Artwork for podcast Working Hours
Episode 2
Episode 224th August 2020 • Working Hours • Western Studios, Leeds Ltd
00:00:00 01:05:30

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Anonymous male recorded 21/11/2019

In this second episode I talk to a poet and university lecturer about academia and creative working. We discuss how higher learning has changed in recent times and the shape of its ongoing uneasy fit with both art and commerce. We talk about the changing landscape of being creative, being educated and making money. We look at the experience of moving to London to find work, the narrative of being a struggling artist, the notion of toil and we agree that we should get paid for our data.

Links for topics discussed:  

Studs Terkel https://studsterkel.wfmt.com/ https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59649.Working

Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook by Pablo Helguera https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14058499-education-for-socially-engaged-art

Mudlark: In Search of London’s Past Along the River Thames by Lara Maiklem https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40180049-mudlark

Jaron Lanier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np5ri-KktNs&t=6s

Transcripts

[:

[00:00:07] Working Hours: Hello, and welcome to episode two of the Working Hours podcast. Again, I'm not going to say too much at the beginning of this episode. This is a conversation I had with someone else. So this is the first anonymous episode. Um, so bit of an experiment on that front, and yes, I imagined a few of these will be anonymous episodes.

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[00:01:00] Working Hours: Right. Okay. We'll make a start then.

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[00:01:04] Working Hours: Have you any idea what the hell I'm going to do?

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[00:01:08] Working Hours: What the hell this is?

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[00:01:09] Working Hours: No one does. I do tell people and then they instantly forget.

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[00:01:22] Working Hours: Yeah, well, I, I want to use the... I mean, I, I don't know if I should be using a set bunch of questions or anything for these yet. So, um, I'm basically practicing at the moment and just listening to what comes out and seeing sort of... I think my theory is try and find what's interesting. See if there's a regular thing that people talk about, but I might just have to start putting some questions together and make it a bit more ordered, but I'm gonna see how these go.

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[00:01:58] Guest: Okay.

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[00:02:10] Guest: Yeah.

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[00:02:21] Working Hours: So they're all together as sort of anecdotal stories. So I'm guessing he, you know, I mean, he was a, he was a journalist, so I would imagine they were interviews that he kind of whittled down and sort of edited into a narrative rather than just a straightforward, this is what this person said or wrote or whatever.

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[00:03:04] Guest: I golf, I golf

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[00:03:09] Working Hours: Um, what are you currently doing for work then?

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[00:03:40] Guest: Um, but work for me is like the majority of it is working as a tutor at BLANKED, but on a zero hours contract, essentially.

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[00:03:50] Guest: Um, and that is, do you want me to talk a bit about that one? Or just tell you the whole programme?

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[00:04:21] Guest: Yeah, yeah, no. I will. Totally. So, so the, yeah, the job is a, um, is running a course called BLANKED.

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[00:04:34] Guest: And now what is traditionally is a conservatoire and it's like very old fashioned. I mean, it says it in the name and it's like, it has, it's thrived on this idea of excellence and a kind of elitist form of excellence in very specific things, be it like musical instrument playing or acting.

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[00:05:25] Working Hours: Oh no

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[00:06:24] Working Hours: I mean, do you work in, from a sort of pre-existing syllabus that's arranged, aren't you putting this together yourself?

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[00:06:37] Guest: And they want, they also, while pulling people from hard to reach backgrounds, they also want people to impact. Hard, like hard to reach communities. Um, so this idea of social engagement is right at the core of it. And so there's sort of an unrealistic expectation where people, people will come in and make sense of what their thing is, their skills.

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[00:07:22] Guest: And and like lots of big stuff, but these kids, I mean, people that are on the course can be 18 years old or there might be 30. There's a kind of, that's where the clash is happening, where, um, the, the ha... there's a sort of, there isn't really the language to F to, to, to, um, assess and validate what, what people are doing.

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[00:07:55] Working Hours: So, what is this in terms of, uh, the marking frameworks for it?

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[00:08:07] Guest: It's a degree and it therefore needs to hit certain types of learning, but the people that are on it and not necessarily suited to that type of learning or they have such excellence in their craft that they've kind of, they've got to this position, um, and, are having to learn like a language to somehow describe the thing they're doing, rather than actually developing the thing they're doing.

