Between midnight and 1 am on Sunday 27 May 2001, the newly formed Bologna Surveillance Camera Players (Bologna SCP) performed for the very first time. Motivated to take action by a presentation on the activities of the New York SCP that Bill Brown gave the prior day at an international conference on digital art, the Bologna SCP performed a brand-new untitled play on the subject of Big Brother (Il Grand Fratello). Written in Italian by the Bologna SCP with some help from Bill, the play proclaimed: "In the beginning, 1984 by George Orwell was a piece of fiction. Today, Big Brother is a reality. He watches. He spies. He catalogs. Big Brother can suck my dick!" To illustrate these ideas, a member of the Bologna SCP drew a picture of a giant eye and Bill drew a picture of an anarchist hammer smashing a surveillance camera.
A group of 20 people, many of them drawn from the anti-capitalist student center at the University of Bologna known as "B13," the Bologna SCP performed its play in several locations in the heavily surveilled University district. Watched and followed about by more than a dozen people who attended the conference, including a reporter from the Italian Indepedent Media Center, the spirited performance also drew the attention of a great many local residents. Thanks to the resourcefulness of the Bolognesi, these residents were able to read a flyer -- an excellent translation into Italian of a generic flyer by the New York SCP -- that explained who the group was and what they were doing. Though three carabineri were stationed near a place at which the Bologna SCP performed, they did not approach the group nor did they take much interest in the performance. Indeed, after the performance was over, the police officers refused to take a copy of the Bologna SCP's flyer when it was offered to them.