Karrabing Film Collective The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland, video stills, 2018
Photos : courtesy of Karrabing Film Collective

Mermaids… and Mud: Futurability in Viral Times

Gwynne Fulton
In “Diary of the Psycho-deflation,” Franco “Bifo” Berardi traces his reactions to COVID-19’s emergence in northern Italy.1 1 - Franco Berardi, “Bifo — Diary of the Psycho-Deflation,” Verso blog, March 18, 2020, accessible online “Let’s imagine that it is the starting point of the coming time,” he writes in his March 18 post. Since then, the novel coronavirus has cut a path from Italy, across Europe, to New York City. From my window, the intermittent wail of sirens punctuates the quiet that has settled over Brussels, an aural index of the mortality data amassing exponentially each successive day. On the radio, Trump promises America “only 100,000” dead. These dead of the future already haunt the present with a spectral anachronicity. Amidst the growing death toll and economic disruption, Berardi — media theorist and co-founder of the pirate radio station Radio Alice, known for his critique of cognitive capitalism and his association with the Italian Autonomia Movement — urges us to imagine a “coming time” beyond the current parameters.

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This article also appears in the issue 100 - Futurity

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