This is a Public Service Announcement was a new artwork created in association with Southbank Centre for their 2015 Festival of Love. Prompts in the form of videos, text and spoken word invited moments of interaction between people who encountered the artwork, the festival and the building itself with the intention of encouraging a shared experience and calls to positive action.

Artist Sarah Carne said:

I intend to investigate the impulses that influence how we acknowledge those we encounter, and question whether they are instinctive or learnt behaviours. By questioning the emotions and thoughts that are generated in these micro-moments I hope to be able to devise a series of invitations or questions that can be catalysts for the creation of genuinely positive moments of connection that, for want of a more restrained word, we might call love. My research site will be the Southbank and I hope to encounter many of those who visit, pass through or work there.

An extract of conversation between artists Sarah Carne and Becky Shaw published in It all started when the days seemed quite plain (Artist Book) Sarah Carne 2013:

SC And that’s when I started to make art, secretly, under the table at work. At the start it was just the callout, the invitation to other artists to participate in this, which is still there, sellotaped underneath.

BS So it’s literally that thing of saying there’s this surface and I’m not just this.

SC And just this sense of joy; underneath the table, that sense of power.

BS A bit of autonomy, a bit of subversion.

SC Exactly, and not intended necessarily as a critique but just as a statement that I’m still here. And yet of course that’s not why people have responded, people have responded for all sorts of different reasons….

To view the films Sarah made which were shown at Southbank Centre please scroll down or visit People United’s Vimeo. To hear the audio piece that was played in the Soutbank Centre toilets please visit People United’s Soundcloud.

Funded & supported by:

The Artist: Sarah Carne

Recent projects include: 'I’m looking for Barbara' (Pamphlet, Video, Rolodex), exhibited as part of Unfolding the Archive at NCAD Gallery and F.E. McWilliam Gallery, which focuses on the NIVAL archive and women artists who have slipped off the radar; the publication 'It all started when the days seemed quite plain' for which she commissioned eight artists with day jobs to create new artwork, in secret, in their workplace and Line Drawing, an ongoing virtual drawing spanning both hemispheres, as part of her long term project 'I Love my Yugo'.

Her work has been exhibited and screened widely in the UK and abroad including Whitechapel Gallery, London, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Screen Space, Melbourne Australia.

This video invites people to look up, from their papers, from their phones. It was the first video of the series and was screened from day one of the Festival of Love. It was shown at 20 minute intervals on all the public screens in the Festival Hall, except for the Members area on Level 6.

In the final video of This is a Public Service Announcement viewers see the answers 100 visitors and members of staff at the Royal Festival Hall gave to the question: What would prompt you to talk to a stranger? It was screened on Bank Holiday Monday, 31st August 2015, the last day of the Festival of Love.

Sarah's first public announcement at the Southbank Centre
Sarah's first public announcement at the Southbank Centre
Sarah's first public announcement at the Southbank Centre
Sarah's first public announcement at the Southbank Centre
Sarah's first public announcement at the Southbank Centre