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[00:09:12] Guest: Yeah, you see that and that's it. You know, immediately, these are some of the problems of that, that the course is facing where yes, that is there. It should be practice-based in as much as it is. People, people are creating new works, um, and showing them hitting an audience or at least early iterations of them and how they might hit an audience.

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[00:09:51] Guest: And everybody has to know exactly what they're being assessed on before embarking on it. And those two worlds are kind of grating each other in this particular setting. Um, so, and also people turning up on the course all have very different, um, practices. So you've got like a stand-up comic, uh, who's also a technologist and is interested in making computer games, sitting next to someone who's a dance artist sitting next to someone who's a, like a singer songwriter next to an actor next to a dramaturg, you know. It's like all of these different threads and try and make up a formula...

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[00:10:31] Guest: It is. It Is

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[00:10:33] Guest: It is. And that's why it's so interesting. Like you get people like that in a room with a, with a flexible, intelligent, brief, and it's wicked, it's brilliant.

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[00:11:08] Guest: That's really exciting

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[00:11:35] Guest: Yeah. And then, and in an ideal world, if me and you, and some other intelligent people were designing it from the beginning, that's what it would be built around. But there are other factors that have slightly kind of confused it, but one of them being this idea of social engagement. It's like to be socially engaged, really what you need to be able to do, like sort of Pablo Helguera was very good at talking about this, this kind of idea where you, you just, you, you have to have a conversation with a, with an audience, whether real or imagined. You have to have that, that you have to interrogate what it is that you're trying to develop and not in a way that says I'm bringing this to you. Or, you know, it's, it's a careful balance.

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[00:12:19] Guest: Yeah. Um, and, uh, I've forgotten, I've forgotten where that sentence started. Um,

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[00:12:42] Guest: Yeah. It's um, I can't remember. We'll listened back to it, but the, uh, the, um, the.

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[00:13:11] Guest: Um, and unfortunately the course in it's kind of rush to tick boxes has kind of, has almost kind of constructed these arenas that social engagement should happen. Like you should be able to take your thing to a school or a prison, or, you know what I mean? And in a way that's got in, the, someth... That there is learning to be had in taking what you do to those places.

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[00:13:45] Working Hours: Okay. How much of that social engagement is really sort of, I mean, because it sounds to me a bit like...

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[00:14:07] Guest: um, there is definitely, I mean, the course was... The title of course has been a bone of contention, but it's BLANKED there's certainly an element that kind of almost like kind of Thatcherist, like Young British Artists sort of idea of, of making your own business, your own rules, your own audience, your own... and um it's funny how things, trends come in and out, and this seems to sort of affect the thinking around something like this.

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[00:14:47] Working Hours: I do think that's a good thing and, you know, it's, it's all well and good to be taught something and to learn something, um, you know, whether that's plumbing, carpentry, you know, dance, computer game design.

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[00:15:22] Guest: Yeah. And that's, that's interesting in that prior to teaching other sort of learning the, the backside of things, the business, and the kind of protecting a position or interests, or kind of even just basic things. Yeah. What kind of asset, assets, or just understanding what I had and what I had to do to monetize it.

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[00:16:07] Working Hours: But there's no relevance to you at that point...

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[00:16:09] Working Hours: ...in time. It's like, 'well, I'm an artist, I don't want to, I don't want to care about a piece of paper'.

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[00:16:22] Working Hours: yeah

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[00:16:57] Guest: Yeah. And then, and that's where kind of like an educational philosophy comes into it. It's like, do you think, like a lot of the people that I've since read about that, the best possible way to learn about something is to take current experience and explore it, or do you think the best way to learn about it is to, is to be given a kind of menu of things that, that is transmitted to you like teacher to student.

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[00:17:40] Guest: But, so just prime example is, it's someone who is a spoken word artist was given a quite sort of dubious opportunity, like to, they were going to be commissioned by BLANKED

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[00:17:51] Guest: and, um, and they had a whole load of, um, contractual obligations. And suddenly from being the student that wasn't really interested in that side of things, w they, they totally lit them up to be like, actually, well, hang on what they want, that they want me to do X, Y, and Z?

