Event Title

Screenings: Photography and Intimacy in a Century of Pandemics

Mentor 1

Jason Puskar

Start Date

16-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

How has the Covid pandemic impacted our visual experience of intimacy? The method of figuring that out involves looking at different forms of photography from the 20th century. This a creative project that combines portraits I have taken with additional text and poems I have written. These Covid-19 photos are informed by a longer history of how people photographed infectious disease in the past, but they also reflect new innovations related to the different natures of the diseases. By studying the photography of the AIDS and 1918 Influenza epidemics, I bring innovative eyes to the visual practices of the current pandemic. In this project I explore the central visual icon of Covid-19, the mask, and the way it is meant to physically screen out germs but is also related to screens that have taken over our social lives in almost every way. This work aims to show how different Covid-19 is from the two previous pandemics, especially in terms of the representation of intimacy. To examine the different kinds of mediated intimacy that have become common during Covid-19, my project pairs two portrait images of the same individual on facing pages, one taken with a film camera in person with both of us wearing masks, and one taken remotely online, by controlling the subject’s own webcam. Both photos have a different sense of distancing involved, whether in person or online, the feeling of distance exists in many ways. Covid-19 created a new way of seeing and looking at the world and other people. The 35mm film photographs and webcam photographs have their own forms of intimacy, but there are just different kinds of “screening” happening. The further consequences of the pandemic are not only physically health related but mental and emotional as well.

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Apr 16th, 12:00 AM

Screenings: Photography and Intimacy in a Century of Pandemics

How has the Covid pandemic impacted our visual experience of intimacy? The method of figuring that out involves looking at different forms of photography from the 20th century. This a creative project that combines portraits I have taken with additional text and poems I have written. These Covid-19 photos are informed by a longer history of how people photographed infectious disease in the past, but they also reflect new innovations related to the different natures of the diseases. By studying the photography of the AIDS and 1918 Influenza epidemics, I bring innovative eyes to the visual practices of the current pandemic. In this project I explore the central visual icon of Covid-19, the mask, and the way it is meant to physically screen out germs but is also related to screens that have taken over our social lives in almost every way. This work aims to show how different Covid-19 is from the two previous pandemics, especially in terms of the representation of intimacy. To examine the different kinds of mediated intimacy that have become common during Covid-19, my project pairs two portrait images of the same individual on facing pages, one taken with a film camera in person with both of us wearing masks, and one taken remotely online, by controlling the subject’s own webcam. Both photos have a different sense of distancing involved, whether in person or online, the feeling of distance exists in many ways. Covid-19 created a new way of seeing and looking at the world and other people. The 35mm film photographs and webcam photographs have their own forms of intimacy, but there are just different kinds of “screening” happening. The further consequences of the pandemic are not only physically health related but mental and emotional as well.