|I am a company artist at ContiTech.
ContiTech is part of the Continental AG Group, which specializes
in the production of tyres. ContiTech also produces other articles
that are made of rubber such as V-belts, multiple V-ribbed belts
and rubber timing belts for example. Or as Mr Timm says in a
nutshell: "Things that seal, insulate, feather, muffle,
protect and enclose." Mr Timm is the boss of the communication
department. Which must be a difficult task, as what can there
be to say about profiles, air suspensions and those peculiar
belts? Tyres are pretty flashy compared to them, says Mr Timm.
I applied for the position of company artist at ContiTech as
if this profession existed. My offer was to carry out all services
that the staff of ContiTech thought appropriate for a company
artist. I also wanted to be available for all the company departments.
||I was once invited to talk about
the project at a school in Hanover. The children said that if
they were the manager of Conti, they would have offered me the
rates of an unskilled worker - that is if they employed me at
all. For, as the job I applied for and the profession I wanted
to exercise didn't actually exist, it would naturally have to
be classed as an unskilled profession and the pay would be accordingly
My application was accepted. But I was not to be an employee
of ContiTech, said Mr Timm, and I shouldn't say I was either.
It's a very sensitive issue - art in the company. Whatever would
the public or staff think if Conti says it keeps a close eye
on costs, but splurges out on a company artist?
In my interview the manager thoughtfully prepared me for the
fact that art wouldn't be of much interest to most members of
the staff. After all, they are technicians, chemists, physicists
and businessmen, said Mr Lerch, and they are here to work and
not to think about art. But hey, that shouldn't frighten me