The Times they are ‘a’ changin’

A mobile telephone going off inside a pile of clothing placed in the corner of an exhibition space. The ringtone of the phone is a polyphonic version of 'The times they are a changin' by Bob Dylan, 2006 (in collaboration with Joar Nango)

The Times they are ‘a’ changin’

A mobile telephone going off inside a pile of clothing placed in the corner of an exhibition space. The ringtone of the phone is a polyphonic version of 'The times they are a changin' by Bob Dylan, 2006 (in collaboration with Joar Nango)

The revolution will not be televised. It will be streamed. The revolution lives in the pockets of our raincoats, safely guarded from the weather and the rain and curious looks from the state police. There, the revolution hovers over our hearts and gets charged with every beat.

~

There are days we need to talk. Or we talk and nobody listens. We say things. But nobody hears us. We are like a monumental painting inside a monumental museum without any visitors. Talking only to the dust in the corners. The white layers of coat on the wall. Leaving ourselves voicemails all the time and listening to them over and over again, so many times, it is often hard to distinguish any difference between speaking and listening.

Often a thing we say one day doesn’t mean the same the next day. Strawberries are more expensive when there is snow on the streets. This is a nice thing. Imagine a day when you can get a cup of coffee by saying the sky is black. Or when you want to order some french fries mixed with lamb meat the only thing you need to say is one barbershop please?

When a language can be spoken. It can also be spoken differently. Imagine calling for a cab by stamping your feet. Imagine composing a song by braiding your hair.

~

I do groceries everyday. At the register I take my products out of my shopping basket and put them one after one on the black conveyer belt, neatly lined up so they don’t take up too much space. I mark my territory with one of these little bars which are crammed with advertisement. I wait for my turn. When it is my turn, the girl looks at me. She says hello and swipes my products across the scanner in front of her. When the scanner recognises the barcode there’s a beep. All of my products speak the same language. My bread. Beep. My tomato’s. Beep. My cheese. Beep. My beer. Beep. My shampoo. Beep.

I know the girl is obliged to say hello to me. It’s part of her job. Her smile and her looking me in the eyes as well. I pay for my groceries. I put them in my bag. I say beep. She says beep back. Probably because it says so in her contract. But what do I know?

Perhaps she is trying to tell me something different. Perhaps her beep is her call for a revolution? Perhaps she carefully placed barricades, burning furniture, between her beeps? Perhaps she hid broken laws, dreams and hopes between every syllable delivered across the moist and pink conveyer belt which twists and turns between her impeccable white teeth?