The Short Message Service


Born during the hybrid arts lab: Time Place Space 6 and premiering at Melbourne’s Next Wave Festival in 2010, The Short Message Service is an investigation into a participatory form of performance that creates a charged power relationship between its audience and performers; investigating power and complicity in 21st century culture. The work parallels a number of infamous mid-twentieth century psychology experiments that occurred in response to both the atrocities of WWII and the assassination of Martin Luther King; including Stanley Milgram’s Milgram Experiment, Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment and Jane Elliott’s Blue-eyed/Brown-eyed.

The performance guides audience members through the use of screen-based provocations. Audience SMS text, physical actions and directions which are enacted and spoken by two performers. Two visible technicians receive the text messages and relaying them to the performers through wireless audio communication.


Leah Shelton, Lachlan Tetlow-Stuart, Mish Grigor and Jackson Castiglione (with dramaturgy from Teresa Crea).