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[00:18:31] Guest: And it's amazing what you learn in that environment. And you can do that really quickly. So you don't need to go and study for a degree to get that. But if you are going to give yourself the space to study for a degree, you want the stuff you're learning to be like useful as well. That's what, that's what, well, this is a thing. This is probably worth talking about too, but the useful or not useful that it, there's a, there's a pressure cooker now where if you've paid fees

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[00:19:07] Guest: Yeah. And that's really damaging to it, to an environment of learning. It can be. Um. It also means that students, students are kind of able, I mean, it's a difficult one.

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[00:19:43] Guest: And there's a really nasty side. That's like, I'm effectively paying you to be teaching me something that's useful to me now.

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[00:19:53] Guest: Yeah. And like this thing that you've critiqued has got like 3000 likes on Instagram. So people like it already, who are you to say it's not.

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[00:20:02] Guest: Not, not....

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[00:20:05] Guest: There you go.

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[00:20:06] Guest: And then,

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[00:20:08] Guest: It's a really hard question to answer.

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[00:20:41] Guest: And it's quite, kind of quite important to, to fall back on, on, on, or to reflect on what I was like as a teenager and the confusions I had. That's so important. Um, because yeah, because the world is really complex at the moment and the, and the outcomes are not guaranteed in any way. And it's a really hard sell to say to people, you know, you know, you're going to invest all of this money and time.

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[00:21:14] Working Hours: Is there any scholarship element to it? Well yo... You're trying to reach, you know, vulnerable communities or whatever communities.

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[00:21:42] Guest: Um, so yeah, they, they've got on the one hand, they've got things right. And that they are yeah. Sort of improving access, I suppose would be the terminology. Um, and they are covering and helping people with that, with that, with that barrier. Um, so yeah, so yes, it is. It is doing what it says in that, in that way.

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[00:22:48] Guest: Um, I'm not. It's probably apparent, I'm not clear on this yet.

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[00:23:19] Guest: Yeah. Yeah. I've certainly seen that in action.

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[00:23:23] Guest: That's what I've spent my day doing today.

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[00:23:29] Guest: Admin and kind of, um, assessment criteria or saying exactly what something is. You know, there's a lot of that that goes on. And really that goes against what I was saying earlier with the kind of philosophy of experiential learning.

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[00:23:55] Working Hours: It's always going to be a balancing act. Isn't it? Because you, you, you're trying to please a lot constituencies because you've got people who, you know, they're buying an education as a product.

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[00:24:32] Working Hours: Oh yeah. So they're buying a degree brand as well. Aren't they, they, you know, it's like, okay, so I'm getting all this stuff in the area that I'm interested in and I also get 'brand' degree as well. So I'm now, you know, I've, I've ticked off that box. It's, it's, it's a shorthand way of going, right well, I've done my artistic thing and I've done something academic as well.

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[00:25:30] Working Hours: Um,

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[00:25:45] Working Hours: Yeah. First person to go.

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[00:25:55] Guest: Um, so yeah. Um, it's, it's really complex and it's, it's, um,

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[00:26:46] Working Hours: Which fights to fight.

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[00:26:48] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:26:49] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:26:51] Working Hours: Because it, you know, I suppose in a, an... So how long have you been, how long have you been in academia, as a, as an employee then?

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[00:27:02] Working Hours: Really, five years already?

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[00:27:13] Guest: Um, and then a lot of time of just kind of in the field, I guess. Um, and so it has been a crash course. It's b, be, it's been... It has been very, very interesting and a big learning experience. But, it’s also being like frustrating, difficult as well. Um, and I can't help thinking that something that didn't have the academic brand could do the job, but did have the resources, could do the job incredibly well.

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[00:27:44] Guest: Much better. Yeah.

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[00:28:05] Working Hours: How do they do that? Is there a business lecture model? Is there, there is a like a... Or is it just, are they trying to embed it in each module or how are they?

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[00:28:26] Guest: But I would say that the enterprise, the enterprise that, um, the people that designed the course had in mind was an idealized form of helping to develop graduates that were ready for entry into an arts industry. Whatever that means, right? That's obviously, that's quite difficult, but it's really like, that is a pie... You know, it's idealism, isn't it? It's like,

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[00:29:00] Guest: Yes, exactly.

[:

[00:29:01] Guest: Quite. Yeah. Exactly that. Um, and in reality, enterprise is more about the nuts and bolts. It's about, on the one hand, it's about whatever your resources, making something, making it happen.

