On Thursday I visited an Information Security Exhibition at Earl’s Court. Infosec 2009. Hundreds of stands from various suppliers of information security products including big names like IBM, Cisco etc.
For some time now the trend in the Information Technology industry has been to switch from selling products to selling services. Old fashioned hardware suppliers such as IBM and HP have attempted to turn themselves into 21st century equivalents of business consultancies and indeed some companies have teamed up with business consultancies.
The upshot of this is that the people attending the stands are of little practical use to a potential customer. I walked past several stands with teams of serious, earnest young men viewing the exhibition attendees the way a wolf might view sheep. It is seemingly impossible to approach a stand and discuss their products or services. Instead one’s questions are met with vague industry standard platitudes and buzzwords. The salesmen seem to have little grasp of their brief and continually try to turn the conversation to discovering what your projects are and then pretending to be experts on just that topic. This is usually followed up by a request for a meeting to discuss how they can assist.
The weather was “overcast with occasional sunny spells”. Sitting in a pub at lunchtime I watched the world go by and thought that perhaps London is a beautiful city. People walked past from all over the world, each one a potential friend. Each one a story.
On Saturday I saw a play named “A Month of Sundays” at a pub named the Three and Ten in Brighton. A low budget 4 actor production reminiscent of Brighton Rock. A thriller involving murder and a lost past. The production was notable for a technique to allow the audience dual perspectives on one scene and thought simple this was very effective.
Anish Kapoor is playing a big part in this year’s Brighton festival and on Monday I thought I’d visit a piece entitled C-Curve which was publicised as being at The Chattri. Disliking planning I drove up to Patcham looking for some kind of country house named The Chattri where I imagined the piece to be on display. After a while I found some cars parked next to a field with a sign saying that there was no vehicle access and directing me to walk across a field. After about a hundred yards I rose over the brow of a hill and could see the sculpture and a bunch of people a mile away on top of another hill. – “I see, so that’s the way of it”, I thought and continued on.
I first saw Kapoor’s work in what is now Tate Britain. What appeared to be a slab of rock with an opening directly on to the void of space. He seems to be attracted to illusions and uses polished metal surfaces quite a bit.
Curve is a very large curve of what appears to be polished chrome. The picture of the C-Curve in the brochure showed it positioned in some kind of room reflecting other items in the room but placing it in a field on the top of a hill in Sussex gave it a completely different feel.
Of course we all approached it and looked at out large distorted faces but the overcast sky was quite bright and the C-curve took this in and threw it out again. A child had realised that if he stood in the middle of the piece his face was stretched and his voice reflected back at him. “I’m a banana, I’m a banana”. – Hang on, long faces, talking bollocks, this reminds me of Infosec.
It turns out that The Chattri is a memorial to soldiers from India who died fighting in the first world war and is built on the spot where the bodies of many Sikhs and Hindus were cremated after dieing while in hospital in Brighton.