In December 2009 The Operators opened at The Exchange in Penzance. This major new art/sound work is the result of a collaboration between Ruth and visual artist Alessandra Ausenda. It involves a huge dress, a battery of sewing machines and live sewing machinists at work underneath the dress as it rotates. The Operators involves highly integrated sound and visuals, and explores the extremely exploitative working conditions of much of the garment industry and the criminal network which often surrounds it.
A recent publication and film ‘Gomorra’, by Roberto Saviano exposing chilling statistics on the criminal aspects of the fashion industry have provided some of the background material to the piece. Through their work together on The Operators, Ruth and Alessandra explore themes of contemporary desire, aspiration, consequences and illusion. The suspicion that all is not what it seems remains a pivotal part of the work.