The shipyard painter, political activist and razor-sharp cartoonist Bob Starrett has just written a new book The Way I See It on his eventful life and times. Below we reprint one of his stories and review an essential read
A tired face on the meeting room plasma screen announces:
“The Bridge will connect the conference call and route the investor in two minutes.” Welcome to the wasps nest.
Hedging Room 84F. UBS London, Finsbury Square end.
3D screens and prediction software capable of handling eighty four terabytes per second.
Watching the minerals market. Africa joke betting. A quiet hushed acoustic. At the end of a camera?
Finsbury Square eco camp dwellers.
Audio visual cross talk listening. In Texas the tired face confirms connection and logs off for the night.
Top floor of UBS London meeting rooms.
Two theatres for floating launches. Proper West End cruise ship style.
Soft light oak wood acoustic with screens disguised behind mirrors and paintings. Passwords forgot.
Below people are camping and confused. Light pours out in the meeting rooms and out of hearts. Thoughts of lavish skiing holidays ease the tension. An investment bet is made. The day is conquered.
Three thousand miles away in South Africa a mineral mine extraction.
CCTV Google camera zooms in: “That blade of rock and that miner,” says a trader.
Then he searches and arrests are made. They are the police. It will take just minutes to have the profile report.
The new voice from the Bridge issues a tech failure notice response.
Meanwhile at audio visual control cameras zoom in commando casino style. Watching all the rooms.
The eco warrior in Finsbury Square is cold and sheds a tear in his tent. Is his ongoing dynamics model in question? No. “Watch this space,” says a voice from The Bridge. Disperse.
Simon Duff is a writer and broadcaster. He works for a number of magazines including the Saatchi Gallery Art & Music, Installation, Lighting & Sound International, as well as Pro Sound News Europe. His poetry has been published in Poetry Monthly. Simon regularly broadcasts experimental political sound art on Resonance FM radio.