Global Player

a public art performance by Blind Ditch

We are drawn to places where people don’t gather or feel like they shouldn't linger without good reason. The paved pedestrian autobahn or the empty suburban street. Sometimes we go for glory and face the glossy city square.

"People want their town and city centres to be more than arenas for carbon copy chain stores, CCTV and corporate marketeers. The Global Player idea suggests a different kind of trade in the form of play, sport, debate and good conversation.”

Dr Simon Persighetti
(Wrights & Sites)

 

The Global Players stop and open their table. A crowd gathers, the queue forms and a public walkway comes to life with a memorable game of table tennis. People enjoy themselves as witness or participant in a place they otherwise would not spend time in. We look at each other across the table.

Anybody can challenge the Global Player. If they beat all of the players, it’s a win. The winning video will be put online and they will be invited to a play off between winners in a significant location in 2012.


The idea of public space as an inclusive theatre of surprise and community construction is only sometimes achieved by town planners, developers and architects. Modern purpose built urban landscapes tend to limit what’s off purpose - and it is in that sense that public access and community ownership are two entirely different concepts.

Global Player was originally developed in July 2008 in response to the increasing corporate ownership of city centre space in Britain and the changing sense of what is permissible and acceptable behaviour in a range of public environments - from shopping malls to parks, from centres of social deprivation to empty concrete thoroughfares.

Made from recycled bicycle parts and fitted with a towbar for easy pulling, the Global Players stop with the specially designed table at specified places in each city, offering to play a game against willing members of the public then moving on. Both the pulling of the table through the city and each game played is documented through still images and video with edited materials and the scores and statistics of each match uploaded to this website throughout the day.

Global Player is a provocative and entertaining street intervention developed to construct temporary places of trade and competition that move beyond the limits of consumerist culture and business.


And who owns this city?

For the future of our country
we compete against the consumer wash of the High Street
and the empty silence of the commuter belt
places where neighbourhood can't happen on the street
places that keep our heads down and tunnel our vision
with their uncomfortable street furniture and corporate policing
they resist our need to sit and think