Perry Hoberman
Sorry We're Open
In Sorry, We’re Open (1997), works are installed in a painfully authentic replica of a contemporary office interior. Modular cubicles enclose decoy electronics, mutant rolodexes, and gluttonous robotic arms. The dynamics of work and office politics are dismantled (if not demolished) by works that expose the hidden underside of carpets and desks. Common office staples such as drop ceilings, file cabinets and artificial plants are reconfigured in works that range from the pacifying to the ominous. Interactive, non-interactive and neo-interactive objects and installations are deployed within a maze of sound-absorbing partitions. Endlessly adaptable, the modern office workplace is an arrangement of provisional and interchangable components, components that include the workers themselves (also known as "temps"). This arrangement mirrors the inner workings of the digital systems that are the beating heart of our millennial moment: everything (and everyone) is constantly being upgraded in a neo-Darwinian process of seemingly unimpeachable progress that (much like biological evolution itself) provides the reassuring illusion of a rational goal.