EVENT(LESS)NESS OF QUARANTINE VISUALITY

2020 Vіsnik Harkіvs'kogo nacіonal'nogo unіversitetu іmenі V. N. Karazіna. Serіâ Fіlosofіâ. Fіlosofs'kі peripetії  
The coronavirus epidemic has provoked changes in most spheres of public life and has given rise to many ways of rethinking in matters of security, economics, social philosophy, ethics and so on. Against the background of discussing global issues, some kind of simple but not problem-free perspective is being lost – the spectacle of an epidemic from the spectator's point of view. This perspective is the most obvious, but requires further analysis. In quarantine conditions, spectator's contact
more » ... tator's contact with the phenomenon is entirely mediated by the screen determining his perception of the epidemic as a media phenomenon. Dividing the existential experience caused by the epidemic (direct one) and the spectator's experience (indirect one), we put the former in parentheses and focus only on the latter, not being interested in the epidemic as a phenomenon, but in the "phenomenon of the epidemic on the screen". It is the representation of the epidemic that is the problem: despite real-time broadcasting and the unprecedented "visibility" of the epidemic, quarantine visuality is eventless. Discussion of the epidemic captures the information field and its totality makes a claim to an exceptional event. However, its exclusivity is refuted historically, and eventfulness has no place in the philosophical sense. The spectacle remains – but its mode is specific. The brilliant analysis of spectacle by Guy Deborah and Jean Baudrillard in the case of a modern epidemic is inappropriate: the usual way of experiencing a spectacle in the case of an epidemic is changing – this spectacle is non-spectacular. The spectacle of an epidemic is a "quarantine spectacle": isolated from "what is" and / or isolating spectators from it. Without displaying death (except in the form of mortality curves that have nothing to do with a specific death), the screen does not reflect what is happening inside the epidemic itself. The fundamental representativeness of death is complemented by a number of invisibilities – the invisibility of the unceremoniously buried dead, the invisibility of isolated patients, the invisibility of physicians protected by their suits and, most importantly, the invisibility of the threat. However, since the screen cannot remain blank, it is filled with images of scarcity and absence: the image of an empty city is decisive for quarantine visuality. The representation of the epidemic, despite the fact that it is broadcast online as a constant update of statistics, avoids both eventness and entertainment.
doi:10.26565/2226-0994-2020-62-5 fatcat:5thbgagduzcitlvcc3j4noxyau