A transaction involving cigarettes

R  I couldn’t shake it off, Tania, didn’t want to. Held on. And as Yong was with us I thought it could happen, thought he was the key.

No-one was asking you to let it go. This was your thing, clearly, plants on the move.

R  Yes, but it wasn’t really an intervention, more of an event for the cameras.

T  Your ‘intervention’ terminology is flawed thinking. How can you measure your ‘social engagement’? This film footage you’re talking about could have huge impact. It probably won’t, but we don’t know yet.

R  But I’m looking for impact on the Square Mile.

T  The same applies. Your expression of interest in plants on the move may leave a lasting legacy here. It probably won’t, but we can’t predict. Get off the measurement agenda, can’t you. Did you measure your impact when you were a ’visionaire’?

R  I guess not.

T  Right. You sound reluctant about the whole thing. Like you had an end in view that didn’t come to fruition. I see this more like The Stumbling Block. Your disappointment actually makes it all the more interesting. I think it needs a name.

R  Like Plants on the Move?

T  Like Circular Energy, Feed the Feet/Feel the Heat or The Cycle. Yes, that does it, The Cycle.

R  But that was the overall title I used for the e-flier advertising these two days of interventions.

T  So? Haven’t there been other titles flying around for the individual pieces under the heading of The Cycle? Like for the river/bridge installation. Fish to the River wasn’t it? Yuk.

R  No good?

T  It’s floppy and flat. How about a title more consistent with the river dialogues with the Botanical Gardens lady, the professor and so on.

R  Got something in mind?

Getting Ready for Expo, Gold for Blue, Establishing a Bridge with Another Department.

R  Blimey.

T  It entertains me that The Cycle – under the overall heading of The Cycle – didn’t quite happen. This gives it wheels. And what did Yong have to do with it?

R  Maybe it was Flora’s idea?

T  Who’s Flora?

Flora and Yong, looking for the head man

Flora and Yong, looking for the head man

R  She was helping out, along with Clara, one of Ling Min’s students at Shanghai University, and a smoker.

T  So what was Flora’s big idea?

R  To buy a couple of packs of cigarettes to encourage the head man at the Botanical Gardens Extension to facilitate the image I couldn’t shift, didn’t want to lose. You know what it was. We got there. The camera crew helped up the ante I think. And the head man chose to play the lead. I do feel slightly awkward about the whole thing.

T  I like it. One of the best things you’ve done here. Especially pleasing that it wasn’t ‘public’ and that it ‘failed’. And the head man has a certain charisma. Did the cigarettes help?

R  I don’t know. But it was a transaction.

T  Not an intervention then.




R  By the way, why do you think people thought that was me standing on top of the recycling truck?

T  It’s no surprise to me. We need to work on your image. Leave it to me.

R  It was the caught moment of flying bottles, not a bottle-face.

T  Ok. Ok.


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