Sam Kidel: Customer Service Agent

The Ian Potter Museum of Art
Sat, 28. Jul 2018
The Ian Potter Museum of Art The University of Melbourne Swanston Street Parkville VIC

Where do you hear my voice? Do you hear it in the bone behind your ear? Does it radi­ate from your chest, towards your shoul­ders and beyond your body? Some­times when I hear a voice over the phone, it vibrates from the speaker at my ear, down the bone to the back of my neck, and sits there, hum­ming, behind my vocal cords.

Cus­tomer Ser­vice Agent is a sound per­for­mance piece explor­ing the call centre worker as a figure of sub­jec­tion to con­tem­po­rary cap­i­tal­ism, and the place of noise, inti­macy, and fan­tasy in this tedious, alien­ated work.

“Since work­ing in call cen­tres for a decade, I have been making art that explores this set­ting through sound. Call cen­tres are places of con­stant eaves­drop­ping: the work­ers listen to the callers, the team lead­ers listen to the work­ers, the man­agers listen to all. While cen­tres col­lect and trans­mit cer­tain types of ​‘signal’, I’m inter­ested in ​‘noise’: the inti­macy of words and sounds off-script, dis­in­te­grat­ing hold music played through impre­cise tele­phone lines, and dis­rup­tion.”

SAM KIDEL is a British artist, musician and researcher. His 2016 album Disruptive Muzak (Death of Rave) was described by Boomkat as ‘a modern ambient masterpiece… the most prescient record of our times’.

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ongoing investigation between Liquid Architecture and Melbourne Law School.