Directions to the Next Stop:
After walking the length of Heffernan Lane, exit onto Lonsdale St and turn left. Continue to the intersection with Swanston St (approximately 150m), and catch a tram on the opposite side of the intersection, heading towards Melbourne University (This will be within the free tram zone, so don’t worry about Myki). Take the tram for one stop, getting off at the corner of Swanston and La Trobe St.
Take the time during this short trip to again notice the high level of video surveillance and reflect on your outlook towards its presence, serving to protect us against a multitude of potentially harmful circumstances that could easily arise. Bashing, robbery, racial discrimination…
This surveillance eliminates these dangers and in return gives us added confidence and security as we live the majority of our life under their watch. Right? After getting off the tram, continue on Swantson St towards RMIT (continue in the direction of the tram) and turn right into Little La Trobe St in roughly 60m. Turn into the first alley on the right.
Stop 3 - A Watchful Eye
After walking down the alley and approaching the ‘T intersection’, there’s a doorway straight ahead (slightly to the left) with a subtle masterpiece in the top corner. As we’ve noted, video cameras are everywhere, reviewing our actions, invading privacy and providing a wealth of our personal information to a perceived computer bank where we assume it is unseen and forgotten. We likely have accepted that it’s for our safety, where the threat warrants this invasion and in return provides us with a safe environment.
This artwork challenges that naive acceptance. The artist has converted a nondescript power box into a powerful message by utilising a clear resemblance and providing a subtle yet powerful alteration. Portraying the lens as an eye forces us to consider the consequences and potential repercussions of this stolen information, accepted under the illusion of safety. A slight alteration of a commonality again provides us with a subtle disruption, challenging us to rethink something we accept as normal.
This theme is reiterated by the surrounding artworks, enhancing the sense of being surveilled. This little alley is a gold mine for experiencing the radical nature that often surrounds street art. Take the time to explore and absorb the rare atmosphere it creates.
The next page has details on where to go next!