The Monkeypox outbreak exposes the failings of the technocratic biopolitical rule and the erosion of our ability to act as moral agents that plagued the Covid pandemic.
Snow asked his literary colleagues about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. “The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare’s?”
I tried to throw a New Year’s Eve party. What could go wrong? The responses I received revealed a deep and lasting trauma among my peers. Is this what is now left of our public sphere?
The philosophy of science, the politics of evidence, and the biases that shape our decisions. For anyone who spent their Christmas trying to fact-check their family into submission.
Is the fiction of arts’s economic value now the key measure of culture? Are we now willingly econo-cultural agents? Does it matter that we don’t understand the figures?
Are we witnessing a solidarity turn in art production? If artists are workers and workers are artists, who’s standing in solidarity with whom?Artistic solidarity could be a powerful tool, but only if it is twinned with a careful examination of the claims that art makes about its own needs, desires, and abilities.
Who decides how much culture is enough? Even before the pandemic, the laws of supply and demand could not explain the art industry’s bubble-like growth, nor could the market forces or policy be blamed for the precarisation of artistic labour.
The arts might have hoped for a clean slate – but the post-pandemic art world is unlikely to be much better than the old one.