«Arts in the Time of Pandemic» #NODE 27

Node 27 is out!

Arts in the Time of Pandemics, the current issue of Artnodes, an e-journal promoted by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya which analyses the intersections between Art, Science, and Technology. Co-edited by Erich Berger & Laura Benítez, and with contributions by Marietta Radomska, Margherita Pevere, Terike Haapoja, Louise Mackenzie, Robertina Šebjanič, Karolina Żyniewicz, Isabel Burr Raty, Dalila Honorato participants of Braiding Friction, and Mayra Citlalli Rojo, resident of Biofriction. 

The Covid-19 pandemic, which manifested itself during the early months of 2020, resulted in the activation of the expected official actors on a national and international level in policy, politics, the industrial-military complex, pharma, and medicine, among others. Being suddenly confined to a minimum of physical interaction, we found ourselves online among a concerned but enthusiastic group of artists, hackers, activists, scholars, and other practitioners who organize themselves in informal settings to share, discuss and devise strategies of coping, care, and action. They aim to apply their own artistic, activist, or research competence to work through the complexities of continuously shifting information and circumstances. The pandemic is not simply an epidemiological crisis but a crisis of sovereignty. We refer here to the notion of sovereignty raised by Achille Mbembe to exercise control over mortality and to define life as the deployment and manifestation of power. Also, the question of liveability comes to mind as introduced by Judith Butler and which the pandemic spread out in a wide spectrum, starting from the bare form of Who gets to live? – when it comes to access to medical support and decisions of care – up to What is a liveable life during a pandemic lockdown? In this way, the pandemic makes visible and amplifies what was already there, a systemic plurality of inequalities and oppression enacted by predominant hegemonies. As Divya Dwivedi pointed out, the pandemic reveals a different sense of crisis, that is how the processes that have organized life (and lives) are distributed across the world and how some components of this worldwide arrangement have arrived at their functional limits. Therefore, once again, what has been unveiled is the material conditions of structural and systemic violence. Throughout this issue, questions related to temporality, agency, care, and scale are addressed from artistic practice(s) critically reflecting on the entanglement with the virus.

Find the articles here

Full issue here