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Sophie Mak-Schram, Tools of the Talking Trade (still). Image courtesy of the artist.

Tools of the Talking Trade

Our smartphones are double agents of constant freedom and continuous work. As we become ever-more native in digital tongues, how is this affecting how we talk about and communicate at work? More importantly, when do we now stop working?

Tools of the Talking Trade is based on embodied research at Andrew Collinge, a hairdressing salon with high standards of customer and staff care, and Immersive Interactive, a technology company that develops and designs interactive rooms. While the salon is a technology-free space characterised by constant verbal communication, Immersive Interactive is a company filled with apps and digital communication software.

Drawing on the modes, rhythms and means of communicating in these two organisations, Tools of the Talking Trade is a video piece that speculates about the future of communication in the digital age, and the distinction between work and leisure time. Siri, Alexa and your conversationally-adept hairdresser merge, talking you through a metaphorical haircut that teaches you how to digitally communicate for this future.