Sorry for the inconvenience

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Sorry for the Inconvenience is a sound and print installation made for the Meet the Makers exhibition, taking part in Amsterdam between 1st and 3rd of December 2023.

_invitation

🧤Meet the Makers🧤
🗓OPENING: 1st of December, 18:00-22:00 CET
🗓WORKS ON DISPLAY: 2nd of December, 12:00-17:00 CET
📍The Hmm Studio, NDSM plein 125, 1033 WC Amsterdam

Meet the Makers is a meeting point for artists and digital creators, taking part in this year’s FYI Emerging Digital Maker Program, organised by The Hmm. It is a celebration moment for the time spent together exploring the world of Dutch digital culture. It’s also a shared space of < videos, movies, screenings, digital alter egos, soundscapes, sonic pieces, performances, photographs, sculptures, installations, prints, insert more here... /> that invites you to explore the makers’ diverse artistic practices and their takes on the most pressing questions in their latest works.

With no strict overarching theme, we are delving into the realms of (digital) identity and connection, cultural and individual memory, globalized and local societal norms and stigmas as well as AI’s interpretative freedom and the age of digital information. With the wide scope of artistic approaches and perspectives on display here, this exhibition gives you a snapshot of the direction this new generation of digital makers is taking.

Makers
Andre Brocatus, Léa Cadieux, Kaja Cichocka, Kexin Hong, Alexander Jermilov, Yujin Joung, Dugae Kongkang, Kate Konovalova, Deniz Kurt, Aga Leszczynska (SoLame), flavie liu, Silke Bellefleur, MULTIFEMALE MEGAMIX, Jaakko Myyri, Ål Nik [Alexandra Nikolova], Gizem Oz, Sarah Saleh, and Studio Te Veo

_context

concept sketch for the installation

Sorry for the inconvenience sound-print installation addresses the housing situation in the Netherlands. Many of us who moved to the country to study or work, found it extremely hard to find a place to live. Since I moved to Rotterdam 2 years ago, I've moved 5 times. After I finally found a place with a permanent and secure rental contract, I faced another issue. Between January and May I lived in a studio that had leakage on the ceiling and the "big housing company" (as addressed in the audio pieces) did not resolve it for almost 4 months. In this installation, the maddening situation is illustrated with visual and sound - poetry made out of the support tickets and letters exchanged with the tenant care support, property manager and maintenance coordinator. Mixed and remixed with the monotonous sound of the drops.

_build up

_audio letters

The sonic piece is a dialogue between me and the >big housing company<'s team members. During the 4 months, over their platform's tickets, I have been in touch with four people at the company: two tenant care members, one property manager, and one property repair coordinator. Their names are hidden and addressed as Person 1, 2, 3, and 4. Another repair coordinator is only mentioned (person 5), but she never got in touch with me directly. Their letters are voiced with an AI (Natural Readers), because whilst reading their answers, I felt like I was communicating with robots, and no humans. Seeing how this issue was handled by them brought feelings of strong anger, frustration, helplessness, and depression to me. I was puzzled how is it possible that they left me to live like that for such a long time, especially knowing how much I was paying for that apartment. When I was reading my letters to them, I was having covid-19 - thus, my voice naturally was weak and changed due to the illness. I felt that was a great fit for the way I was feeling while writing those letters, so my voice could sound a bit closer to what it would be when reflecting those emotions.

_illustration

The visual medium of the installation depicts the wet spot on the ceiling I've been watching growing between January and May 2023. During that time, I was calling it "the alien", because it felt like I had a living creature as a roommate who could surprise me every day with a new development. It was also positioned over my bed, so it was the first thing I saw before falling asleep and when waking up in the morning.

_reflections

installation at the Hmm, Amsterdam

_this installation felt like a prototype of my idea to address the housing issues in the Netherlands (and beyond) through the power dynamics between tenant and landlord. For it, i had many restrictions: i wanted to make a new work, even though the show was mainly made for existing work due to the short time to organise it. Thus, i decided to do a simple try out that is highly DIY-style. It also had to be something really simple that i can install quickly and wouldn't need to bring heavy equipment. Finally, i also got covid 3 weeks before the opening, which limited my ability to work; and since it was a long-covid, i struggled a lot with working and travelling during my recovery. I wanted to do some mix between sound and visual, in a way that you can look at something specific while listening to the audio. I also had a little time to find an mp3 player, so i ordered one with good reviews online.
_i would definitely like to expand this work and develop it more. I would create a different space and setup for the visitor to experience and would love to collaborate with another artist to create a dynamic audio-visual environment.
_the topic and the way it was addressed in this work resonated with many of the people i discussed it.
_even though the mp3 player worked perfectly while i was testing it for hours at home, it started to act weirdly at the exhibition opening (of course!). I intended to leave it on with the audio file playing on repeat and hide it under the chair. However, it stopped playing the sonic piece all the time - thus, i added a note for the visitors with info how to switch it on and listen to the recording. Usually, i have a better "plan B" in such situations, but because of still feeling sick and having to travel to Groningen on the next morning, i didn't have the chance to deal with this issue in a better way. Lesson learned <3

_colophon

_audio // 30:15 min // voices - mine and artificial, sonic piece - field recording of drops, edited on Ableton live and Audacity
_print // A3 riso print, gold & med blue, on 160gr paper
_headphones // made by Chaeyoung Kim, reused from her graduation show's sound installation

_references

Natural Reader - AI voice generator
★ the name of the big housing company is not revealed for this project. The letters between me and them are documented in their repair and information ticket system.