Syndemic Sublime in Visualizing the Virus
Visualizing the Virus is an international digital project that showcases and investigates the diverse ways in which SARS-Cov2 and the COVID-19 pandemic is visualized and the inequalities it makes visible. The project was founded by art historian and environmental humanities scholar Sria Chatterjee.
Visualizing the Virus is an interdisciplinary digital project through which one can visualize and understand the Coronavirus pandemic from a variety of perspectives. It aims to center the inequalities the pandemic makes visible.
Gaps between the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences are hard to bridge. This means that pandemics are often studied without considering their many interconnected histories. Visualizing the Virus connects insights from different disciplines to create a collective digital space for exactly such a convergence.
We are not only interested in the ways in which scientists, artists and people in their everyday lives have made the virus visible; but also in processes, historical and contemporary, that the viruses make visible – inequalities, be it of access to resources and healthcare, vaccine imperialism, xenophobia, gender inequalities, and so on.
Conceptualized by an art historian with research interests in the history of science and society, the project takes a unique approach to understanding viruses. We use visualizing as a verb to mobilize a method. To visualize is the first revolutionary step towards action in a world where much of life and its politics is invisible. Visualizing the Virus teaches us to look differently.
The digital architecture of the platform invites the visitor to navigate clusters of connection. One can explore links between quotidian lived experience, pathologies, the natural sciences and socio-cultural critique. As well as being a dynamic archive, it provides the visitor with spaces for reflection on the scales of the crisis and our current infrastructural inequalities. Through clusters and macro-clusters that make connections between issues and geographical spaces, Visualizing the Virus aims to provide a granular, intersectional picture of the pandemic as it evolves.
Erika L. Milam
Gabriela Aquije Zegarra
Kenji Wong Wai Kin
Mel Y. Chen
Siu Wai Hang
Solveig Qu Suess
Yim Sui Fong