15 Second Place 4000x2248 (Wikimedia commons)

15 Second Place

Art pops up in many places outside of traditional spaces like museums and galleries.

These pages explore some of the places we can find art, performance and the moving image outside a traditional setting. Browse through a range of content covering projection art, street art, flash performance and more.

Recommended for Year levels: 7 - 12

Learning areas: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Visual Arts

Capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural

1. Projection Art

Projection of light and shadow can transform a place.

Melbourne celebrates projection art at Gertrude Street Projection Festival each July.

Artists light up the night; their work is projected on to buildings, footpaths and shop windows and changes the way we see these everyday places.


Watch the video to learn about the video art piece The Hawker's Song by Greyspace, and then answer the questions below.

1. What are some of the positive outcomes of the The Hawker’s Song?
2. In what ways can people express themselves, their identity, their story, their background and their history using projection art?

Yandell Martin

Discover Yandell Martin's incredible projected artworks in this short video, then answer the questions below.

1. Why do artists project images in public places?
2. In what ways could the location dictate the method of projection used and the final creation?

Explore further

Browse the Gertrude Street Projection Festival website and watch the Highlights Reel from the latest festival. What are the aims of the festival?


Plan a piece of projection art for a chosen location. Be thoughtful about the relationship between what you are projecting and the place in which you are projecting it.

2. Street Art

Should graffiti be judged on the same level as modern art? Of course not: It's way more important than that.


Street art inspires, questions and challenges our experience of the street as a public space.

Street artists choose walls, bridges and alleyways as their canvas to communicate directly with their audience.

Opinions are often blurred between whether it is art or vandalism; is it a case of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’?

This unit looks at all kinds of street art around Melbourne and Australia. Watch the videos to learn more, and consider the questions under each video.

Graffiti and art

Artists Ghostpatrol and Miso discuss making street art.

1. What makes graffiti ‘street art’? Is it who the artist is? Is it a question of it being illegal or legal? Or is street art a case of ‘beauty in the eye of the beholder’?
2. Is there a difference between graffiti and vandalism? Where and when is the line drawn?

Banksy and street art

Dr Lachlan MacDowall discusses the incident with Banksy's Little Diver.

1. Do we as a community have a responsibility to preserve and conserve street art?
2. What are the difficulties in preserving art that is temporary in nature?

Public art

1. Is there a difference between public art and art in public places?
2. Given that most pieces are site-specific, what are street artists trying to say about place?

A gallery in an abandoned abattoir

1. Why would graffiti artists create their own ‘gallery’ in abandoned buildings?
2. How does street art differ from art in a gallery? Compile a list of descriptive words.

Keith Haring and the challenge of preserving street art

1. Why would an artist choose to work on the street and not in a gallery?
2. What are some of the issues that arise when considering the preservation of street art? Can you find arguments for and against the conservation of street art?

Street art and community

1. What important roles do audience and intention play in the design and creation of street art in community spaces?
2. How can street art give a voice to minority groups in the community?

Street art and history

1. How has history and time be immortalised in this mural?
2. What is the relationship between the mural and its environment/location?

Explore further

What different styles of street art exist? Research as many as you can.

Choose some examples of Melbourne street art and identify the social issues addressed.


Compose a series of clips that explore the political and social messages communicated by street artists in your local area. Use a range of interesting shots, angles and movements to capture the work. Experiment with timelapse techniques to show a particular piece of street art as a permanent or temporary fixture in its environment.

I always like to see if the art across the street is better than mine.

Andy Warhol

3. Public Art Spaces

Public Art Spaces

"Red spikes" by Flickr user Rob Deutscher used under Creative Commons attribution 2.0 license

The public needs art - and it is the responsibility of a 'self-proclaimed artist' to realise that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses.

Keith Haring

Public art turns up in our world to claim part of the streets.

Beautifying or challenging our ideas, art is always controversial.

Watch the videos and answer the questions to find out more about public art and sculpture in Melbourne.


