The Space Hijackers
This London based group engages in a form of protest so playful, that it should perhaps be characterized as play rather than protest. Starting from the notion that public space should remain public – rather than being dominated by commerce and the authorities – the Space Hijackers design their own ways to interact with streets, shops and museums.
Circle Line Party
One of the Subway routes in the London system is the Circle Line. On day in 1999 the Space Hijackers sent out an invitation by e-mail for a dance party to be held on the subway. There was a different dress code for every car, counted from the beginning of the train. The Space Hijackers brought music installations to the meeting point they had announced. To their surprise, six hundred people had gathered there. They boarded a subway train and enjoyed their dance party. Every time they entered a train station, the music would be turned off and the partygoers put on a straight face. This way the party remained unnoticed for three quarters of an hour. Since then the Circle Line party was organized a number of times.
Multinational Corporate Games
Multinational corporations want to sell, sell, sell. Space Hijackers prefer to play, play and play. At Mc Donald’s they play Mc Donald’s bingo. Holding a bingo card listing menu items from the fast food chain, each player joins a different queue. As the people in front of the queue order a Big Mac, chocolate milkshake or McNugget, the players cross these items off their cards. The first to have four dishes in a row shouts ‘Bingo’ and the whole group makes away quickly. During a game of Starbuck’s musical chairs, the hijackers sit down on empty chairs and find themselves a new chair every time a new song starts from the playlist. Finally ‘Find the GAP’ is played at GAP. One person, called the ‘sardine’ goes in first and finds a place to hide. Three minutes later the others enter. Whoever finds the sardine goes and stands next to that person. The last one to notice the group of hijackers spilling out of a changing booth or from behind a mannequin loses.