TITLE: Call Cutta
AUTHOR: Rimini Protokoll
MEDIUM: mobile phone
“Call Cutta” by the German theatre collective Rimini Protokoll was announced, in 2005, as “the world’s first Mobile Phone Theatre.
A call center agent in Bidhannagar, popularly called Salt Lake City, a planned satellite town in Kolkata in India is guiding a single theatregoer during about 60 minutes through the city of Berlin by the means of a mobile phone. So, as an audience in Berlin, you get a phone call at a previously fixed time from a call center agent in India, some 12 flying hours away, who has not more at his disposal than a digital script telling him how to guide the Berlin person through the town. Call center agents usually try to flatten the cultural differences involved – so that he or she seems close to you (otherwise they risk a loss of competence); in the mobile phone theatre “Call Cutta” in contrast topics from Indian history, but also from the individual biographies of the individual call center agents are addressed. Sometimes, in this one to one encounter it is getting unclear who is the performer and who is the recipient.
“Call Cutta” by its irritation just forces us to think about the conditions in which we inhabit the space of our world – or: it does not only make us think about, but it makes an individual experience possible.