ISSN : 2266-6060

Norms and bonds

Paris, September 2020.

Initially taking advantage of the intensity of globalized flows, the virus rapidly paralyzed most of the trade. The mechanics of planetary logistics were profoundly disrupted, and some business sectors, deprived of their spare parts, took the measure of their dependencies. The list of things that were no longer arriving, particularly from China, but which were imperatively needed, seemed endless.
Then exchanges gradually resumed. And new essential products appeared, flooding our supermarkets, our pharmacies, our cupboards and our garbage cans: the invaluable surgical masks. And with them, new signs. Traces of another world of standards and “quality” processes that we imagine to be both very similar and yet different from those that prevail on this side of the planet. A small piece of paper, a table, several languages. A “Made in China” that appears in a completely new light. And two stamps, one blue and one red. A proof of conformity that also marks very concrete bonds, connections that remain difficult to apprehend, but which seem less abstract than for many other objects manufactured in China.
If they didn’t come with those damn disposable masks that still eat our faces every day, they would almost look beautiful.

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