Vault by Ron Robertson-Swann is a public sculpture in Melbourne. It was commissioned by the Melbourne City Council in 1978, but it received some criticism from the public. Find out more by watching the video below.

ACCA curator Juliana Engberg talks about Ron Robertson-Swann's sculpture Vault.

1. What are some of the reasons that art might be moved or removed?
2. Why do you think there can be controversy and anger with public art?

Larry La Trobe

Poor little Larry La Trobe! The whereabouts of this popular Melbourne sculpture of a dog is still unknown. Listen to the artist's story below.

1. In what ways can people interact with public artworks emotionally, physically or mentally?
2. Think of examples of public art that people can interact with, such as the Federation Bells at Birrarung Marr in Melbourne?


Create a short film that demonstrates the relationship or connection between public art, its environment and the community. Use a range of interesting shots, angles or even time lapse techniques to show people engaging with the art work over the course of a day.

Public money should be spent on art but through individuals not committees.

Antony Gormley

4. Big Screens

You gotta understand, when moving images first started, people wanted sound, colour, big screen and depth.

Martin Scorsese

Big screens of all types dominate our cityscapes, advertising screens, events live sites, drive-ins, outdoor cinemas.

When people gather to watch a big screen together it allows the community to share and participate in public events.

Watch the videos below and answer questions to find out more about big screen.

The Lunar Drive In Cinema

1. What type of content features on big screens?
2. In what ways could a big screen enhance a sense of community?


SMS_origins was a project that happened in Federation Square. The large screen asked people to message SMS their birthplace, as well as the birthplace of their parents, and when they did it would be mapped on the big screen. Watch the video to see how it worked.

1. How can or do big screens transform public spaces?
2. Why do people gather and watch something they could watch at home?

Explore further

Have a look at the Fed Square's Fed Cam.

What do you find interesting on this page?


Using time-lapse, record a clip that shows a crowd gathering for an event. Capture the sounds of people congregating in a public place and combine this with visual footage that shows the same place empty. Are you able to communicate a sense of community in your clip?

Location, Location!

Choosing location is integral to the film: in essence, another character.

Ridley Scott (Director, Blade Runner)

Ever wondered if a film shot on location was filmed in the actual place it depicts? Find out about interesting film and television locations near Melbourne.

In filmmaking, a location is any place where a film crew will be filming actors and recording their dialogue. Filmmakers often choose to shoot on location because they believe that greater realism can be achieved in a "real" place; however, location shooting is often motivated by the film's budget. Many films shoot interior scenes on a sound stage and exterior scenes on location.

Watch a set of videos and answer the questions to find out more about film location

On location with Underbelly

1. Why do some filmmakers choose to shoot their film on the streets and not in a studio?
2. Imagine you are a professional location scout. Make a list of locations you know of that could pass for somewhere else. For example, is there a particular laneway in Melbourne could be used to depict a location in New York City?

On location with Rockwiz

1. Sometimes locations can create the feeling of realism and authenticity. Why does Rockwiz film in a hotel?
2. Think of some TV examples where location adds to the realistic nature of the show?

On location with Sideshow Alley

1. How does the relationship between music and location enhance the mood of a scene?
2. How does the choice of location add to the emotion of the video clip?

Explore further

Browse the locations listed over at Film Victoria. Choose five and think about the genres or types of stories that these locations would match.


Try capturing locations for specific genres, such as romance, action, thriller, drama and film noir. Focus on objects or features in the environment that would make the location interesting, such as a path, a bridge, seating, an interesting tree or a doorway.

I don't get much studio stuff. I'm usually on location, and I know that some people think that acting is so glamorous, but believe me, it's not!

Emilia Clarke (Actor, Game of Thrones)

6. Flash Performance

Flash mobbing may be a fad that passes away, or it may be an indicator of things to come.

Howard Rheingold

Flash mobs transform an everyday place into an impromptu stage.

They can happen anywhere at any time, you just have to be in the know.

Watch the videos below and answer the questions to find out more about Flash Performance in Melbourne.

