Surveilling the Public Sphere. The First Hungarian Happening in Secret Agents Reports

in: Performance Art in the Second Public Sphere: Event-based Art in Late Socialist Europe (Routledge Advances in Theatre & Performance Studies) Routledge, New York, 2018. P. 127-138.

Happenings in the public sphere were considered as major threat on the socialist order of society in Hungary from the late 1960s up until the mid 1970s. The State Security mobilized their agents to surveille these activities in order to find arguments to legally ban them from the public. The paper analyses the parallel strategies of the State Security and the happeners – both acting secretly but both targeting the public sphere – on behalf of State Security Reports on the first Hungarian Happening 1966. The paper concludes that tracking the surveillance radius of these activities indicates a new dividing line within the public sphere.