Mr Democracy

A written constitution for the UK (made in China)


  • Welcome to Mr Democracy, the story of a British artist who set off to get a written constitution for the UK made.
    Understanding the changing balance of power in the world, and with a nod to Britain’s ‘democratic’ ventures across the world, he chose to get it written in China, and ship it back to the UK.
    Read more under 'about' and in the many blog entries.

I’m not sure about Article 16

Posted by mrdemocracy on 29,08,2008

On our return from Shantou, our first job was to recover, a few hours sleep on a wet bus didn’t suffice.

As we understood the toys were leaving the same night as us, it was was worrying to hear they had managed to take until lunchtime to complete the same 6 hour journey as us back to Gaungzhou. A few calls and questions later revealed that ‘the driver couldn’t find the factory’ in Gaungzhou. If I were the driver, I might have called to find out where I was going, not waited another 6 hours till they called me. Nevermind now.

What a disaster. Still in bed, my phone was quietly virating by my side on the studio floor tiles. Marco from the chip factory, to explain to my embarassment, that ‘article 16 seemed to be repeated’. Ok, so they do listen to it, the people producing the chips. I was never quite sure. I suppose the doll is not that weird, and its not that political, it just reads something, which happens to have lots of articles. I jumped on the computer and checked the article he mentioned, and sure enough article 16 was mentioned twice. So I went back and made a proof listen. It was even worse than he thought – after the first 2 minutes, it goes right back to the start. It was good to see that they take care of our order, that they want to do it right, but they now have an excuse to be late. When they asked us to try to slow the voice down, just after signing the contract, I tried to ask if changing the voice file would delay the process, and I understood not. Actually its ridiculous that it comes down to a day here and there, after weeks of negotiating and looking. We were working everyday, but we still could have started earlier.

He was checking the file himself, listening for mistakes. He asked me about what he thought was another mistake, I looked it up but it was fine, and on telling marco, he explained ‘ah, its a new word for me’.

I have re-edited the clip, and sent it back. Marco tells me they process the sound file themselves, by hand in a way, altering it to fit it on the chip. I offered him a tiny file (highly compressed – smaller than the last file they produced), but he tells me file size itself is not important. He has said I can visit the factories that modify the circuit boards and install the micro controller, thats soon, looking forward to that.

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