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[00:29:40] Guest: And then there's also the, kind of just the business, basic business skills stuff. Um, and I would say the course has started off great guns, teaching everything, and then swiftly realized it couldn't really do all things for all people. And has now retreated to a position really of it's bespoke. It is.

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[00:30:23] Working Hours: Okay. So you'll be launching your own Skill Share channel soon then?

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[00:30:30] Working Hours: Writing down all my lectures. These will go on to Skill Share.

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[00:30:34] Working Hours: So, um, let's go back a bit before. So you've been in academia for five years. You've obviously been working or within the workforce, um, for more than five years. So, uh, how did you get into that role and what were you doing before that?

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[00:31:16] Working Hours: So did they approach you or you, you went to them with an idea or?

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[00:31:51] Guest: So I've now have this like prefix of like BLANKED collaborator.

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[00:31:58] Guest: I know it's not a bad thing

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[00:32:04] Guest: Yeah. But, um, it reminds me every time that that's where it started, but, um, yeah. So I guess the first work I did that would have been publicly known about.

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[00:32:39] Working Hours: Um,

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[00:32:41] Working Hours: So, so that was people coming to you and asking you to work on something.

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[00:32:45] Working Hours: Rather than you're like, I've got this brilliant new idea and I need 10 people.

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[00:33:09] Guest: To the point that an opportunity arose and I was able to fly with it, I guess. Um, but yeah, it's kind of, um, it's been very much the case of having the, having the skills or the attributes and then, and then an opportunity arriving and then jumping into it. Um, so yeah, w within that there have been collaborative relationships, but they've generally, it hasn't been me totally delivering someone else's vision.

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[00:34:03] Guest: Um, and I think that translates into my artistic life or writing.

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[00:34:13] Guest: It's probably that. I'm too frightened to try anything until I'm sure.

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[00:34:20] Guest: I'll give you, I'll just reflect back. Bravely reflect back.

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[00:34:30] Guest: Yeah, exactly. But then the world currently probably needs more people that, that

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[00:34:43] Guest: Exactly. Suck on a Strepsils and stop, stop talking for a while.

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[00:34:52] Guest: Um, so yeah, that, that was the, that was the, the main job in loads of different, um, loads of different kind of iterations. Like, writing poetry turned into collaborating with musicians, but then turned into like, dramaturgy work with a contemporary dance company, or like, there were lots of sort of, um, different avenues it went down.

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[00:35:19] Working Hours: And you spent quite a bit of time in London.

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[00:35:25] Working Hours: And you were there through a lot of the, sort of all the spoken word people coming through there. You know, it was kind of like a group, a cohort of people, wasn't it? You've like, kind of got, Kate Tempest and Polar Bear and Beans on Toast and people like that, that sort of come, they all come, kind of knew each other.

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[00:36:06] Guest: And then I didn't really, um,

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[00:36:14] Guest: No. This is it. I was, I wasn't really, I was, I was too terrified. I was, I was in, I was making music really. I was hiding behind, like I was in a studio really and in people's bedrooms.

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[00:36:41] Working Hours: I, well, probably both. She was probably terrified and fearless.

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[00:37:15] Guest: She was a she's, she's an incredibly good example of someone who's had some skills and is a really like tenacious self-promoter and has tied herself to the right people and developed and done it in a kind of public eye and has got to a point now where she's brilliant. And I wouldn't have said she was brilliant necessarily then.

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[00:37:38] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:37:39] Working Hours: Yeah. It's like, you've got your voice, but you also know what you are, what your p... It's like finding your voice, but also finding out what your product is. It's like obvious to say, well, you are a singer or a vocalist, it's like well your voice is obviously the thing. It's like, but it's not just that. My voice comes with certain um, what's the word that I'm looking for? But there are certain emotional clothing, that you hang on that peg. That's a terrible metaphor.

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[00:38:14] Working Hours: Well, it's like, Michael Jackson. Is like, Michael Jackson is fingerless glove, you know, uh, the hat, the moonwalk.

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[00:38:34] Guest: Yeah. And that takes a lot of getting it wrong and a lot of trying.

