It`s Monday morning, I called the HHS Hire people. I have found that if you present a problem and then feign as if you have no idea of any possible solution, Londoners love to find you a solution, particularly if you are a girl and they are not. If you find your own solution and ask them for what you want, you will get the big egg. Responses include: “No, we don’t do that”, “No, that is against our rules” and a particular favorite, “No, I can’t help you, that is another department”. So long-winded it was, I recounted the weekend’s activities for the technician and happily, he soon was at my house, picking up the defunct generator bringing another, bigger version in hand.
Well armed, off we went, and, as a descendent of Italian heritage, the kind that resembles a subject that is uneducated and superstitious, I was thinking. “third time lucky”. Thankfully Eleanor, a classmate of mine, helped with the driving, and being a rather confident Londoner, she was not afraid to park illegally. We arrived at our destination, set everything up –the only anxiety this night was of the technical kind—only discover that I needed an adapter for my mac. Bloody hell. So Eleanor zipped though the streets to South East London and thankfully I found mine exactly where I thought I left it.
Back again and everything was almost beautiful, except the projector wasn’t reading my computer. Thankfully the AV rental people had posted their cell phone right on their equipment and I called for a little emergency consult. Within minutes we had things running, finally.
The response was a mixture of what I had expected. There was a range of engagement, from people glancing and walking past, a few apologies from those who realized part way that they were walking through the projection (or perhaps through the videoing of the projection), to people who stopped to enquire about the project.
The woman whose response I had found most interesting was a resident of the neighbourhood. Just to set the tone, this area is in the financial district of London; and therefore, it is frequented primarily by office workers and tourists who come to see St. Pauls Cathedral and the surrounding statues. This woman was shocked to see the CCTV images. While understanding on an intellectual level that every angle of the square was imaged by the cctv cameras, she was quite unaware of what those images looked like. The project gave her a different understanding, one that she could relate to in a tangible way. This response was what I was after; to create a different way to apprehend the condition of London life, from that of knowing that you are being watched, into the experience of knowing that you are being watched. It is subtle in words, yet phenomenally different.
I am now off to the south of France to spend eight days writing my dissertation, what can a girl say about that?