The consultant allergic to brands. Marketing agencies that wield global influence over culture.
Then the Great Report would not be something that was either to-come or completed, in-the-past: it would be all now. Present-tense anthropology; anthropology as way-of-life. That was it: Present-Tense Anthropology™; an anthropology that bathed in presence, and in nowness—bathed in it as in a deep, bubbling and nymph-saturated well. And yet … And yet … And yet. The Great Report still had to be composed. That was the deal: with Peyman, with the age. Even if it wasn’t composed in a way that conformed to any previous anthropological model, it nonetheless had, somehow, to find a form. It was all a question of form. What fluid, morphing hybrid could I come up with to be equal to that task? What medium, or media, would it inhabit? Would it tell a story? If so, how, and about what, or whom? If not, how would it all congeal, around what cohere? How could I elevate the photos I had pinned about my walls, the sketches, doodles, musings, all the stuff cached on my hard-drive, the audio-files and diaries not my own—how could I elevate all these from secondary sources to be quantified, sucked dry, then cast away, to primary players in this story, or non-story? Above and beyond this, how could life as lived become transmogrified from field-work into work, the Work?
A one-off print run zine fiction from Robin Sloan. The corporate sleep consultant asleep for 5 years.
A wonderful madcap dash through an engagement as an indie consultant deploying Structured Conversation Operations and encountering McKinsey (who come in like a SWAT team). Love it. Read it here https://www.ribbonfarm.com/2015/03/19/the-art-of-gig/