PS_blackmarketA participatory site-specific work that takes place on the streets of Sydney at night, Performance Space and the City of Sydney have partnered with Perth’s tactical media art renegades, pvi collective for blackmarket.

blackmarket is one of the City’s first Art & About Sydney artworks to be presented outside the popular festival’s traditional springtime period, in a move designed to reach an even wider audience and showcase more artistic talent throughout the year.

Part roaming artwork, part real-life video game, blackmarket invites you into a dark underworld of unlicensed street selling and entrepreneurial trading. In the fictional world of pvi’s urban role-playing game, the global financial crisis has arrived. As a player you are forced to fight for survival within a black market economy.

Infiltrating Kings Cross, pvi collective invite you to join the experience as a blackmarket “hustler”. Exposed to an underground economic structure where goods and services are available but the hustlers are without cash, instead, you will trade your possessions in order to survive the night.

You are joined on the streets by pvi traders who are encouraging you to barter for experiences that you might value more after the crisis hits. From psychological coping mechanisms to physical training, urban survival skills to weaponising garbage, pvi’s blackmarket is highly immersive, instruction based and perversely fun.

Running from Wednesday 27 May to Saturday 6 June, four blackmarket sessions will happen nightly from 6:30pm in Kings Cross, Sydney. Up to ten participants per session will meet at Alaska Projects each night, where they will be handed a phone, asked to register their tradeable belongings, and inducted into the game.

The players are set loose in the city, arranging rendezvous points, hustling with shadowy figures down darkened alleyways, and peddling their wares in order to receive skills that will equip them mentally and physically for the future.  Each hustler is instructed to perform a series of located tasks – the further the game progresses, the more skills they acquire, resulting in a personal ‘chances of survival’ rating.

Do you think you could build a shelter out of cardboard? Are you able to sleep during a riot or outrun a violent mob? blackmarket lays down the challenge. Exploring our true worth and what we are capable of without economic growth, blackmarket is an interactive experience of live art that ensures – to borrow from the right-wing American economist Milton Freidman – “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.

pvi collective’s blackmarket is part of Performance Space: Streetworks – a range of site-specific interventions that take place around NSW. Performance Space is embracing site-specificity and the public realm through the large-scale, city wide role-play of pvi collective, to soccer inspired dance work SDS1 in Western Sydney, and specially curated projects Soapbox and Nighttime that go urban in 2015.

Alaska Projects, Kings Cross
Season: 27 May – 6 June 2015
Bookings: 1300 723 038 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: blackmarket – photo by Lucy Parakhina