Loading Zone was a mobile performance venue curated by Melbourne based artists High Vis for the 2009 This Is Not Art / Crack Theatre Festival.  A three tonne truck and a dual-cab ute rushed between ‘loading zones’ around Newcastle delivering a diverse range of artists’ performances and object-based interventions onto the city streets.


The premise of the project was quite simple.  It exploited a statement within a NSW Road and Traffic Authority information brochure that stated that loading zones are only to be used “...when loading or unloading goods in the course of business...”. Since our business is art, then we would argue that we can legally park in a loading zone for up to 30 minutes, provided that we were unloading something that we considered part of our arts practice.

The project’s other main purpose was to give artists the opportunity to perform in a variety of public places and engage with audiences who wouldn’t normally experience their work.

In general, High Vis are interested in how simple restrictions on public space can be used to provoke creativity and re-imagine everyday environments and situations.

6:30pm - Forty Forty Home performers were packed into cartons and delivered on hand trollies into the Playground at Crack House.

12:00am - The High Vis Logistics truck arrived at the conclusion of the Great Gatsby Ball at the Masons on King Street.  The couriers jumped out and opened the back doors of the truck. Thomas Henning emerged shirtless, painted white and covered in button size lithium battery powered LED’s.  He ranted to the massive crowd while Lily Paskas was sticky taped to his body.  Isle Adore followed with a live set.  The last to emerge was Sam Henning dressed as a depression-era American preacher.  Before he managed to Save any souls, the Masons venue (concerned by drunk pedestrians stumbling on the road) forced the couriers to pack everything back into the truck and leave.

5:30pm - Isle Adore was delivered to the footpath in front of the zine shop on King Street, where he played a second live set.

SATURDAY 3rd September

12:30pm - Isle Adore was delivered to the edge of Civic Park on Auckland Street, where he played a third live set.

Deliveries included:

FRIDAY 2nd September

12:00pm - The DeConverters were delivered to The Foreshore park where they unloaded iconic Australian beach/holiday objects while dressed in Australian flag print bikinis.  They performed a series of tasks, including getting spanked with a fly swat while sun bathing.

4:30pm - Isle Adore was delivered to the loading zone in front of the Hotel Delany on Darby Street, where he played a live set on two samplers balanced on milk crates.

2:30pm - The Tragic Troubadours were delivered to three separate cafes on Darby Street and Beaumont Street, where they invited patrons to select a spoken word poem to be recited.

8:30pm - The High Vis Logistics truck pulled up in front of the Pizza Hut on Darby street, music blaring.  Couriers jumped out and unloaded 30 boxes onto the footpath.  They then began a synchronised dance, slowly joined by members of The Lovelorn Living Party posing as general public. As more Lovelorn performers joined the dance, a riot ensued and all the boxes were obliterated.  The Lovelorn performers fled and the couriers cleaned everything back into the truck and drove off.

Photo by Sarah Barrow

Photo by Sarah Barrow

Photo by Tessa Leong

Photo by Tessa Leong

(Bemused pub patrons)   Photo by Sarah Barrow

SUNDAY 4th September

2:00pm - The Lovelorn Living Party was frying up some free tofu burgers at the TINA Zine Fair.   People were told they couldn’t have them until the salad arrived.  Half an hour later, the High Vis Logistics truck arrived with a bath tub resembling a viking long boat, and boxes of vegetables.  Lovelorn performers dressed as chefs emerged from nowhere and started preparing the salad in the bathtub.  Once complete, the couriers poured a bottle of dressing over the salad, got the delivery form signed and drove off.

Photo by Sarah Barrow

Photo by Matthew Kneale

Photo by Matthew Kneale