ISSN : 2266-6060

New surfaces

The pandemic has changed countless aspects of our world: the shape of our encounters, the way we move around, the fibers we put on our faces. The ordinary geography of our exchanges has itself been disrupted. The distance that separates us has become a permanent preoccupation, constantly reactivated by marks, words and objects that constrain us in order to protect us. Among these, the Plexiglas panel made a sudden appearance, transforming shops into a multitude of sites of involuntary homage to the hygiaphone counters of the sixties and seventies. But these transparent barriers have not only provided a reassuring form of sanitary separation between customers and cashier staff. They have also increased the overall available surface area in a world that is fond of all kinds of displays. And it didn’t take long before the new walls, less and less invisible, became covered with announcements, warnings and other catalog excerpts. As if our eyes were invited to take a step back as well, to follow other directions.
An hint perhaps of the possible slippage of pandemic isolation. Once separated from our respective breaths, the temptation is great to free ourselves from the rest of the relationship, and to take advantage of the time freed up by the recomposition of space to saturate our already fragile attention a little more.