Public Protocols


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Image by Sam Holleran

Join us this weekend as we see interventions and installations in and around MPavilion by 30 young people—with a series of digital-physical performances that trace and explore the mundane and novel ways we use the city.

After four weeks online, the Public Protocols program moves into the real world as their month-long exploration of public space culminates in IRL performative actions.

The four part workshop invited young participants of all backgrounds to expand on February’s theme of “Rituals: Marking Life”—exploring public space through digital and physical performative research that finds inspiration in daily rituals and movement.

During each week’s meeting, participants were prompted to react to a particular question about public space. Through a series of performative mappings, investigative reports and actions, participants explores different areas of Melbourne as they worked at developing new skills in spatial analysis. Space Saloon’s interdisciplinary workshop included inputs from architects, urban designers, researchers, choreographers, dancers and scenographers. The approach is experimental and open to new inputs as we collectively reinterpret the ways in which Melbourne is used, lived in and perceived today during the global shift imposed by the pandemic.

Participants were invited to join the online sessions via an open call, and are aged between 18-25 living in Victoria, with no prior experience necessary.

This program is be led by Space Saloon (Rebecca van Beeck, Gian Maria Socci, Danny Wills) x Sam Holleran

This program is made possible by our presenting partner Bloomberg Philanthropies.



SATURDAY 26 february 

Sophia Petropoulos
Can We Calculate Our Consciousness?
Royal Botanical Gardens and around MPavilion

Inspired by the principles of consciousness and Jungian psychology, this activation will document the concept of synchronicity, a.k.a, meaningful coincidence. Through techniques of manifestation and mindfulness, I will travel through the Botanical Gardens being guided by only the letters of my name. Where I go and what I find, I will then draw onto my skin, creating a channel for the mind and universe to connect.


Jarel Cheah
Gallery View
Princes Bridge sidewalk

After spending two years in and out of lockdowns, we are pretty accustomed to Zoom interactions. Part of this is the “Gallery View” we select when interacting with groups of friends/family. How do we view our interactions with people in person if they are presented as a gallery?  Our daily rituals of virtual interactions are reinterpreted into a physical context.


Anna Mueller and Mia Verevis
Around MPavilion
Recording Saturday, 11am-2pm, available through Sunday

Inspired by the various sounds of the Melbourne city streets, “street-bites” aims to capture the everyday noise of the city that so many of us tend to overlook or even despise, and turn it into an interactive musical experience. We will walk around the streets and public spaces in the vicinity of MPavillion, recording and documenting life in the city through the medium of sound. This may include voice narration, street sounds or nature (in Queen Victoria and Alexandra gardens). Visitors of  MPavilion are invited to scan the QR code at the pavilion, presented next to a map of locations, and participate in this immersive audio experience.


Tess Nettlefold
The Summertime Territory?
Federation Square

In Australia, where our major cities are hinged to the coastlines, summertime for many is escaping to water for relief from the sweltering sun. As the masses flow into the pools, the beaches, the river spots, vacant territory can be easily defined, where the towel isn’t. The summertime territory aims to test this shared ritual of understanding in a foreign context, the bustle of urban public space.


Reuben Daamen
Tunnel Conversations
Around MPavillion


Lucinda Kolitsis

The streets which I have come to know so intimately over lockdown are now somewhat meaningless, devoid of spontaneity, reminiscent of attempts to escape the home for a momentary breath of air. In an attempt to challenge my routine engagement with the streets, I will walk from my home in Brunswick to MPavillion, on the hunt for objects that alter how I imagine my presence amongst the streets of Melbourne. By the end of my journey I will have gathered a bouquet of items, which will then be tied to the MPavillion as a physical representation of my journey.


Loughlin O’Kane + Audrey Avianto
Publicly Private
2pm till the iPad runs out

Following the bed’s recent ascension to the most used item of furniture in the home over the last two years Publically Private highlights the strange phenomena of working in a public digital space from the privacy of the bed. Occupying the strange private and public venture of the City of Melbourne and Naomi Millgrim Foundation. Publicly Private places a camping mattress and a pillow in the centre of the MPavillion crudely making physical the previously digital contrast.

The bed will then become the site of work for the public to witness. Lasting  for the life of an aged depleted battery iPad, the happening will be documented by a transcription model running during a public Zoom call with Audrey who will be occupying her bed in Sydney.

Join Zoom Meeting (Meeting ID: 792 6755 7869, Passcode: Yg1mTX)


Cathy Chan
Show Me Your Racket
An unconventional ping pong consecutive bouncing experience
By the Yarra river and around MPavilion

“This is not a racket, but this is a racket.”

The experience was designed to challenge the conventional ways of everyday life. And the object “racket” was chosen as the tool to explore. Aiming to look into how different people can create a new meaning to objects.


