Dashboarding the crisis

As the Coronavirus crisis evolves, it becomes harder to tell what kind of image the most publicised image of/on the crisis is exactly: Courtesy of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), this info-assemblage of charts, curves, numbers, names, map has to be considered as contemporary’s control (or rather: panic) panel par excellence, the iconic polydiagram of the moment. There are other Corona dashboards available (to be used with great care as many have proved to be carriers of malware), but this one (perhaps alongside the sites of the New York Times, the WHO etc.) singlehandedly became the key reference site in the decision-making processes of governments, health administrations, executive boards, stock exchanges and newsrooms worldwide. On the – to date – “virus-free,” website updates on the global spreading of COVID-19 are being merged into a (interactive, zoom-able) sombre black map with feverishly alerting red dots, whose sizes correspond to the numbers of COVID-19 related infections and deaths in the depicted countries and regions (charted on the left and the right side of the central map). For weeks without end routinely opening this site on one’s personal browser faces one with the image that probably features most pertinently in the war rooms of the world. Observing the data at the quarantine called home (in durational performances of anxiety and dread), a prognostic habit is likely to settle as the default mode of perception. At the same time, however, Johns Hopkins’ COVID-19 dashboard is also eerily comforting. For, at least, the numbers seem to be properly quarantined and contained. Imaging the paradox of the control of the disaster, the corona dashboard has done a pretty effective job so far, eliciting alternative kinds of infographic creation, such as the one on the Information is Beautiful site.  TH

March 15th, 2020, 02 / Rosa Mercedes
Interface

Short notice: Jean-Luc Godard, live interview with Lionel Baier (écal/HEAD, Geneva) via Instagram, April 7, 2020, 2.30 pm! Now also available here.

April 7th, 2020, Tom

Brought to our attention by Derek Gregory via his resourceful Geographical Imaginations blog: an open call for contributions to the “Corona Notebooks” of Warscapes, a recommended independent online magazine “that provides a lens into current conflicts across the world.” Warscapes is looking for short, 2-3 minute videos “of yourself thinking about this pandemic, maybe accessing a previous memory, maybe reporting on an injustice, maybe narrating a sweet fragment from your daily life, maybe recounting a second chance that this pandemic gave you, maybe telling us about a loved one you reconnected with, maybe you’ve seen a movie or read a book that was powerful, maybe telling us about having the illness. The tone, the tale, the genre and the language is yours to choose. There is an overwhelming amount of news and information but we will together weave an emotionally vibrant and artistic tapestry.”

April 3rd, 2020, Tom

Almost too good to be true in these times of pandemically enforced streaming: Means TV claims to be “the world’s first worker-owned, post-capitalist streaming service,” “entirely funded by people like you.” It has “a library of films, documentaries, and shows with new programming added all the time,” as well “live weekly shows covering news, the working class, gaming and sports. All available to subscribers for $10/month across desktop, mobile and smart TV devices like Roku, Fire and Apple TV. No advertisements or product placements. No corporate backers or VC cash ever.” See also the respective article at Hyperallergic.

April 1st, 2020, Tom
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