Artnodes 27:1-10 (2021)

Authors
Marietta Radomska
Linkoping University
Abstract
The ongoing global pandemic of Covid-19 has exposed SARS-CoV-2 as a potent non-human actant that resists the joint scientific, public health and socio-political efforts to contain and understand both the virus and the illness. Yet, such a narrative appears to conceal more than it reveals. The seeming agentiality of the novel coronavirus is itself but one manifestation of the continuous destruction of biodiversity, climate change, socio-economic inequalities, neocolonialism, overconsumption and the anthropogenic degradation of nature. Furthermore, focusing on the virus – an entity that holds an ambiguous status between the ‘living’ and ‘non-living’ – brings into question the issue of the agentiality of non/living matter. While the story of viral potency seems to get centre stage, overshadowing the complex and perverse entanglement of processes and phenomena which activated these potentials in the first place, the Covid-19 pandemic also becomes a prism that sheds light on the issues of environmental violence; social and environmental injustices; more-than-human agentiality; and ethico-political responses that the present situation may mobilise. This article serves as a written record of joint conversations between artists and researchers in the working group ‘Non/Living Queerings’ that formed part of the online series of events ‘Braiding Friction’ organised by the research project Biofriction. The article strives to capture the collective effort of braiding and weaving a variety of situated perspectives, theoretical toolboxes, knowledges and experiences against the background of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, the text focuses on the issues of crisis, ‘amplification effect’, viral agency and the changing notions of humanity.
Keywords the non/living  queering  Covid-19 pandemic  art  vulnerability,  amplification
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