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 just“ F “Yeah, I'll do that this is the first one? Can you see that? Maybe 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 well 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”