Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Empathy Tower

In response to the film I, Daniel Blake, artist John Harrison attempted to re-create the Job Seeker experience in the middle of Northumberland Street. Inviting interrogation of increasingly script-led, automated benefits system, he invited the audience to ‘sign on’. People were asked to take a small block of wood and write a message to show support for anyone; friends, colleagues, family members who may have been through or are going through the benefits system. These blocks formed an Empathy Tower in the middle of Northumberland Street, and were then moved to NewBridge Project Space for the remainder of the Hidden Civil War programme.

I was slightly disappointed at the lack of thought put into some of the messages written on the bricks, so when asked to contribute, I needed time to prepare my response. Having made my mind up overnight, I went to the gallery to make my mark but it was unfortunately shut.

John Harrison, if you are reading this, please write this on a brick on my behalf

"Job hunting is a full time job"

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