you can whatch the second part of the series here
Just over 3 years ago, I moved to Belgrade from London with my partner who is Serbian. Unable to find work, I decided to set up a small telephone market research call center in Belgrade, manned by English-speaking Serbs. The call centre’s clientele would be Global Information Technology companies which would outsource IT related market research to this call centre. This was a very specific form of market research which involved the acquisition of sensitive and competitive internal information about large European companies. Early in this project, I became uncomfortable with the ‘penetrative’ and ‘aggressive’ information requirements of the Western IT companies. A moral conflict arose in which on the one hand I was creating employment for young Serbs and on the other hand, this was unethical work which was feeding off the poor domestic economic circumstances of countries such as Serbia. At this point, I began to orient my art practice towards staging the alienating situations which problematized working in this particular call centre environment. I needed to present an image of the artist which is by force of circumstance instrumentalised in a Sadean way by a corporate superego. My films documented actors and existing call centre workers simulating negative call centre experiences. One such experience is a call centre worker serially rejected by the respondents in the companies he is telephoning. Another is a call centre worker intimidating and bullying a respondent from a western European company.