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[00:38:43] Working Hours: It's like a little, it's like a castle that your build, isn't, it it's like, or with an actor, if the roles that you're in people get used to you play in certain things in certain ways that they buy you in. Like you're building, I suppose you're building a parallel para-social relationship with your audience to some degree.

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[00:39:01] Working Hours: It's probably not para-social but

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[00:39:24] Guest: Like, but, um, but I did, I did meet up with that lot when there was a commission to put poems in the London underground. That again was nearly brilliant. It's just a shame they're on the wrong screens. When they asked me to do it, I thought they were on the screens going up the escalators.

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[00:39:59] Guest: And so I thought, you know what, fuck it. I'll, I'll do one. I'll get up there. And I did something.

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[00:40:05] Guest: Yeah, I did it. And it was all right. I do like it, but it's not my, it's not my thing. And there was, Inua Ellams was doing it and Francesca Beard and a few people that have like, there, it's their thing. They are really, they're really good at, good at it.

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[00:40:46] Guest: So people that are prominent, they're yes, they're talented, but they are people that have been able to have the time and space to develop their thing. That's really worth saying.

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[00:40:55] Guest: Yeah.

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[00:41:10] Working Hours: But if you've got the, if you've got the money and no one's bothered, you know? Yeah. Like I don't, I don't think you ever really do anything totally for yourself.

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[00:41:29] Guest: And there were people that have gone on to like an author who I definitely don't want to like say things about people that I don't know, but the... Think... the guy, that did the collection of kind of stories, um, which is brilliant, was, was from a kind of a public school background. The same way that the, um, there were quite a few people that were there that were from a kind of affluent background.

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[00:42:17] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:42:18] Working Hours: But I thought, well, I mean, it's...

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[00:42:38] Guest: Yeah.

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[00:42:39] Guest: No. You're right.

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[00:42:51] Working Hours: It's like... And more often than not, it's kind of people who are posh trying to get working class cred, isn't it? Like, you know, oh, well I had to live in this hovel.

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[00:43:09] Guest: Yeah. Yeah. And there's a level of like the move to the big city, um,

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[00:43:17] Guest: Yeah. But then there's also like, whatever your, whatever background you've come from, there is a, I've sort of talked about this before without really investigating it, but this idea of like London, infrastructure wise. There's, there's a lot, there there's a lot happening and if you can jump on the coattails or like, or survive, then you do get access immediately to a lot of opportunities. So it is possible in that sense, that kind of rags to riches like stuff. Um, but it's also, I think there are a lot of people who, who move, move there and live what is in inverted commas "a hard life" or not monetized, or they are struggling, but they're not really struggling. In the sense that they're, they are,

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[00:43:59] Guest: There are fundamental... Yeah. There are safety nets of some sort or other.

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[00:44:09] Working Hours: Yeah. And will struggle

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[00:44:12] Working Hours: Yeah.

[:

[00:44:17] Working Hours: Where you can go

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[00:44:21] Working Hours: Yeah. Where you just say, look, I have to pretend, I have to stop pretending to be a Bohemian artist and go home and work in the insurance company.

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[00:44:40] Working Hours: Uh, just going back

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[00:44:42] Working Hours: And I was just saying, you know, you, you were doing the sort of poetry at the same time, but coming in a bit earlier.

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[00:45:31] Working Hours: So you were basically bumming around and then you were employed to tell people how to get jobs?

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[00:45:54] Working Hours: And the statistic were that people on those schemes actually performed worse than people finding work for themselves.

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[00:46:12] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:46:43] Working Hours: Well you were probably actually giving people useful advice. What you already doing? Okay, well you know what you're doing? Well, have you tried this thing as well?

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[00:46:52] Working Hours: The tendency is to talk to everyone like they're a five-year-old idiot and go, 'this how you write a CV, put your name at the top'.

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[00:47:09] Working Hours: I printed this thing out of, off the internet last night. Let me read it to you. 'Cos you can't Google, can you?

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[00:47:26] Working Hours: You know; the workplace has changed? It's very different from your day.

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[00:47:34] Working Hours: Oh...

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[00:47:35] Working Hours: Fun times.

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[00:47:48] Working Hours: Keep yourself alive and dry and free, free from trench foot.

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[00:47:53] Working Hours: What drunk?

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[00:47:54] Working Hours: That generally coasts you through the trauma of... You wake up sometime in your thirties and go, "Aww, God".

