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Sam Kidel: Customer Service Agent

UNSW Galleries
Thu, 02. Aug 2018
UNSW Galleries
Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd Paddington NSW
6-9pm

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.”

Eavesdropping, a col­lab­o­ra­tion between Liquid Archi­tec­ture, Mel­bourne Law School and the Ian Potter Museum of Art, com­pris­ing an exhi­bi­tion, a public pro­gram, series of work­ing groups and tour­ing event exploring the pol­i­tics of lis­ten­ing through work by artists, researchers, writ­ers and activists from Aus­tralia and around the world.

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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EAVESDROPPING is an
ongoing investigation between Liquid Architecture and Melbourne Law School.