More dodgems

I am not sure what to write today. It was exhausting. I ended up working a double shift on an art installation in Southwark for Merge Festival. I’m part of the art. It’s the Dodgems​ of the Mind again. I’m not sure if I’m a psychologist or a carnie. I’m not sure I set out to be either.

Thankfully I love meeting new people and encouraging them to play. Which is just as well as I had to do it with hundreds of people today. And because the whole thing is pretty new it wasn’t running as well as it might have been. So I was point of contact for loads of slightly disgruntled people who had waited 2 hours standing for a 5 minute ride. I was in there for 8 hours without a break, and the music is on a half an hour loop. Now I’m on the bus home but it’s like I’m still in ‘nam. I’m getting flashbacks to the lights, and the crazy sounds. It’s like working a store at Christmas but more psychedelic. And today there was a bit of bad energy from people who were fed up of waiting. Even MY smile starts to wear thin when everyone’s got the hump. It’s a great installation but not if you’re waiting hours. It’s why I haven’t posted the details yet. Not until I’m satisfied it’s found a groove and I can get my friends over without them waiting forever. There’s always a breathing time between the theory of something and the practical reality. Right now this piece is breathing, and we will land on the practical part over time. Although I’ll barely be there for the next few weeks. I’m off back into the random. We will see how it goes.

Only one person asked me today “what’s the thinking behind this piece.” I don’t really know. For me it’s to do with childishness lingering into adulthood, and how we are all very similar in the things we do to encourage or berate ourselves. It’s mostly just an excuse to get in a dodgem car and bang around for a bit in an old fire station with a load of weird projections. I asked one of the guys that made it a while ago. He told me it’s to do with Plutchic’s wheel of emotions. Which helps with the “what” but not really the “why.” Maybe I’m being too stringent. But I think “why” is an important question to be able to answer, even if the answer is just “it’s fun.”

I thought I’d be heading home to an empty flat, but it turns out there’s a mate of Brian’s and mine staying over. I’m totally battered though. Not sure I’ll be switching on the good host vibes. It’ll mostly be “hi, here’s your bed. Zzzz” A hot bath would hit the spot now. Damn that exploding boiler.

I’ve been walking home down the river writing this on my phone. It’s such a glorious evening. At last I’m willing to believe we might be moving towards summer. Which will make it way too hot in these jumpsuits. Here’s a picture of me at work, photo credit to Andrew “Tommo” Thompson. Yes that’s my face.



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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