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[00:48:10] Working Hours: Well, at least you got out.

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[00:48:23] Working Hours: Bruce

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[00:48:28] Working Hours: That's true.

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[00:48:35] Working Hours: You do, you do feel like you are somewhere that matters when you're in London.

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[00:48:40] Working Hours: Like. you know. It feels like you're, even if you're not doing anything particularly important, it feels like your opinion matters in London.

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[00:48:52] Working Hours: Mostly.

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[00:48:54] Working Hours: Well there, there, there isn't anything outside London.

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[00:48:59] Working Hours: We're, we're not actually anywhere. We're just...

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[00:49:02] Working Hours: We don't exist.

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[00:49:08] Working Hours: Anything outside the M25 doesn't exist.

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[00:49:12] Guest: Um, London's awesome as well though.

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[00:49:15] Guest: It is like the, the, the same thing that makes it that kind of bubble is a huge strength. The fact, you know, it is representative of almost every nation on the planet in some way. There are, it is an experiment that isn't replicated in many other places in the world currently. In terms of the level of that kind of, integration is the wrong word. It's come, it's too loaded, isn't it? But I, that sort of like living alongside fellow human beings...

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[00:49:44] Guest: ...of every, every type.

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[00:49:47] Guest: No. So that is a, that is a F... I mean, it is an incredible energy.

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[00:50:01] Working Hours: You do! You do.

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[00:50:02] Working Hours: Well, my theory is, um, you know, you've been anywhere seven years, and you're supposed to replace all your cells in your body after seven years.

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[00:50:12] Guest: Yeah. In that case, I'm from London.

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[00:50:17] Guest: Yeah. Um, yeah. And I'm reading a book at the moment about the Mud Larking that goes on the like, tidal river,

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[00:50:27] Guest: ...so every time it drops down and because of all the kind of rummaging around, that's gone on new treasures from the thousands of years that we've lived around that area are thrown up.

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[00:50:47] Guest: Or a million.

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[00:50:51] Working Hours: Okay. So, uh, I'll, I'll start to wrap it up, but what I want to go onto, so I'll say this. Well, just while we're here and we're chatting, so w, when I've been listening back to these, um, they are quite, they are quite interesting.

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[00:51:20] Working Hours: It's like, nah. And then plus I have to interject. So the, the, the worst part about listening back is hearing all the waffle from me. It's just, "What is he going on about? Shut up!"

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[00:51:53] Working Hours: Other people find it interesting 'cos they don't know what you're going to say. And you're just critiquing yourself generally. I mean, I'm not saying that's the case with my waffling. 'Cos I do talk a lot of shit. Um, but yeah, so I, I want to kind of cover the future of work.

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[00:52:33] Guest: Yeah. It's such a good question. It's just the key question. That's what I seem to come back to whenever I have time to think.

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[00:52:42] Working Hours: So we've got a Corbyn proposal. Well, not Corbyn, but in a journalistic speak, the Labour party with their four day weeks. So 32-hour week. Um, I mean, do you think that's the way forwards of like, reducing hours?

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[00:53:19] Working Hours: High skill.

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[00:53:25] Guest: It might be, it might be seven days, but just a lot shorter time or like, you know, like three hours’ worth. That doesn't, the math doesn't work there, I realized. But like, I do feel like there's something there that is just on a practical level solely, is, is, is right. Like people are going to be more productive and I think he's being ridiculed for that, but like why? I've got no idea; people are going to be more productive in that time.

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[00:54:00] Working Hours: Yeah.

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[00:54:01] Working Hours: Yeah. It's a very weird thing is, it's all based on, you know. I think for me, a lot of that media profile is that they've got, well it's like the thing of everybody knows what normally is but nobody thinks they're it. Of... The Press have, they have their imagined Briton. You know, they have their imagined guy on the number 47 bus or whatever it is, and, you know, Mondeo Man or whatever rubbish they make up. But in their heads, it's like, "No! All we care about is, you know, working our fingers to our bones days and nights and that's it! And hard work. Sweat of the brow. And that's good enough!" And it's like, that's not how anyone in the country actually thinks, you know?