Elaine Wang
Picnic at Princess Bridge
Princes Bridge (niches)
Saturday, 2-3pm

The niches on Princess bridge are generally accepted as public spaces where people can pause at leisure and take in the view of the river. Tourists, selfie-takers, as well as the homeless often find themselves in competition for the possession of such spaces. This project purposes to stage a picnic in one of the niches to explore the unspoken etiquettes evolving around the usage of public space. While the act of picnic is non-aggressive and self-contained, to what extent is the appropriateness of such public behavior determined by the setting? How free really are we to use public spaces the way we desire?


SATURDAY 26 february + SUNDAY 27 february

Sophie Cochrane
Body Corpse: Metro Tunnel Percolator Projects
MPavilion, Southbank, CBD
All day Saturday and Sunday

The artist considers whether the architecture of our city serves our needs, and reflects on how routines as mundane and comforting as the morning coffee move beyond the privacy of our four walls and into public space.
For this exploration of the blurred in-between of public and private the artist asks you to contribute two videos for the construction of an exquisite-corpse series by recording architecture and happenings with these words in mind: Under construction, dilapidated, vacant, cold, warm, familiar, intimate, ritual.
Submit your recordings to this project here.


Will Scobie
Tools of (re)Discovery
All Day Saturday/Sunday


This participatory collaboration challenges the ways in which phones impact our interactions with public spaces and people. We have developed rituals surrounding apps (tools) that shape our perception of and interaction with the city, but there are a variety of tools that can help us (re)discover public spaces. This activation uses randomisation to suggest a tool that might change your relationship with the city and your phone. You are invited to document a (re)discovery and share this either through the project website, social media or a (re)discovered tool. Please use #publicprotocols and tag @tools_of_rediscovery



Lily Thomson
Compliment Stand
Around MPavilion

Come and let yourself be seen and complemented (for free) at The Complement Stand. You may keep these compliments in writing or just experience them in the moment. This is a feel-good experiment encouraging people to embrace themselves, others and the giving of kind words away to strangers as a regular practice within the CBD.  


Hayden Brown
Instagramming The Lightcatcher: A Crowdsourced Guide
Around MPavilion

Inspired by projects such as Vale Architects’ Instagram Design Guide, participants will attempt to find the ‘best’ way to capture the MPavilion for an Instagram audience, interrogating the pavilion’s design qualities as well as the participant’s modes of capture. The ‘guide’ will be made up of annotated ‘screenshots’ of the posts (taken on the day), and supplemented with ‘behind-the-scenes’ images documenting their construction, and possibly with further images from the entire MPavilion season taken from social media. 


Aislinn King
happenstance happendance

“it was just happenstance that I happened to be there” I am exploring the notion of happenstance. A moment held within the grid construct of the MPavilion, its temporal shadow frame cast on the yellow ground, capturing a person’s fleeting stance.

The intention is for each person to record that moment on their phone via photo or video as a shadowstance or shadowdance. The frame of the recording should be focussed on just their feet and the shadow grid on yellow. This recording or photo can then be uploaded to instagram tagging @happenstance_happendance The collation will reveal moments of shared temporal space. 


Enzo Lara-Hamilton
Greenwashing Apparatus 

Flinders Street Station
11:30am-12.30pm and 3:00pm-4:00pm

The pestilent manifestations of faux-sustainable tactics to make us c o n s u m e have infected this city. This bodily apparatus and performance intensifies, satirically, these symptoms of an illness, that of surplus capital obsession.  


Jack Cohen
Publicly Punctuated Pause
Melbourne Arts Precinct, Southbank, Flinders Street Station, and Queen Victoria Gardens

Now that the city has well begun to conduct itself with its quasiregular motions and dynamisms once again, how might the same standstill be addressed when not legislated nor private? This performance will pause in various specific locations about the city, only ceasing the act once interrupted by a member of the public. From the series of anti-covert stake outs, each space’s capacity for unquestioned public being will be tested, lengths noted, and final nadir recorded for publishing.




Rhys Cousins
Take 10
Around MPavilion
11.30am + 1.30pm. 

Our obsession with image has subjugated experience. The Spectacle has well and truly cemented itself. In the picturesque surroundings and architecture glamour of MPavilion, I ask you to take 10. 

This is an invitation to make a conscious effort to realign yourself with your body and sense of touch. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing and expel image from your mind’s eye. With your tool (finger, pencil) and canvas (landscape, paper) make marks which express your feeling. 


other participants

Beth Lee

Christy Tan

Jessica Tanto

Leing Reupana

Sage Kerr

Sarah Jajou

Woodrow Shmith

Zoe Day Wilson

In collaboration with

Wominjeka (Welcome). We acknowledge the Yaluk-ut Weelam as the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet. Yaluk-ut Weelam means ‘people of the river camp’ and is connected with the coastal land at the head of Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Werribee River to Mordialloc. The Yaluk-ut Weelam are part of the Boon Wurrung, one of the five major language groups of the greater Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to the land, their ancestors and their elders—past, present and to the future.