Call Cutta in a Box

- An intercontinental phone play

By Rimini Protokoll (Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel)

Imagine you are buying a ticket at the box office for an individual show on a specific day, but are not led to the auditorium of the theatre. Instead, you get the key for a room and a sketch of how to get there. It might be a room in the theatre, an office, or an apartment somewhere close by. You open the door and you find a phone ringing. You pick up the phone and a person with a strange accent strikes up a conversation with you. The person seems to know the room you are sitting in, even though he is about 10.000 km away. The voice belongs to a call centre agent from Calcutta, India. He and his colleagues usually sell credit cards and insurance on the phone to people on the other side of the globe or provide navigational help in cities that they have never been to themselves. But this time you are not supposed to buy anything. By now, you are standing at the window and your transcontinental conversation partner is pointing some curious people in the opposite building out to you. On the notebook desktop in your room images and videos are opening up out of nowhere. A story is about to develop and you realize that the call centre agent and you and your city are the very first protagonists of the plot.

Perfomers in the Call-Center: Durbha Alivelu, Avisek Arora, Dicky Banerjee, Suktara Banerjee, Avik Chakraborty, Sagnik Chakraborty, Souptic Chakraborty, Surjodoy Chatterjee, Anusua Chatterjee, Sarmistha Das, Arpan Goenka, Basundhara Ghoshal, Sneha Jha, Islam Mohammed, Madhusree Mukherjee, Priyanka Nandy, Mira Parekh, Aditi Roy, Sunayana Roy u.a.
Assistnants: Sebastian Brünger, Almut Rembges
Digital Interface Design: Florian Fischer
Physical Interface Design: Georg Werner

worldpremiere: Berlin, Mannheim, Zürich 2.4.2008

Production: Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin
In collaboration with the Callcenter Descon Limited in Kalkutta (2008-2010). Coproduction Baltic Circle Helsinki and Helsinki Festival; Camp X Kopenhagen; Rimini Apparat; Kunstenfestivaldesarts Brüssel; Nationaltheater Mannheim; Schauspielhaus Zürich; 104 Centquatre Paris. Supported by the European Cultural Foundation and  Regierenden Bürgermeister von Berlin – Senatskanzlei – Kulturelle Angelegenheiten.

Honorary Mention by Prix Ars Electronica 09 (International Competition for Cyber Arts) in the category Interactive Art