Legal Performance

Published on 01/06/2009 - Games and methodologies

Co-Learning, Games, Legal, Analogies of digital, Collective learning, Communication tools

Contributors: Constant

From page 1


Important: The more people participate, the better. Aim for a big group which will permit you to work with a long text.


Recipe

• Find a local law concerning groups in public space.
• Select a fragment from this law and split this fragment in as many parts as there are participants to the exercise. Try not to overestimate how much one person can memorise in a few minutes. A few lines per person will do.
• Print out each fragment on an A4 sheet of paper.
• Create a group of people and form a circle.
• Distribute the printed A4's.
• Participants take a few minutes to learn the fragments of the law by heart.
• When ready: the participants speak the text they have memorised one after the other. Take care that the original order of the text is respected when speaking the text.


Example

Initially the exercise was executed in a public space in Brussels where demonstrations and group meetings are prohibited unless explicitly permitted by local authorities. A fragment of the Reglement General de Police D'Ixelles is printed here and could be used to quickly test this exercise with a few people.

"Chapter III Public safety and safe passage
Section 1: Groupings, manifestations, marches
Art. 30
Every get together, demonstration or march of any nature on the public road or in the galeries and corridors of publicly accessible private terrains is subdued to the permission of the mayor. Every application for authorisation needs to be directed to the mayor at last ten days before the beginning of the forseen date and has to include following information:
- name, address and telephone number of organizer(s)
- the subject of the event
- the date and time of the meeting
- the planned route
- the place and time of the end of the event and if so: how the march will be concluded.
- is there a meeting planned at the end of the event?
- estimate of the amount of participants and available vehicles
- the way the organizers arranged security measures"

A separation for a test with 4 people could be:

Person 1:
"Chapter III Public
safety and safe passage
Section 1: Groupings, manifestations, marches
Art. 30
Every get together, demonstration or march of any nature on the public road or in the galeries and corridors of publicly accessible private terrains is subdued to the permission of the mayor."

Person 2:
"Every appplication for authorisation needs to be directed to the mayor at last ten days before the beginning of the forseen date and has to include following information:
- name, address and telephone number of organisor(s)
- the subject of the event"

Person 3:
"- the date and time of the meeting
- the planned route
- the place and time of the end of the event and if so: how the march will be concluded."

Person 4:
"- is there a meeting planned at the end of the event?
- estimate of the amount of participants and available vehicles
- the by the organisors arranged security measures"



3. CODES AND SIGNALISATION


Goal

In many places it is forbidden to paste posters, to spray graffiti, to write on walls, streets, to correct texts, paste stickers on street signage. It is the aim of this exercise to develop low key strategies to communicate in public places using furniture, objects, signage, plants, bicycles, car, pavement, streetlamps or whatever you encounter on site, without breaking the law.

Usually when you read regulations concerning public communication there are many restrictions given, but the law will probably not give examples of what you are allowed to do. It might tell you to ask permission at the the local authorities, but what if you want to communicate a message that will never be authorised or that is illegal?

For this purpose using means of communication that falls outside legislation would be convenient. It is up to the participants in this exercise to use their creative skills to create appropriate methods of communication that make space for new types of messages.


Recipe
 
Before starting:
• Look up local laws on signage and leaving messages in the streets. Take this article to the exercise.
• Find a streetcorner with lots of street furniture, decoration, street signs. It needs to be tranquil so you can hang around for a while with a few people, the street should be quiet and not too broad.
• Inform the participants about the intention of the exercise and contextualise the exercise by refering to local permissions and restrictions concerning communication in public space.

Action:
Make two groups of minimum 4 people.
Both groups take 10 minutes to think of a message it wants to communicate to the other group, and discuss a method of communication that is appropriate.
- Try to avoid known media: (spoken language, written words, gestures ... )
- Try to draw your inspiration from the location: use stones, objects, street design, urban layout rhythms, shadow etc.
- Adapt your message to the tools for communication you selected
- If your means of communication requires time to construct, build, practice: negotiate with the other team

• Group 1 executes message.
• Group 2 guesses which message group 1 sends and the method / manner / language / code they have choosen.
• Group 2 executes message.
• Group 1 guesses which message group 2 sends and the method / manner / language / code they have choosen.

Repeat and improvise.

Evaluate results.


Example

A messenger (white shirt, black shorts in picture) transmits a message in Morse code by stepping rhythmically on the white / yellow striped pavement. The rhythm of his steps matches the short and long intervals used in Morse. In this case the messenger transmits a short and wellknown message: S O S.

This translates to 3x short, 3x long, 3x short.


Extra material

Here's a fragment from the Reglement General de Police D'Ixelles which addresses communication in public place.
 
Article 27
"Without permission of the appropriate authorities or owner of the place, and without respecting the rules as put down in permissive documents drawn up by authorities in power, it is forbidden to paste or hang up posters, writings, messages, stickers or sticky notes. Without permission of owner and / or authorities it is also forbidden to place writing, graffiti, or drawings in public places, and also to damage these by cutting, scratching or carving."

Curiously; the article also mentions that " it is forbidden to cover, smudge, damage, tear, or remove these stickers, notes, posters regardless whether they are put up with or without permission of the authorities." Removing illegal messages is illegal too. Remember this if during your exercise you have produced something of a (semi) permanent nature.
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