Cold Call – Time Theft as Avoided Emissions

Cold Call: Time Theft as Avoided Emissions is an unconventional carbon offsetting scheme that draws on strategies of worker sabotage and applies them in the context of high emission companies in the fossil fuel industry. Time theft is a strategy to deliberately slow productivity, where workers waste time and are therefore paid for periods of idleness. For example, fake sick days, sleeping on the job, extended lunch breaks, or engaging in non-work related activities like social media or unrelated phone calls.

The Cold Call installation takes the form of a call center, where audiences are invited to connect by telephone to executives in the fossil fuel industry and instructed to keep them on the phone as long as possible. The cumulative time stolen from these executives is then quantified as carbon credits using an innovative new offsetting methodology. If you could speak to executives working in oil, gas and mining, what would you say to them?

Read the white paper, Time Theft as Avoided Emissions, that describes the methodology here.

Created with custom call center software, purchased phone numbers, carbon offset methodology and data dashboard.

Project Page | Tega Brain | Sam Lavigne

Commissioned by the 2023 STRP Festival, Eindhoven. Photos by Boudewijn Bollmann.