Media Virality and the Lockdown Aesthetic - call for papers

sufi

lala
Great topic
Apologies for cross-posting

Please note third call for A&SM#4.5
Affect & Social Media#4.5 and Sensorium Art Show present: Media Virality and the Lockdown Aesthetic
Call for papers, performances and artworks


DEADLINE EXTENDED to June 12th 2020 250-word proposal emailed to t.d.sampson@uel.ac.uk
A full programme of links to pre-recorded videos, short position papers, artworks, performances, presentations, book launches, and online discussion groups, and so on… released throughout a two-day period between 16-17th July 2020.


Before Covid-19, the concept of universal virality cut a hitherto marginal figure in media theory. References to contagion, immunology, epidemiology and viral networks were of ancillary concern. After all, media and communication studies were supposed to be about establishing connection; not the opposite of it! Viral metaphors referred to trivial contagions of fads, crazes and marketing hype. Some media theorists optimistically translated these metaphors into the media viruses and spreadable media of participatory culture. However, now, all of a sudden, unpredictably, and rather shockingly, viral media stands at the centre of contemporary issues both materially, economically, and socially. In the wake of global uncertainty and anxiety caused by the uncontainable spread of Covid-19, there has been an abrupt move to the viral – from the margin to the middle.
Covid-19 draws urgent attention to the workings of a viral logics that criss-crosses from biological to cultural, technological and economic contexts. Virality is a techno-social condition of proximity and distance, accident and security, communication and communication breakdown. Indeed, it is in the current context that our understanding of the movement of people and messages is framed by the logics of quarantine and confinement, security and prevention.

Virality automates affective reactions and imitative behaviours that relate to different visceral registers of experience compared to those assumed to inform the logic of the market. Which is to say, the mainstream cognitive models that are supposed to support the failing economic model of rational choice (if indeed anyone really ever believed in Homo Economicus) are replaced by seemingly irrational and uncontrollable financial contagion.
Recent outbreaks of panic buying of toilet roll and paracetamol, some of which have been sparked by the global spread of Instagram images of empty supermarket shelves, are spreading alongside scenes of isolated Italians, impulsively bursting into songs of solidarity and support from their balconies. All of these are bizarre contagions because, it would seem, they are interwoven with contagions of psychological fear, anxiety, conspiracy and further financial turmoil; all triggered by the indeterminate spread of Covid-19. Virality is resolutely non-metaphorical.

To think these contagions through is, for a number of reasons, a difficult task. We are after all dealing with an ecology of technological, biological, and affective realities moving about in strange feedback loops. Future predictions are taking place against a backdrop of contested epidemiological models, reliant on, for example, the uncertain thresholds of herd immunity or total social lockdown. Certainly, following a sustained period of comparatively stable risk assessment, mostly based on known knowns and known unknowns, we have just entered a vital, possibly game changing phase in which unknown unknowns will prescribe the near future.

We welcome suggestions inspired by, but certainly not limited to this list of topics
  • Media viruses
  • Information-viruses
  • Conspiracy contagions
  • Revolutionary contagions
  • Meme(tics)
  • Viral modelling
  • Accidental contagions
  • Panic buying
  • Media health and media contagion
  • Care contagions
  • Spreadable media
  • Social theory and contagion
  • Financial contagion
  • Ethics of virality
  • Lockdown aesthetics
  • Biopolitical containments
  • Quarantine
  • Viral patterning of habit and behaviours
  • Social distancing
  • Herd immunity
  • Sleepwalkers
  • Contagion theory
  • Viral flows/events
  • Racist contagions –g. maskaphobia
  • After lockdown
  • Novel spatiotemporal viral realities, yet to come
  • New political assemblages
Deadline for short (250 word) proposals June 12th
Emailed to
t.d.sampson@uel.ac.uk

Further information about A&SM#4.5 will appear here on the Virality Blog (https://viralcontagion.blog/asm4-5/).
Please note that this event is free for all. The organisers cannot pay for any content or content production.


The blurb for A&SM#4.5 is based on Les logiques nouvelles des médias viraux Par Tony D. Sampson et Jussi Parikka. Published in AOC Journal 09.04.20 https://aoc.media/analyse/2020/04/08/les-logiques-nouvelles-des-medias-viraux/
English version here: https://www.boundary2.org/2020/04/tony-d-sampson-and-jussi-parikka-the-new-logics-of-viral-media/
and an excellent list!
If the dissensus cyborg were to create a collective 250 word submission, what would it say?

maybe get us going with 25 words... go on
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
The World as a Virus - Agency, Performance and British Grocery Shopping in Spring 2020.

As you arrive at your nearest supermarket, your mind floods with possibilities, probabilities and the ensuing risk factors of the new reality inherent in procuring food. You have all the tools. Garish coloured gloves, check. Hand sanitiser aka sani, check. Mad Max-esque face masks, check. “Ok love, we’re going in, be prepared for the idiots”.

As you enter, you run through a few positive affirmations - I am safe, any cunt who acts a dick gets smashed and beware indecisive grannies who’ll reverse trolleys out of nowhere. Despite your clear planning, your cortisol levels begin to go into overdrive, while your adrenal gland now resembles a large bicep.

