Saturday, April 16

The Value Of Chores

Big Brother 
Sonnet and I head for East London starting at the Whitechapel Gallery.

On display is an attempt to present art as reflected through the influences of technology, the Internet and media, from 1966 until now. There are a few interesting references to the French Minitel system of the 1970s (anybody remember that one? Groundbreaking), Apple IIe and those great college age Macs, digital images and of course splashes of porn. It doesn't really work so I do the appropriate thing: wait for Sonnet and surf the net on my mobile.

From there we walk about London's East End, which retains some urban cred but now mostly gentrified. We stand in line for 20 minutes to be served a small coffee by a guy with a beard, slicked back hair but shaved sides: I try to take his picture and he gets hostile, the prick. I inform that photographer Paul Strand (now on display at the VA) built a special camera so his subjects from the 1910s and 1920s wouldn't know he was taking their picture; now we line up to see them. Sonnet walks.

Madeleine: "I'm going to do some chores tomorrow. To earn some money."
Me: "Great. What's the deal then?"
Madeleine: "I'll sweep all the floors. and mop them. I'll do it for ... "
Madeleine: "Twenty pounds."
Me to Sonnet: "Yeah, right."
Madeleine: "15 then"
Sonnet: "More like 3 pounds."
Me: "Tell you what. I'll pay you £6 an hour."
Madeleine: "I'm OK."