BY GEORGE! TEMPORARY PUBLIC ART COMMISSION, SYDNEY CBD, 2008

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Adam Norton's Tank Project, 10-24 October 2008, was a Peloton project curated by Claire Taylor and commissioned by the City of Sydney for Live Lanes - By George! and presented as part of Art & About 2008.

The laneways of Sydney’s CBD bisect the major thoroughfares of George and Pitt Streets like hidden nerves running across city.  The Tank Project was an opportunity to use the laneways as the site for a giant psychological experiment in the heart of the city. 

Early starters of the city’s business week caught glimpses of camouflaged military vehicles over-nighting in the shadows of the laneways. Office workers scurried past encampments of tanks in the deep shadows of the lanes.  All day long, bus drivers, delivery guys, bike couriers and people nipping out of the office, spotted armoured personnel carriers taking up positions at the head of the lanes. Weekend clubbers heading for the late-night bars and clubs of the city passed a mini-squadron of tanks manoeuvring down the city lanes.

That first sight, brings up moments we all know from the News—like a recreation of the image of ‘shopping bag man’ in front of three Tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989, or any of the footage of Coalition Forces moving through the streets of Baghdad or Kabul—for a brief moment viewers were forced to confront a frisson of danger.

The Tank Project momentarily exposed questions of freedom and safety in the psychology of the cityscape. 

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