Pop up project

1. Who is flash mobbing for? What is the point of a flash mob?
2. How do audiences respond to performances in public places?
3. Should performance artists be allowed to disrupt and challenge people in public spaces?

Accessible Flash Mob

1. What are some of the effects of using an outdoor public space as a stage or an arena for performance art?
2. How do audiences generally respond to performances in public places? Is the reaction the same if the performance is a surprise?

Explore further

Research what types of flash mobs have been conducted around the world?

What is the relationship between flash mobbers and their audience? Advertisers and marketers are now employing flash mobs to promote their products and causes. What are the implications of this? Reference: Crazy Uptown Funk flashmob in Sydney


Hold your own mini flash mob – for example, a choreographed dance or freeze. Capture the performance from different points of view. Make sure you include the audience’s responses and reactions to the performance. Remember to ask permission before filming people.

Flash mobs' are reported on extensively because they're novel and can be used to stoke fears of young people and the Internet. The media, of course, have absolutely no clue what they're reporting on.

Alex Pareene

7. Street Party

Street Party

Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown, Melbourne

The arts are a celebration of life.

Michael Douglas

Street festivals, parades and parties turn ordinary places into sites of celebration and community sharing.

The laneways of Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street fill up with people around the time of Chinese New Year. Drums, lions and firecrackers excite the crowds and the celebration lasts all night.

Watch the videos and answer the questions to find out more about Chinese New Year in Melbourne.

Chinese New Year

1. What are some of the positive outcomes of public festivals and events?
2. How does celebrating a festival help to create a sense of identity for a community?

Explore further

In what ways can people express themselves, their identity, their story, their background and their history in public?

What community festivals do you know of?


Capture the colour and movement of a festival or public outdoor celebration using a range of shot types, angles and movements. Include objects and decorations that symbolise celebration and festivity, such as lanterns, lights, banners and balloons. During the editing process, try to communicate the rhythm and pace of the public festival by paying close attention to the relationship between sound and image.

8. Memory Places

Communities often create memorials to remember someone or something that is no longer physically there.

They are dotted over our cities and are important for remembering people, places and events.

Watch the videos below and answer questions to find out more about memorials in Melbourne.

8 Hour Day Memorial

The 8 Hour Day Memorial in Melbourne commemorates the 1856 protests by the led by the Victorian Stonemasons.

The protest successfully campaigned for "8 Hours Work, 8 Hours Recreation, 8 Hours Rest", instead of the 12 hour work day which was expected by many employers at the time.

Listen to the secretary of the Trades Hall Council Brian Boyd relate the history of the 8 Hour Day Memorial.

1. What purposes do memorials serve in our community?
2. Why is it important to commemorate the 8 Hour Day?

Forgotten Australians

Memory Places

Helen Bodycomb's 'Forgotton Australians'

The Forgotten Australians is a memorial to approximately 500,000 children who grew up in government and non-government institutional care (orphanages and homes) during the first half of the 20th century.

Lots of children experienced abuse in these places, and in 2009 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made an official public apology on behalf of the government.

Watch the video to find out about the memorial from the artist Helen Bodycomb.

1. What different forms can memorials take? Who decides on the design?
2. How is the Forgotten Australians memorial used by the public?

Atherton Street Memorial

A slum is a neighbourhood of decrepit houses which are generally inhabited by very poor people.

In the early 20th century, Fitzroy, Collingwood, Heidelberg and Port Melbourne (among many other suburbs) were slums, and their inhabitants lived in very challenging circumstances.

Take a look at these photos to get a sense of what life was like, then watch the video below about the artist who created a memorial to these communities.

1. What types of things are we trying to remember – people, places, events?
2. Why should we remember someone or something that is not physically there?
3. Why might we want to remember something unpleasant or sad?

Explore further

What memorials have you seen or do you know about that are expressed through art? Consider these examples:

Ghost Bikes

Art Trams


Plan a montage of a memorial location using a range of camera shots and movements. Include appropriate found words at the memorial. Think about the sound and music you would use. Would the absence of sound create a stronger impact for the montage?