Convenience They Said

Image: Alexander Hayes


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0.0 Change Gears, Second To First


Enter shopping centre parking station ramp.

Down. More braking power.

Pay attention now. Take note of a number of things, which they said we all needed for our own personal safety and convenience.

1.0 Entity Names

Read the sign.

Who owns the car park that you are now parking in, even if it is underneath your favourite supermarket monopoly, store, consortia?

In fact, take out your phone (metaphorically) and Google “….{insert_carpark_owner_name here}.”

Try and find anything in that website about how the shareholders of this company gain dividends from shares invested in the crypto-futures of your whereabouts and their connections to you.

Your licence plate number, how many people are in your vehicle, your ‘status’ as a taxpayer, citizen…whether your phone is in your pocket, in your hand or whether its on your wrist, your head or implanted in your hands.

2.0 Follow The Green Light

Park the car. Turn the ignition off.

You probably enjoyed the squeal of your car tyres as you turned over the high-vis paint markings on your way to the car space, right?

Pause long enough to notice that you managed to get a car park spot right next to the travelator, closest point to the shops. Rows of red where all the bays are full but somehow one empty spot just waiting for YOU.

“….thankyou parking faery!” you say in your mind's voice. Belt, bag, phone, wallet….and you are out, standing next to your car.

Look up.

Two cameras looking at you — one focussed on your vehicle and the other pointing out at the vehicle opposite you. That's right.

Those cameras are owned by the insurance companies, because statistically in confined space parking, 65% of damages are to cars rear to mid rear quarter.

Check. So that is one investor using data from the centre without your know why.

3. After All It Is All About Safety

You missed it.

As you drove down the ramp into the carpark you remember stopping. Briefly.

You are looking at the ticket dispensing machine that now has a small sign saying, “…Parking is FREE for three hours.”

No ticket required.

Cool you thought. No more tickets.

No more stopping to find the green button to push. No more waiting for someone ahead struggling to put the ticket back in at the exit. No more losing the parking ticket while you were shopping. No more credit card payments at the gate and no more calling security to speak to the nice person to let you out of the shopping centre.


So, you turn on your heel and walk to the travelator. You count no less than 16 small surveillance domes in and around the travelator. One huge surveillance camera pointing its electronic eye at you from the far end of the travelator.

You take a step forward, steady your balance and feel a buzz in your pocket from a message notification on your smartphone. As you glide soundlessly up the travelator you read the message.

“…Welcome to CityGate Shopping Centre. For your personal safety and for the enjoyment of all of our valued customers, please ensure you pay for all items you have selected in our stores, obey all transit preference and priority queues and remain in your social order. Regards, Citygate Management.”

You look up, eyeline.

What looks like a human is standing in the doorway.

“Good morning Sir.”

That metallic twang and the shiny smile with just the tiniest, faintest hint of aftershave. You hurry by furtively looking for anything that resembles a shopper.

Left. Third aisle. Half way down near the baby food.

You see a movement from a real human, being human.



Artist. He, him, Dr.

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