“that’s not what I was hoping for”

The pandemic has propelled us into virtual meetings, we are global citizens with boundaries that confine us to our desks, and our rooms, but we are moving in a sedentary way, across landscapes we have not travelled through (or we may have done in the past).

David Ridley unapologetically renders the moments when technical fallibility creeps into an online public event (mine, unfortunately). “That’s not what I was hoping for” I speak, in shame.

It has to be said, not all enjoy employment that may offer great connectivity, or an alternative space – in the former office – to use a most reliable connection that is part of the benefits of having a job.

Not everyone has a partner nearby with an efficient and new laptop that can offer an alternative highway to the digital event venue, solidarity to all who have been at the mercy of a “stopping to update” laptop, a sticky mouse and poverty.

This is tragicomic.

Feature Image: Artwork by 14 year old autistic artist

F “Hopefully I will be able to do this
quite seamlessly
I knew something would go wrong Dave, but one second
so it's happening
oh yeah, yeah
ok, it's not letting me
can you see something, David? 

it's saying that I've already started it
ok, I'm so sorry guys, here we go”

D “Maybe be the bandwidth is not big enough
is it working now?”

F “Yes, I think it might just take a little time, but 
no, it's telling me I've already shared it 
we did do a technical trial run
so maybe David if you don't mind”

D “I'll do it here”

F “Is that okay? thank you so much
whoops sorry I know
that's okay
see that?”

D “Yeah, can you manage? 
“I think It's doing it 
I think I think other people can see it
so maybe just”

“I can only see the folder”

F “Alright 
sorry about that
if you click on it David, can you see please? 
I'm sorry
it just doesn't work”

D “Does it not? 
no let's see 
the same happened
if you open it you can see?”

“Thank you, maybe”

OTHERS “You should be able to 
well, maybe you'll be able to 

F “Yeah, I'll do that
this is the first one? 
Can you see that? 
it will just take a while”

OTHERS “But we couldn't see it”

D “Hopefully
This will be exciting
I think it's funny
it's not going to work sorry”

F “No, I'm sorry
I'm just going to try and see what happens
but if not, you can see what I was able to witness

I think it might be working
I think it's working”

D “This is all very exciting in a terrible, tacky way”

F “There's somebody at Zoom headquarters laughing at me as we speak
no, just a blank screen
I don't think I'm going to get this to work”

D “You could try the other suggestion” 

F “Yeah, I can try 
one second
I'm so sorry everybody
I was not expecting this much difficulty
can you see that? 
I'm so sorry
that's not what I was hoping for”

OTHERS “If you share the screen
we can still kind of see
that's still really 
that's something 
something good
something I think”

F “Seeing them in a linear way
such as it is
you can see how the first 
is literally a moment 
of running into the room and running straight out
eventually maybe
I can try again
and then the chronology
they were very important 
and still are really important 
these were made by somebody 
who was terrified 
and then spent a lot of time
in a very peaceful embodiment
making marks that had meaning 
that can never be translated into anything literal or
discursive in traditional senses”
D “It's alright 
should we move on”

F “Yes please
I'm so sorry about this”

D “It happens
but, thanks very much” 

“it was really interesting 
and personal
I think everyone would have got lots out of that
yeah, I mean”

D “Francesca is having some trouble with the screen”

F “I might have to leave and come back in
one moment”