It must have been around one o’clock because lunch was being served. Nothing too special, it was a Thursday and a week like any other. Mike, the Events Manager for BFI, took me to one side and asked me to take particularly good care of this one table. I look over and see two men sitting at it, one of whom is wearing glasses with thick, dark, wooden frames. If there was an artist in the house, it was definitely this guy!
I asked Mike who the men were and he tells me that this very night marks the start of a three-day marathon about Canadian visual artists, to which he adds, “I’ve seen this show before — it’s incredible! They connect these machines up to seismographs to create real-time visuals which they then flood with a soundscape that changes along with the data.”
Interesting. It’s raining outside, and my shift doesn’t end until 4 — I think to myself — let’s go over there and make some conversation. See you later Mike! And so I approach the table, warmly greet the guests and begin to recite (and tear up!) my waiter’s speech which is so overused in English-speaking countries. In such a repetitive job, it’s vital that you trust in that never-ending sense of curiosity which we have towards all the variety and differences that the human race has to offer. Let’s just say that that’s the best bit about having a customer-facing job.
A few hours later and there I was, sat right in the middle of the audience, in good company and ready to watch and listen to whatever it was that I was about to witness, without knowing that I was entering into a realm of art that was completely new to me.
They presented us with two performances [SEISMIK y AFTERSHOCK], which lasted around an hour in total. On stage, you could see lots of cables, metal boxes, electric circuits and a pair of Macbooks. The curtains were fully drawn back to reveal an immense screen which filled me with excitement; this was going to be quite something… something INTENSE.
I decided that if I liked what I saw, I would chat to him.
The following day, we had a long discussion over dinner at that same restaurant, an hour before my evening shift was due to start.
To which he got up and we said our goodbyes. They had already announced the start of his show on the megaphone. Goodbye. He left. My boss was looking at me, with my uniform at the ready. It was 5:15! “I’m sorry, I’m late!” I blurted. “I know you are.” And just like that, surrounded by confusion, Friday night’s shift got underway.
Kolgen Website: www.kolgen.net