What would you say are symbols of your current situation or the current situation in your country?
The current situation is an endless feedback loop between and through screens. This state of hypnosis is not a personal issue despite the fetishism of teleconferences, of real-time statistics, and of the body count. The user experience is mediated in order to steer clear of the actual event and, at the same time, to embrace the fear. You may contemplate the misrepresentation of social relations by becoming-other. You may contemplate their reduction to the relations between a disorderly child and the state apparatus’s monopoly of responsibility. You may contemplate the false resolution of all social contradictions within the sphere of representation.
By becoming-other you may contemplate your dependence on the consumption of an infinite loop of your own self. Our Covid 19 forced entertainment via Zoom/Skype/Houseparty or other video platforms is becoming our new multiple selfie. A new Lernaean Hydra in real time. A new mass pop perception/consumption of the screen has arrived. Check your resolution now!
How will the pandemic change the world? What do you see as long-term consequences of the crisis?
Capitalism loves innovation. And what it has developed more than anything else in the course of its history are innovative ideas, such as new methods to kill. It kills people all over the world with smart bombs, nuclear weapons, mines, everyday boredom, physical or digital confinement, barbed wire, chemical warfare, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), hunger, overconsumption, plunder of natural resources, wage slavery, etc. Also, capitalism loves expansion. The expansion of surveillance, of restrictions on the freedom of movement, of the police state, of technofascism, of a permanent state of exception, of plain survival as the only reason to live.
However, the search for innovation in this socioeconomic system is not an end in itself. It is a means to the accumulation of wealth for the few through the exploitation of the productive capacity of the many. And it can achieve that through experimentation with older ideas. The input data for an equation which includes hard national borders, surveillance, profitability and isolation point towards the old ideal of fascism.
What gives you hope?
Hope is a word which is usually used in a stereotypical manner. Its use as a verb would be more interesting to examine. It is often found in written correspondence without meaning anything. You express the hope that someone is well when you start to write an e-mail message. You hope the best for the recipient when the message is concluded. You hope for the salvation of souls in a theological context.
Maybe the meaning of this word has been lost because it is so closely connected to the future. And the future has been cancelled. It seems to be inaccessible and individual, a fait accompli. Haunted within the ever-recurring present. Hope does not carry any factual content. It is unreal. If there is still hope it remains to be discovered in the plural tense.
What is your personal strategy for dealing with this situation?
Perhaps, the worst pandemic of the modern world is the pandemic of individualism. It has been cultivated and has colonized every aspect of our everyday lives in order to ensure the maintenance and reproduction of the conditions of existence of the prevalent socio-economic system. With each passing day, we realize all the more clearly that self-improvement is no way to deal with and confront a global biopolitical dictatorship. The development of personal survival strategies is part and parcel of the homogenized social totality.
We should penetrate the veil of the universal values of this social totality in the name of global well-being and solidarity. We must question ourselves whether we were ever all equal and the same, whether, all of a sudden, racial, gender, and class discriminations have been reduced because of the coronavirus.