Our lives are built on a pyramid of security; food, shelter, fire/warmth/clothes. Without these universal foundations, our mental health quickly degrades. Being so far removed from the sources of our food production and its supply chain for over half a century, our appreciation and respect for the means and sources of basic nutritional needs has slowly run aground. Environmental degradation, mass species extinction and populist politics are just the beginning of these converging outcomes.

The supermarket and/or the local shop for local people are hubs of necessary evil in these chains of capitalist operations, but within seconds of entering the supermarket you overhear the first of many bizarre, illogical and surreal conversations. “If the Chinese didn’t eat fucking bats, well, how can we stop them?”, “I‘d blow my husband one last time for a pack of Hobnobs” and “Where’s all the loo roll and Baked Beans? Selfish bastards”.

Slowly, more details emerge. A distraught, shell-shocked nurse is loudly applauded by a group of obese, 30 stone individuals on mobility scooters. An elderly gentleman in an old, red, 2-Para beret is shoved to the floor by ingrates seeking the last packet of paracetamol. The navigation arrows are all being completely ignored. Chaos. One youth shoulder checks your wife, so you hurl (a la Flintoff) a large can of corned beef at his head and he drops too. Have that you cunt. Checkout is a distilled prolapse. No social distancing, but the veneer of polite gestures occludes the rampant rage felt by all. As your contactless payment is refused, you’re forced to chip and pin, tearing the finger off your glove on the payment device panelling. Gordon Bennett. The sani’s in the car. The man behind you, who keeps bumping into your back, sneezes and you feel a faint splatter pattern hit your exposed neck. Wtf. “Cheers for that mate” as you death stare the perpetrator into oblivion.

Head back to the car. You load the shopping bags and bin your gloves. A woman in the car alongside reverses out without fully checking her pathway, crushing your lone packet of dark choc digestives. Nooooooo. You open a bottle of bleach and wipe your neck down with it, regardless of the ensuing burning. As your neck erupts in pain, you wind your way home, park and finally open the door to home. There’s been a burglary. No electrical goods or family jewellery though. Nope. The fuckers have taken your last oz of prize winning cannabis.

There is no God.
 

sufi

lala
The World as a Virus - Agency, Performance and British Grocery Shopping in Spring 2020.

As you arrive at your nearest supermarket, your mind floods with possibilities, probabilities and the ensuing risk factors of the new reality inherent in procuring food. You have all the tools. Garish coloured gloves, check. Hand sanitiser aka sani, check. Mad Max-esque face masks, check. “Ok love, we’re going in, be prepared for the idiots”.

As you enter, you run through a few positive affirmations - I am safe, any cunt who acts a dick gets smashed and beware indecisive grannies who’ll reverse trolleys out of nowhere. Despite your clear planning, your cortisol levels begin to go into overdrive, while your adrenal gland now resembles a large bicep.

Our lives are built on a pyramid of security; food, shelter, fire/warmth/clothes. Without these universal foundations, our mental health quickly degrades. Being so far removed from the sources of our food production and its supply chain for over half a century, our appreciation and respect for the means and sources of basic nutritional needs has slowly run aground. Environmental degradation, mass species extinction and populist politics are just the beginning of these converging outcomes.

The supermarket and/or the local shop for local people are hubs of necessary evil in these chains of capitalist operations, but within seconds of entering the supermarket you overhear the first of many bizarre, illogical and surreal conversations. “If the Chinese didn’t eat fucking bats, well, how can we stop them?”, “I‘d blow my husband one last time for a pack of Hobnobs” and “Where’s all the loo roll and Baked Beans? Selfish bastards”.

Slowly, more details emerge. A distraught, shell-shocked nurse is loudly applauded by a group of obese, 30 stone individuals on mobility scooters. An elderly gentleman in an old, red, 2-Para beret is shoved to the floor by ingrates seeking the last packet of paracetamol. The navigation arrows are all being completely ignored. Chaos. One youth shoulder checks your wife, so you hurl (a la Flintoff) a large can of corned beef at his head and he drops too. Have that you cunt. Checkout is a distilled prolapse. No social distancing, but the veneer of polite gestures occludes the rampant rage felt by all. As your contactless payment is refused, you’re forced to chip and pin, tearing the finger off your glove on the payment device panelling. Gordon Bennett. The sani’s in the car. The man behind you, who keeps bumping into your back, sneezes and you feel a faint splatter pattern hit your exposed neck. Wtf. “Cheers for that mate” as you death stare the perpetrator into oblivion.

Head back to the car. You load the shopping bags and bin your gloves. A woman in the car alongside reverses out without fully checking her pathway, crushing your lone packet of dark choc digestives. Nooooooo. You open a bottle of bleach and wipe your neck down with it, regardless of the ensuing burning. As your neck erupts in pain, you wind your way home, park and finally open the door to home. There’s been a burglary. No electrical goods or family jewellery though. Nope. The fuckers have taken your last oz of prize winning cannabis.

There is no God.
well you blew the wordcount, but that is very fantastic (y)
in a week or 2 you can update us on your symptoms
sorry to hear about the weed :(
 
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