“In progress. Schrödinger’s Code, or New SARS-dom Chronicles” (2020 – on-going)
The key quality of the last few months is uncertainty. The dynamics of new confirmed cases is a perceptible embodiment of that uncertainty.
At the time of the detection of the disease, each person of more than 10 million (at the present moment) becomes a statistical unit and is similar to a Schrödinger cat with an “infernal microscopic machine” locked inside – numbers mark a superposition: potential recovery – potential death.
When a pandemic was announced, and governments rushed to close the borders, introducing quarantine, about 10,000 people were falling ill each day in the world. Then it was scary. Now, 150,000 people a day are getting sick, but these numbers are translated by our minds into an unrepresentable set. The same goes for the written numbers: ten thousand and one hundred and fifty thousand – an eye does not see much difference. And when someone close or well-known falls ill, this number feels disproportionate to the total number of cases, too. These numbers become defining accents.
COVID-19 has presented the world with a completely new experience that we are only trying to realize, as far as we are inside this process. The events are distorted by a “frog perspective”: light on dark or dark on light, there is still no established generally accepted “optics” – vision image.
Sometimes, to convey something new, people turn to ancient or marginal art practices – the Renaissance used the expressive language of the Antiquity, Modern art was fascinated by the power of “primitive” art, etc. I used the language of calligraphy – a practice both ancient and marginal to contemporary art. Lines of written numbers are stretching with a viscous quarantine fabric to the sound of Chinese bells – “music of the wind” – that is filled with new meanings.