next. Instead of walking away we decided that we would all stand in a line facing the camera, count down from 10 then disband in different directions and repeat this where ever the camera moved to again.


I personally found it really interesting and actually quite enjoyable, we were all quite apprehensive and nervous at first but then after the first 5 minutes we were all enjoying ourselves. It was really interesting to see people’s reactions to what we were doing, passers-by were confused, and some were interested in what we were doing which was good because they stayed to watch, also workers were giving us odd looks as we moved around the square.

To get the CCTV footage we’ve had to do some research around how to retrieve it and who to contact. We have may have to make a Freedom of Information Act request or we may be able to get the footage through Lincoln City Council.

GOV (2015) Make a Freedom of Information Request. [online] United Kingdom: GOV. Available from [Accessed on 28 March 2015]

Surveillance Camera Players (2006) 1984 [online video] Available from [Accessed 10 April 2015]


Here’s a link to my flickr for more pictures

Lets back track to 9th of March

Weeks starting 9th of March

After scrapping the idea of a Ghost Walk we came up with a new idea based around CCTV cameras specifically the one on the corner of the Magna Carter. We thought that it would be interesting to look at people and how they crossed the space, thinking about why they were there, where they were going or coming from and how they actually crossed the space.

We decided to base and call the piece after something a group member heard on one of our Site Specific lessons as we were walking in a large group. The passer-by said “Nothing happens here apart from us”. We wanted to capture ‘us’ so we decided that an interesting way to do that would be to use time lapse photography and turn them into videos, by doing this we could show our subject (everyday people) happen slowly, yet when put into a time lapse video creates a smooth impression of motion. A subject that changes quickly is transformed into rush of activity.


Taking time lapses from these 4 directions will hopefully allow us to capture different angles of activity in the square. We are also thinking about having a live feed for the actual performance and having a laptop stationed in one of the Magna Carter pubs windows, so audience members can come and see a time lapse video that is happening at that moment or we are also thinking about having one of us wear a GoPro that could follow different people around the square. Alongside this we will have 2 people in the square holding iPads that will be showing the time lapses we have taken and the other 3 people will be moving around the square following people as they cross or will be wearing a GoPro doing the same thing.

We also had an idea of recording voices to layer over the time lapse videos which would give the videos more of a purpose and depth, we would do this by having headphones connected to the iPads so the audience could come to watch and listen.

Most watched nation

As we get on with our lives we forget about the fact that we are being watched via CCTV cameras dotted around our own towns. Do people realise that there are cameras? If they do would they act differently in the space? What would be the factors that would change the way people acted in a space; Weather? Time of day? A more obvious act of filming?

To enhance our knowledge of space and behaviour it would mean undertaking a lengthy proccess studying the space and people. It would also only be fair to study expected variables that might change the results. Spaces can be transformed from empty connections for destinations, to a lively bustling loaction that has become a destination. A space can coax families or couples as a resting place, or be a loaction for workmen to carry out their duties. People that pass through the space might have a life long connection to it, having lived there most of their lives, but will not pay attention to their surroundings on a daily basis. On the other hand it can be a site for tourists that will see everything in great detail, as they might not ecounter it again. What behaviour will set these people apart?

From walking around Lincoln, apperaing as tourists, a group member overheard a local man say “Nothing happens here apart from us.” as if to imply it’s a waste of time looking around this patch. It’s easy for local people to become used to their surroundings and see the ‘attractions’ as more of a practical thing or nothing that special. By saying that nothing happens there apart from them, he is suggesting that all the community do is simply live, when in fact it is because of them living that the place thrives. They are a crucial, relevant component in making the space what it is, without them the space becomes nothing.

Maybe if we linked both notions of CCTV and ‘nothing happening’ in the space we can inflict a healthy reflection on the people that they are important.

Our group intend to study and relfect a site using modern technologies, over the next few weeks we will mimick the CCTV camera located in a prime area of Lincoln using timelapses.



Don’t worry be happy :)






Hi everyone!

Haven’t blogged in a while and I think it’s about time I did. So since the Blog I posted last, I’ve been a busy bee with my group (Georgia, Beth & Luke). We have started to explore some of our new ideas and theories as well as learning more about local folk tales and legends associated with uphill lincoln especially with Pottergate as well as the secret garden.

