Candid Call Centre Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Mar 29 2012

From March 29 to April 28, 2012, artist Angel Chen transformed Toronto's Whippersnapper Gallery into a pop-up call centre to field questions on the financial crisis. Phone lines were manned by passers-by, volunteers and guest operators, all of whom solicited callers for discussion about the current economic climate.

Calls were both incoming and outgoing, and participants were invited to discuss personal finances as well as economic policy and global trends. Chen intentionally refrained from enlisting financial experts, preferring instead to promote ideas about money from the "everyman" point of view. The phone operators were generous with advice, but all of it stemmed from personal experience and opinion.

In addition to the project's function of free exchange was a performative aspect: being situated in a gallery on busy Dundas St West, the call centre's activity was on display to thousands of pedestrians and vehicle passengers per day. While the gallery occupies a small storefront, its entire front facade is glass, and passers-by were encouraged to both spectate and participate.

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