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cardiff walk

October 29-30 , 2005


Black jacket buttoned-up and black wheeled-suitcase in tow, Michelle Teran could have been just anybody, wandering around the Central Station area on this grey Cardiff afternoon. Little did passers-by know, concealed in her clothing was a video scanner and a mic, picking up tit-bits of signals being broadcast by surveillance cameras and being screened on the back of the case she tugged along behind her.

A policewoman, oblivious to the technology hidden away, asks Michelle whether she is looking for the station. "No," she replies blankly whilst her audience chuckle behind her. Similarly, a child who spots the TV screen in the back of her case yells "Mad woman!" She is used to this by now.

Michelle led her spectators from The Hayes to a Riverside housing estate with regular pauses to tune the equipment. Michelle remained anonymous throughout. What did grab the attention of strangers was the Pied Piper-like group of digital followers who traipsed a few paces behind her, fixated on the suitcase.


Attracting bemusement and catcalls as she tuned her equipment in search of signals, Teran first showed her tag-along audience pictures from an aerial CCTV camera capturing the scene after a city hotel collapsed, and was then verbally abused by a bar owner who objected to his punters being shown footage of themselves under surveillance.

Cardiff Walk was commissioned by the May You Live in Interesting Times Festival.