Some of the sessions we have explored uphill have developed our readings further by physically doing some of the tasks, tours & movements that have come from many of the weekly set readings. One I enjoyed was a set list of tasks that was given to everyone as a group by Rachel to do three things that would affect the space without physically damaging private & public property. Finally I can say i’ve performed as a tree in Lincoln, something that people think drama students do in their degree for three years.
The picture I’ve attached on to this post was taken a couple of weeks ago as part of the set tasks given to us by Rachel. With this quote I feel it was the right thing to put up as the day we wrote the quotes it was pouring down with rain. In all fairness our quote paper wasn’t respected or appreciated as much as we would like. An elderly lady thought we were littering the bushes and trees with paper, I think if she had asked why were we doing this project  I feel we could of brighten her day saying we were creating performance art for all to enjoy.
For now i’m going to look up who owns Pottersgate to see if we can explore the room/s inside the archway gate.


Initial ideas and sparks of inspiration

Our fourth time venturing up Steep Hill to our given site, and it was pouring it down with rain. After having brilliant blue sky and sunshine weather for the past few weeks (albeit still being very cold), it is of no surprise that it made us view the site in quite a miserable way. Despite the awful weather, we continued to explore our site and the possibilities of performance. In this session we had formed our groups, mine consisting of: Charlie, Jess, Megan and myself. We had originally tried to write messages and leave them in certain places around the cathedral and keep an eye out for passers-by to see if they would notice and comment about them. However, with the weather clearly not being in our favour and getting harder, we decided this probably wouldn’t work and took our inspiration indoors. It was in this session that we discovered how hard it is to begin creating something for Site Specific Performance – it is so open to ideas, that we could practically begin from anywhere. Struggling to spark initial ideas of where to go and what to do, we decided to think back to previous tasks we had done whilst exploring Uphill Lincoln. We thought back to last weeks session of misguided tours and our individual interests when creating our maps and decided to take a walk round the inside of the cathedral and subtly listen in to various people’s conversations. We headed to an unusual part of the Cathedral that none of us had been in, ‘Chapter House’ which happens to be where parts of the Da Vinchi Code was filmed. Having seen bits of it in the film, it was incredible to see the architecture and its brilliance in real life. We sat round on the seating area surrounding the round room and were commenting upon the organ that was placed in the room and how incredible the acoustics of the room must sound. At this moment when we were discussing this, we noticed a family come through the door: A mum, dad and two little boys. The first boy ran into the space shouting and running to the back wall and it immediately changed the atmosphere of the place we had quietly been admiring. He then sat down at the far side of the room gazing up at the ceiling. The mum, dad and the other little boy sat down on the right hand side of us, explaining to the little boy some history he knew of this room and how people in generations gone by would ‘have discussions’ in the room. We continued to observe the first little boy and began to think how different a child would look at the Cathedral, in comparison to someone of our age. I knew at their age I found places like the Cathedral extremely boring and quite scary places. What did that little boy think?

After spending around 5-10 minutes in Chapter House, we decided to go to the Cathedral Cafe and listen in to more conversations. Whilst we were there, we found it quite hard to listen in without seeming overtly obvious. Instead, we began to write down any ideas or places that seemed to spark any of our interests during the day. Here are some of the things we listed to look at or research further:

  • Looking at the space with a child-like mindset – interview children about some of the pictures (below) we have taken surrounding the Cathedral?
site 9

Photo Credit: Charlie Roberts, February 2015.

site 7

Photo Credit: Charlie Roberts, February 2015.

site 11

Photo Credit: Charlie Roberts, February 2015.

  • The Archways around the Cathedral – Stepping back in time, like a time capsule: the old and the new.


  • The Hut, or ‘pixie’ hut as we referred to it outside the Cathedral – what myths does it have. Could we combine fact and fiction into our piece?


  • Alfred Lord Tennyson statue – research some of his poems and reflect them back into the space in some way.


  • The picture of the man’s head coming out of the wall. What is his story?


  • Layers of perception – photo within a photo idea from our previous session.

Our job now is to do further research into these ideas and see which one sparks the most interest.