Unstable Mask. Berlin, during the coronavirus pandemic, 2020
Daun Bak and Yannick Spiess in the “Unstable Mask”, Berlin, during the coronavirus pandemic, 2020, Polaroid picture by Katharina Lüdin
The fundamental function of the mask is immunological defence. However, in many Asian countries, this purpose of use is currently giving way to the neurological defence. McLuhan outlined that the Internet is primarily a tactile media. Millennials are the abrasion patients worn by over-communication and hyper-information in the internet and SNS. The other, real-life world is too rough to communicate for them. The other must be defended against, the same as viruses and fine dust. Wearing a mask is a symptom of neurological defence. Even before the corona outbreak, wearing a mask was business as usual for many Koreans.
With social distancing measures in order, we rush to the screen to meet colleagues, friends and family who can’t cause infection. In the sector of digital computing, everything that interferes with communication is eliminated. FaceTime's “gaze correction” is a digital mask that temporarily overshadows the inevitably unaligned gaze. Our eyes are a nuisance that have to be removed.
Why do we still have eyes? What does our body in quarantine exist for? The human body is facing neglect and isolation.
“Unstable Mask” entirely overturns the schemes of the immunological and neurological defense of a mask. "Unstable Mask" consists of two masks sewn side by side with each end of them. Therefore, in order to wear it, physical contact with the Other is inevitable. The memory of a neglected body is returned to the self through the warmth of the Other.
2020 COVID-19 DIARIES. designtransfer, Berlin, Germany