HAPPENINGText: Sayaka Hirakawa

At the north end of Regent’s park, there is the London biggest zoo, London Zoo. Entering the gates, past the Flamingoes on your right, past the reptiles and aquarium, now you see the Zoo Art Fair. It is held for art organizations less than 4 years old.

The work of Carey Young, represented by IBID projects, looks really amusing to people. It is based on his own experience as a call center worker. If you sit on the lounge-type sofa, pick up the receiver, it connects to a woman in the photo in front of you. She introduces herself briefly, and says. “Now you have 2 options. If you want to hear about my personal background, choose one, want to hear my work experience at call center, choose two.”

When I chose one, she talked about her hometown, her school experience and so on, and then asked if I have any questions about her personal experience. Looking at the audience, some of them were just listing to, some are really enjoying chatting, and the others are asking questions seriously.

In real life, if we call this kind of customer center, first you have to listen to a recorded voice to choose the right department for you. Then finally you can talk to one of their operators. Although operators are only allowed to speak what they have trained, their identity and individuality are normally denied by the caller and the employer. Through his own experience, Carey Young may have come to ponder this kind of communication. His operator happily speaks her own story and we can choose either to be her audience, or potential friend.

In this systematic day, he has represented how individuality is denied and we become generalized, through a call center. In fact if such a friendly operator answers us, we might be shocked, enough even to calm down when calling aggressively. Every customer support team must have something to learn from his works.

Scope London 2005
Date: October 21st – 24th, 2005
Place: St Martins Lane Hotel
Address: 45 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4HX
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 5500

Zoo Art Fair 2005
Date: October 20th – 24th, 2005
Place: London Zoo
Address: Regent’s Park, Outer Circle, London NW1 4RY
Tel: +44 (0)344 225 1826

Text: Sayaka Hirakawa
Photos: Sayaka Hirakawa

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