Visitors to the exhibition in Newburgh Street, Soho, are able to speak to operatives at a call centre in Bangalore, India, via a video link.
The operatives are briefed to provide information about events in London during the festival.
The installation showcases Hulger's technology and also draws attention to call centre operatives, who work all night and are trained to sound as British as possible. The show runs until Sunday 23 October.
Full details from Hulger below:
The Hulger Indian Call Centre
at Beyond The Valley
At London Fashion Week and London Design Festival 2007
Visitors to this year’s Design Week will be able to find out information and get support by speaking live via video to Hulger's Indian Call Centre operative in Bangalore.
Like all off-shore agents, our ‘call centre executives’ (as they are known locally), have undergone a program of ‘culture sensitisation' and have been trained to recognise and understand British regional dialect. They have also been pre-programmed with all the right cultural references (yesterday’s crappy weather, the weekend’s football scores, etc.) so can chat easily and realistically with you.
Our call centre executive is available to direct you around Design Week and give you the latest information, show reviews, locations, timings and parties.
More than that, the Hulger Indian Call Centre gives you an opportunity to play with your expectations of a call centre connection. The dread. The ennui. The guilt. And also to explore that feeling, that odd and unexpected cultural disconnect.
How do you get around the lingering perception, for example, that the cultures that provide these services are somehow subservient? Already people think ‘Indian’ when they hear of ‘call centres’. Bangalore has become a global by-word for technological sweatshops.
As working hours are mapped to UK time, dealing with callers runs long into the night, with weary operators having to deal with 'irate customers' whilst their partners at home have long since gone to bed. The pressure and awkward hours effect relationships profoundly and India is feeling it.
But despite the mind-numbing repetitive work, the profession is relatively very well paid, with operators often being chauffeured to and from work. It is estimated that 5.4% of India’s GDP is attributable to IT business outsourcing so it’s not insignificant. With outsourcing so successful, and with a management and operational infrastructure in place, India is now also enjoying a bigger piece of the pie with companies like Microsoft, Intel, Motorola, Philips, etc. operating significant innovation and R&D centres in the country.
By talking to our operator and engaging them in conversation, visitors are encouraged to bridge the gap - physically, geographically, culturally - that technology and convenience have created between our worlds.
Get to know them. Play around. Ask them whatever you like. See what happens. They might surprise you...
The Indian Call Centre has been produced in collaboration with Applied Fiction, advanced concepts and prototype lab, based in Bangalore, India. For information: www.appliedfiction.com
Part of Beyond The Valley’s show that also includes an installation by StarStyling and 3D photographs by Gary Welch, runs from
Sat 15 – Sun 23 September
At a temporary space
No. 13 Newburgh St London W1F
Mon-Sat: 11.30 - 18.30
Sunday: 12.30 - 17.00