Tuesday 17 May 2011

Work and art

The story

Once upon a time, Lake of Urbantramper went to seek his fortune in Australia. But he was too busy working, in places like sign factories and storage facilities. He had smoko and played games ("Albert Einstein. Engelbert Humperdink. Henry James. Jessie James. JJ... Dammit!"). He went to bed early. He wrote an album about work. There’s a lot to say about work.

You know how it is: liking a co-worker, wanting a different job, maybe even as a public servant, drinking away the boredom, counting the minutes until smoko, the lack of daylight, marching for better conditions, the conditions and possibilities of a thirty hour working week.

Lake recorded these songs, as the Workers' Album.: All that is solid melts into air. We released it on May Day, Workers Day, towards the day where every day is a day for workers. (Not every album. Love songs are good too.) Listen/download for free/donation here.

But this gig was special.

Applying ourselves

Firstly, we incorporated The Urbantramper Company. As the posters stated, the Urbantramper Company was looking for new recruits.

The recession is over and business is booming, hence, due to explosive growth in an exciting new industry this market leading company is looking for admin and sales super stars to join its busy team of willing worker bees.

You will be part of a funky 'go getter' team which is primarily focused on daily operations and processing customer orders by entering data into a complex computer based system.

If you think you have an infectious positive attitude towards work life, are able to supress any desire for individual expression and become subsumed by a company's blind pursuit of profit -then please apply immediately.
Lake then shared his experiences of working in the company for nine years, in a video invitation to our potential worker bees.

Next up we met Thomas, Chief Logistics Support Officer at the Urbantramper company. In an exclusive video interview, he shared his experiences and some of his drive for working there.

Finally, our CEO Dick Avarice took off his sunglasses and addressed his future employees.

Interested parties registered for the group interview - featuring the company band and Ghostplane - by sending in cover letters.

The group interview

Applicants were welcomed at the door by gorgeous receptionists with clipboards who gave them name tags. They were informed that in this, the first stage of the interview process, their interactions over the course of the evening would be observed. They descended awkwardly into rooms where they chatted with our HR team. Sometimes the HR team had to look at their clipboards or take important calls on their cellular phones. The applicants were inspired by motivational slogans on the walls, and then, by the smooth sounds of Ghostplane.

The applicants then gathered in a special room to see CEO Dick Avarice's powerpoint presentation. Dick spoke about the company, what inspires him, and the bright opportunities offered to his employees.

Union representative Andrew Campbell then took to the stage to let the current and potential workers know about their rights, and the benefits to them and their communities in joining their union. He encouraged them to sign the petition for a living wage.

From the other room began the call of Urbantramper's Marching Song "Come join us walk, for a better place to work! Come make a stand, to create a fairer land!" The crowd marched in to dance, dance, dance.

What I loved

  • The excitement of putting on a production.
  • Bringing music, film, and theatre together - the forms of art as well as the artists.
  • Talking politics and loving on unions, but lightheartedly and with dance.
  • That the show lasted weeks.
  • The participatory nature. We were all performers, all shaping the evening, all surprised and excited.

This is why I wanted to tell you the story.

The album is available for koha download here.

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