Design Academy Eindhoven announces the fourth episode of its GEO—DESIGN exhibiton platform: a digital exhibition on the complex dynamics of COVID-19.

The world is currently bearing witness to a virus with unique conditions of contagion that created a pandemic of unexpected scale, ubiquity, and duration. The fragilities of global supply chains were suddenly exposed at their breaking points; the relationships of bodies and spaces drastically changed; perspectives on working arrangements have evolved as digital control systems have become more visible.

GEO—DESIGN: COVID-19. Travelling without moving: a digital journey through the complex manifestations of a global pandemic in the context of late-capitalist society — a chain of original readings that open up an unexpectedly immediate reality marked by acceleration, deceleration and creativity.


To see the online exhibition, please use a desktop computer.

The World through a Webcam by Felicity Morris

Description

The digital communications platform Zoom was originally developed to host business conference calls. Propelled by the ongoing pandemic, Zoom became a medium for digital classrooms, parties, sessions of parliament and virtual orgies, hosting wedding ceremonies and death sentencing by courts of law. Zoom’s success will become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the company has propelled forward, privacy concerns regarding the selling and leaking of data as well as attention and app tracking for ad usage grew. Several governments and companies banned the platform and initiated lawsuits. The company has been linked to the FBI and the Chinese secret service. Yet, Zoom’s licit and illicit actions remain unknown to the public. In the past months, as a sudden need for digitisation drastically pushed user numbers, news outlets and online feeds have reported on Zoom. This is the material that the World Through a Webcam is based on.

The World Through a Webcam gives access to ‘Backroom’, a hyper-real mock conference call platform which guides the user through a series of security questions which expose infrastructures and current issues around privacy and data security to highlight the ‘new normal’ of the commodification of the digital realm emerging from this pandemic.

Art Direction, Research & Development: Felicity Morris
Web Development: Soyun Park, Berk Özdemir
Graphic Design: Tereza Nováková
Sound Design: Kirsten Spruit
Proofing: Eva Jack
Voice over: Colin Keays, Benjamin Morris, Lorraine Young

Next Project: Distanced Bodies
Next Project: Membranes
The World through a Webcam Distanced Bodies

During the ongoing pandemic physical spaces are restructured according to an increasing need for physically containing the spread of COVID-19. New standards for public and private living environments emerge. While physical distance becomes increasingly important, the intimacy of digital spaces intensifies, the social effects of digitisation become apparent and it becomes clear that a reality relying solely on digital interaction networks bears failures.

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The World through a Webcam Membranes

During the ongoing pandemic, digital spaces become tools to understanding the physical limitations of the social strucutres we inhabit. The hyper-connectedness of individuals through global digital platforms and their potential limitless interactions are contrasted by the pitfalls of corporate extractivism of the Web. This friction brings up the complex challenge of imagining what membranes of the future will look like.

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