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[00:55:05] Guest: Yeah. Well, it's like, there's a new, so this, that, that book, I was just talking about the Mud Larking book. There, there are times where this, this lady has gone down and found what were like substitute monies at various times, like in the 16 hundreds where publicans would give you a little kind of button that you could, is this er, sort of idea?

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[00:55:49] Working Hours: Okay, well I think we should go here. So, erm. You know Jaron Lanier? The technologist. So, he did a recent little video. I don't know if I sent you it, but, um, it's very good. It's building on his talks where he was basically saying we should pay for the internet and he's expanding that and saying, you need to get paid for your data.

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[00:56:39] Working Hours: And, and the fact that they're sort of like, oh no, you can't have... You know, the fact that there's any resistance at all to universal, basic, basic income on that, on that premise, it's just totally obnoxious for a start. Um, but yeah, he's, he's like you would get royalties for it, there would be ways of organizing it.

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[00:57:14] Working Hours: You know, it's like the thing of the, you know, the meeting room and the big, big bankers meeting room or whatever, it's like well you couldn't have that million-dollar meeting if you didn't have a cleaner who came in and made the room sparkling clean. You know, knowing that you're not going to close that deal in a skanky, you know, dirt filled hell hole.

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[00:58:10] Guest: So, yeah, there's a lot, there's thinking to be done around that. Universal Basic Income has to be a good idea, but then the thing that runs alongside it is just kind of like social currency for me, this like, um, almost like a bartering economy. Back to, or, or a sharing economy of skill sharing in a local or community sense.

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[00:58:55] Guest: There's something about that, that is like um, especially with the Climate Crisis as it exists, and this idea of just getting back to not getting bigger and better all the time and not obsessing about wealth, money as wealth, but seeing wealth as skills and links. Um,

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[00:59:35] Working Hours: You know, when... Our parents are told to leave us in front of the TV, the TV tells us to buy all of these things and we nag our parents to buy the things and we train them into like only buy brands. Throw everything away. You don't need it. You know, we were the ones that, that created a lot of this mentality, my generation, at least that I know that's the way that I see it. Um, where was I going there? Yeah. And, and, and a lot of that alienation and atomization is, is already built into that. It's assumed.

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[01:00:21] Working Hours: But why? I mean, most of the time, 'cos there's someone who wants something. But you know, how are you going to meet your neighbours or be neighbourly or make new contacts or anything like that?

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[01:00:32] Working Hours: Without, without that kind of interaction? You know? Like, how... and I should be more engaged in, in various social networks in my community, just naturally.

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[01:01:09] Guest: That's deeply ingrained in us, isn't it? This idea that we have to be self-sufficient beings on some level

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[01:01:20] Guest: Um, and it get. Exactly, and it gets to chronic, it gets to illness levels, where people are lonely and sitting next to people on the bus and, and feeling too anxious to say anything.

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[01:02:05] Working Hours: Even within cities. I think, I think, you know, exactly right. But I think within cities that we, we developed this, and part of it is, part of it is, is like political control through fear and fear of the other and to be self-contained.

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[01:02:29] Guest: Yeah, yeah. It is at that level.

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[01:02:46] Working Hours: I was going to say something else then, um. I can't remember. This is normally at the point where I would start to wind down.

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[01:02:54] Guest: But that is definitely a thing. Is this, the control is so pervasive that the very idea of what is a public space or what is an area that you are allowed to commune with people has been affected.

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[01:03:25] Working Hours: Or even joining a book club or a knitting circle or something like that, there's like...

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[01:03:29] Working Hours: There's like generally the assumption it's, it's...

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[01:03:42] Working Hours: But most of the other things is like, oh, well, we're going to hold this meeting. It's going to be in this bar or in this restaurant, which there's a tacit assumption of like, you have to buy something, you know, even if it's just a coffee or, you know. Have a glass of water. But, it's always sort of, if you're not spending money, you're not doing anything important.

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[01:04:13] Working Hours: Simon here to sign off. Firstly, value extraction. Please, please, please like share and subscribe to the podcast, however you're listening. The more you support, the more I can get done. I've said please, three times so you have to do it now. Also, ch-ch-ch-change please! Throw me some cash on KoFi and there's a Patreon also up and running. Details will be on the website.

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[01:05:08] Working Hours: I hope everyone stays safe and calm and looks after each other and um, yeah. Best of luck to all of us