The Kult of K – Initiation…

Wednesday / 23rd / August / 2017.

Welcome To The Dark Ages / The JAMS.

1.00pm / Constellations / Liverpool.

This is where it really begins…

The sun is out, Liverpool looks glorious. As I head to Constellations, I recall that the word ‘initiation’ often carries negative connotations. Perhaps The Jams using the word ‘volunteer’ works better. It helps people to believe they are partaking in something worthy, a cause bigger than themselves. I browse the K4L booklet that has been ‘Built By The Jams’ – it informs me that I will be given my ‘job’ and that the allotting of jobs will ‘take as long as it takes’ and from that point on ‘work begins’. It appears that not only have Drummond and Cauty convinced us to pay to be in their presence but somehow I am now employed by them for free… Sounds ludicrous, but these are two of the most thought provoking artists on the planet and I get an inkling that they have not even started with us yet…

Constellations is a cool event space based in the Baltic Triangle area of the city. The 400 pile in and are hosted by actor and performer, Oliver Senton alongside the superb Daisy Campbell (both of Cosmic Trigger fame). The suited Senton is conducting affairs by issuing instructions with a theatrical edge over the microphone. He has a warm, commanding, humorous aura and soon has the room hanging on his every word…

volunteers - peter robinson - pop justice

We are gathered, we know that the numbers we chose at the wristband exchange are now going to result in employment with The Jams. What we do not have yet, is context or timing…

Oliver informs us that we will be issued with cards outlining our roles and where we will need to be in order to carry them out. However, it soon unfolds that the ‘why’ of our tasks is not going to be shared at this juncture. The room roars in laughter as this is perfectly summarised by Senton with ‘If you are confused now, then you will look back on this as a moment of clarity’.

The stage has a number of items on it. Quite what these are for and who will use them is about to be imparted to the crowd. There are buckets too. The buckets are numbered. The numbers correspond with the options chosen at the wrist exchange. Within the buckets are names. Names are pulled – cheers go up – even though it is likely that the selected is a stranger to most. Daisy and Oliver reign in the jubilation. There are a lot of roles to fill and joviality will only over extend the process.

Hang on…

There appear to be less roles than numbers submitted for some of these jobs…

Ah okay…

There are a lot of other jobs that were not related to required skills. The scope just grew massively. It appears that many of the volunteers are going to end up with something quite different to what they expected (whatever it was they were anticipating on such little information).

Job after job are handed out. A lot of thought and planning has gone into this. The volume of activity that this group will generate in the city in the coming days is going to be immense. Is this a cult? Why are these people willingly venturing into the unknown and surrendering to blind authority? Everybody has been told to do a job but they are not entirely sure why. This is very much in keeping with the mythology behind much of the work of Cauty and Drummond. However, certain tasks seem to require ‘challenging’ conditions for success that will test the designated. And Senton does warn that compliance is necessary or the Dead Perch Menace will need to be answered to…

The little yellow task cards have The Jams logo on the front and the job description on the back. The detail is minimal – a job title plus a few lines that generally tell you where to be, when and what to bring.

welcome to the tasks

A range of  volunteer talents are going to be on display crossing the worlds of music, art, make-up, painting, resourcing, management, social media, security, travel, weight-lifting, cooking and much, much more…

You want more details…

You want more clarity…

It may never come…

 

Badger Kull Photo courtesy of: Peter Guy‏ @Getintothis

Volunteers Photo courtesy of: P. Robinson / Pop Justice

Job Card Photo courtesy of: Cake Bike Cake‏ @cakebikecake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *