The Transscalar Architecture of COVID-19

John Hill
23. April 2020
Image courtesy of Andrés Jaque & Ivan L. Munuera, via The World Around

As part of The World Around's online symposium held on Earth Day, Andrés Jaque of the Office for Political Innovation and Iván López Munuera made a 14-minute film about the "massive architectural transformation that COVID-19 mobilized around the world."

The film-archive, as Jaque and Munuera call it, is made up of hundreds of photographs and videos taken from online news and social media. Although it is very much a visual archive of the last four or five months, the images are grouped and ordered with intent. It progresses in a way that clearly conveys the dramatic upheaval of daily lives around the world, but it also shifts in scale throughout. It moves from microscopic imagery of the coronavirus to makeshift hospitals erected in response to the pandemic, public spaces empty of people, places with people obediently social-distancing, and much more in-between. 

The film has an excellent soundtrack by Jorge López Conde with music by Clarice Jensen, which invites watching the move from beginning to end, letting the images proceed at their own pace. But captions, some of them long, accompany each image, meaning a second watch is an order — spacebar at the ready, frame by frame, to see what messages accompany the images.

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