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Employee of the month - click opera
February 2010
 
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Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:51 pm
Employee of the month


Thogerson Hoy, bank official. "People are strange when you're a stranger," sang Jim Morrison. They're even stranger when you're scrolling around a 1051x1557 pixel employee photograph on a corporate website.


Michael Farrah, head of printers, peripherals, AV and displays. He's the head of peripherals, and this is the periphery of his head. I am in a lunar lander, slowly descending towards its surface. Scroll right! Scroll left! Survey the terrain! Shall I plant a national flag here, or a corporate logo?


Barry Atkinson, head of SMB sales. He's sideways. You approach him from the left across what looks like a blue-and-white checked tablecloth, then discover that his face is brown. Everyone in a suit and tie is a pragmatist and a puritan. Click the picture to explore!


Sarah Percy, head of marketing. Hyper-realism, Neue Sachlichkeit, the images they showed on Manhattan Cable TV after 9/11. The employee as missing person, the employee as dead person, the employee photograph as uncanny memorial, the smile fixed and frozen, grotesque and poignant in the newspaper. I've never had a job. I've never had to die for the company.


Jonathan Schwartz, unspecified computer executive. Hair is funny when you examine it close up, just like a word is strange when you repeat it one hundred times. The unheimlich, the uncanny, irony, detachment, alienation. Is it just a matter of getting too close or too far away? Is "normal" only normal at the appropriate viewing distance, under the appropriate lighting, from the appropriate angle? What a frail thing "normality" is, then!


Greg Stroud, unspecified computer executive. To the Japanese, we have a tall nose, round eyes, a red skin. Do we look like pigs? Are the pores of our skin too big? Do we have a distinctive smell, the smell of a foreigner? Can you smell us standing beside you on the train?


Øystein Thøgersen, bank employee. Rembrandt watched his own face decay in a mirror, painting it in a prolonged act of dispassionate scrutiny. Every photograph or mirror contains a bit of death alongside the pride, shame, embarrassment, surprise.


Vivi Lassen, bank employee. Do people frighten you? Do you have to master yourself when you speak to someone across a desk? Are old people more frightening than young people? Are people with jobs more frightening than people you meet randomly? Which is more scary, a stranger or a friend?


Michael R. Robertson, director, human resources. Have you heard of the photographer Thomas Ruff? Some of these employee pictures remind me of his work. What do the bodies of the disembodied look like? When someone has power, do I cease to see their body? Is it uncharitable to look closely at an employee's body? If you prick me, do I not bleed? I'm just looking, thanks.

39CommentReplyShare

loosechanj
loosechanj
LooseChanj
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:10 pm (UTC)

Best imomus post evar.


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klasensjo
klasensjo
klasensjo
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)

Michael Farrah, head of printers, peripherals, AV and displays. He's the head of peripherals, and this is the periphery of his head. I am in a lunar lander, slowly descending towards its surface. Scroll right! Scroll left! Survey the terrain! Shall I plant a national flag here, or a corporate logo?
:D
This post is one of the best I have seen on LJ. Momus, you plastic, fantastic popster. We sent you into orbit around the earth, to observe, so we could understand ourselves better.


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stanleylieber
stanleylieber
Stanley Lieber
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)

It's not hate if we question. Which one are you saying is Chris_B?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)

Ha ha, yes, I'll admit that I found these astonishingly high resolution employee photos while googling for this image of what I imagined Chris_B to look like, based on his Neomarxisme posts. I thought he would go ballistic when I posted the comment and the link, but he didn't seem to think it was too insulting. Which makes me think that there are two completely different languages running alongside each other, the rational-symbolic language where we all think we share the same terms and can defend our positions the way we would when we play chess, and the visual-associative language. The first is a language of universals, a rational language of thoughts, the second a language of specifics, an emotional language of textures and the feelings they evoke.

You know, it sounds cruel or dismissive, but I feel I've spent about 5 years on the internet arguing with people on the mistaken assumption that because we share a language we share a culture -- people who I probably wouldn't have made that assumption about if I'd seen them, and if they'd looked like Pablo in the photo above. Now, there's a good and bad side to this. The illusion of universality is a uniting one that draws me into debate with people I would otherwise hardly interact with. On the other hand, I'm very much a textural-emotional-aesthetic animal. I relate to the world based very much on how it looks, tastes, feels, and I trust my instincts. If something tastes bad, or someone is poorly presented, I veer away. I assume we can't share a worldview. This can sound harsh and snobby, and it does mean that communication might be limited to interaction with people who think the same way as you do, or whom you idealize successfully. It's an ongoing issue in my thinking, this, but I suspect my emotions will win in the end: texture will win over text, and instinct over reason, and form over content.


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scottbateman
scottbateman
Scott Bateman
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)

Those are beautiful.

Though before I read the post, I thought the first one was Moby.


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jimyojimbo
jimyojimbo
Dr Jim
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)

Ha ha! Yes. Moby dressed for his audience! </sarkiness> :-)


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jimyojimbo
jimyojimbo
Dr Jim
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)



Your writing seems to have occluded a corporate transvestite! Ah well, from what I can see, he/she looks happy.

Great post!


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC)

Thanks! May I say that this post is also an oblique celebration of the US launch (last night) of UK series The Office, which subjects office life to a series of Brechtian and non-Brechtian alienation devices. The success of the series in the US will depend, I think, on the willingness of Americans to see offices -- and employee photos -- as something very odd indeed.


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ensenchiridion
ensenchiridion
an accordion of dos and cants
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 02:33 pm (UTC)

amused


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palux_negro
palux_negro
palux_negro
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 02:55 pm (UTC)

I used to collect that kind of corporate pics, the best ones for me were the pics of people with mustache.


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kementari2
kementari2
The green fuse
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)

Thank you, this is wonderful.


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benchilada
benchilada
benjamin sTone
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC)

Well suave, my friend...


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kingdoma
kingdoma
Allan Kingdom
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)

I love the fact that Jonathan Schwartz has a tiny crumb of something in his nostril.


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thetemplekeeper
thetemplekeeper
thetemplekeeper
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 06:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

Thanks, Momus: this is my favourite post so far! Gloriosa!


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)

west coast art school band meets Sears photo shoot
http://glitchslaptko.blogspot.com/2005/03/if-i-could-bring-just-one-band-from.html


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jennylampstand
jennylampstand
jen
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)

bloody hell........ you really play with EVERYthing you come across with don't you

loved your post especially the way you arranged the pictures and text. cool


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sleepycaitlin
Caitlin
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 08:15 pm (UTC)

I used to have Jonathan Schwartz's hair (albeit in blonde)


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(Anonymous)
Fri, Mar. 25th, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
BOOGER!

I SAW A BOOGER!!!


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