This film was made as part of the Creative Campus project in Tallaght in September 2011.
We decided to highlight the unusual proprietary situation of the vacant new developments in Tallaght. They are in a meta-zone between public and private ownership; spaces including shop units and public walkways that were owned by banks and other private developers have been bailed out by NAMA, and are now theoretically part of the assets of the Irish state. CCTV and security guards are an ubiquitous presence, they protect the vacant properties from being vandalised through heavy monitoring and patrolling.
Photography is one of the activities that not permitted. A representative of Dublin City Council said that, because these streets are private property, you must have public liability insurance to take a photograph there. The flash mob was intended to be a intervention into the politics of the space, and a polite confrontation with the highly controlling nature of its private policing.
The photographs accumulated from this event have been used in several ways: a series of images with privately-owned zones blacked out, providing a starkly visible delineation between public and private; flooding the currently blank Tallaght Cross area on Google maps with images of this unphotographable area (g.co/maps/jmxtv); and finally, as part of a video piece documenting the event.
Finally, I have been recording the GPS coordinates of the invisible border between public and private in Tallaght Cross. This symbolic list denotes the public perimeters of where you can legally photograph private zones.
As part of this project, I had been in contact with the private security firm guarding this area in order to get a full explanation as to why one is not permitted to take photographs in this area.
After repeated followups, I finally got an email from the security firm saying that asking members of the public not to take photos "is not part of our assignment instructions and the security staff member may have been over zealous in his duties on the day and did so on his own initiative."
This does not tally with reality: every time that I and other people I know try to take photographs in this area, all the security guards tell us that photography is not allowed.
For more information on this project, visit: