BEAT THE CLOCK:
TALES OF AN URBAN CENTRELINK
Winner, The Peter Corrigan Memorial Medal, 2017
"This major project seeks to confront public discourse and the collective imaginary, playing as public opinion counterweight to power, by challenging policy and the reality of its architectural outcome"
It is a proposed Centrelink for the CBD, where the major policy changes to the 2017-2018 Australian Federal Budget are assumed as the project brief. Typical institutional planning and organisation is then scrutinised and reconfigured in favour of a truly democratic architecture; one where the successes and failings of Centrelink’s current systems of processing are made legible to the outside world.
The ambition of the project is ultimately to reinforce the disparity between the typical goals of an institutional architecture; one that puts things in order, cleans things up and makes them right; versus the day to day reality of the Centrelink branch.
It is a project grounded in the notion of ‘a critical architecture’, one that sees to the protection of freedom of speech in addition to the protection of cultural, scientific and artistic production. It fosters a sense of healthy democratic scepticism, and highlights that ‘a critical architecture’ is one that punches up—and currently, in architecture, there is simply too little punching up.
“Beat the Clock” Tess O’Meara (2017)
“Self Portrait” John Brack (1955)
“The Letter” Tess O’Meara (2017)
“Spat out” Tess O’Meara (2017)
Your rights, if you pursue them, will be kept for you to view them
Briefly, like your income at the bank:
Show your card, go up the stair, have it checked by those up there
And a slot will print your life out on a blank.
If you cry that isn’t you they will shrug “Prove it, True Blue.”
If it’s you but wrong that will be just as hard—
“In the meantime we’ll arrest you: we have flash fines to divest you
Of what’s mucking up the data on your card!”
- The Australia Card, Les Murray