"It's like working in a fishbowl."

- Work Colleague, 2001

The Corporate Way

I worked in an open plan office for a time as a young man. My first important job and first experience of the corporate way at that time.

A reaction to those experiences spawned a series of artworks in 2001, from my growing cynicism and disenchantment and ever-increasing desperation. A simple comment from a work colleague ignited this frustration into a creative process. "It's like working in a fishbowl." She cynically and poignantly uttered, as a reaction to the CEO and his corporate puppies briefly walking through our open-plan office. We were industrialised bees in their industrialised structure.

The company produced the yellow pages. My job was to design advertisements, many times using clip art. I decided to use the clip art to make the following artworks. I am one of the black figures in the crowd on the 'Open Plan Working' artwork.

People who would never choose to be together working for years in the same spaces. These modern corporate arenas are challenging for some, but some strange beasts thrive, my spirit slowly withered over time.

The Spector of the big bosses hanging over our work, the oddity of strange ego's, psychologies and just below the corporate surface violence and aggression in play in meetings or conferences. The intensity of a meeting always intrigued me, peoples desires, pressures, needs on display in such condensed spaces.

No one is such a complex organisation can be fully aware of the impact of his or her decisions, watching over such complex organisations.

I never entirely felt part of it or enthused by it.

Sir Ken Robinson eludes to this dehumanisation many experiences when in the wheels of the corporate way:  “However seductive the machine metaphor may be for industrial production, human organisations are not actually mechanisms and people are not components in them. People have values and feelings, perceptions, opinions, motivations, and biographies, whereas cogs and sprockets do not. An organization is not the physical facilities within which it operates; it is the networks in it.”


The Convention (Audience Anticipation)

Giclee Print, 14” H x 14” W (36cm x 36cm) 2001

Available for Exhibitions  & Collaborations