Gallery/Exhibition Blogs

Rory Macbeth X Passive Aggressive Collaborative Systems

IMG_2014.JPGI went to help set up the show to help with the last tweaks, and as I walked into the space
in the afternoon, disco-type lights and fluorescent animations were on. However, in the daylight they looked minimal and not very effective. As the day went on, and it became dark just before the show opened, the lights went all around the room, helped obviously by the dsco ball reflecting company logos all around the space, including out of the windows and onto walls of other spaces. It was therefore interesting to see that as the day went on, the space changed, as if it was preparing itself for the show as much as the artist was.

The show itself was about the frustration of big companies and call centres putting you on hold as well not being able to speak to a human, rather, an automated machine. The show had a live element to it as well, as myself and Eryn helped by sitting with a phone each, calling as many companies as we could think of, and deliberately getting the hold music. Rory then (like a DJ), mixed the on hold music with calls and on hold music he had recorded before. This created a disco/party-like atmosphere is the space, where the audience danced to the music, under the lights of big company logos. One person did come to me and say “the show is so joyful”. I agreed and engaged iimg_2021n more phatic talk until they left, but upon reflection, I realised the hilarious irony in this. People had such a sense of joy in the space, and thought the show was really engaging
and entertaining, though the show was actually about call centres and the frustration of not being able to get through to talk to somebody. When I am on hold, the longer you’re on hold, the more you worry about call charges and if you are ever going to speak to a human, and the more frustrated you get. With the show, the longer the call centres kept you waiting, the better it was, as more music meant more dancing and more fun.
This was really funny, and I feel that Rory, like himself as a person, put a different perspective on a situation, and made a frustrating time, enjoyable and fun. This is because from now on, whenever I am on the phone on hold, I will think of the show and simply dance to the music or laugh about how funny and ironic the show was that night.


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