It’s in Queens
#InTheLoop | Virtual Exhibitions Explore How Covid Has Changed Society (And Bodily Functions)
If somebody sneezed in public before last March, those nearby would respond with “God bless you” or “Salud” or maybe even “Gesundheit.”
If that same person sneezes in public now, others will respond with “Don’t get me sick!” or “Get outta here, spreader” or they’ll quickly scurry away.
The Museum of the Moving Image explores some of the many ways that Covid has changed society with the new online exhibition Views from the Pandemic, which encompasses two projects: Every Movie Cough and Mask-O-Vision.
(Please note: It’s online. The bodily functions can’t spread diseases.)
Every Movie Cough is the world’s biggest collection of hacks, sniffles, wheezes, and whoops from throughout the history of cinema. The database presents how such bodily expulsions — whether for comedic or dramatic effect — take on a new significance during a pandemic.
The site also offers an interactive game, “Name That Cough,” and invites viewers to propose undiscovered cinematic coughs and sneezes for the database.
Mask-O-Vision addresses “Naked Face Shock,” the sensation of being startled by the close-up of an unmasked character on a screen. With a browser extension, the website applies state-of-the-art face-tracking technology to detect close-ups of unmasked faces in films and television shows. The faces are then covered with computer-generated masks in a way that is often hilarious.
Views from the Pandemic‘s creators are Jason Eppink, a designer who was once MoMI’s Curator of Digital Media, and Mike Lacher, a copywriter and creative editor. They’ll participate in a live online conversation with University of Minnesota Cultural Studies Professor Maggie Hennefeld on Monday, Oct. 19, at 8 pm.
The conversation is part of a launch event that includes a walk-through of the website and a demonstration of an associated trivia game, as well as a Q&A session moderated by MoMI Associate Curator of Science and Film Sonia Shechet Epstein, who also presents the museum’s popular Science on Screen program.
Eppink currently designs and develops original technology-based puzzle rooms at Escape the Room. He specializes in playful, collaborative interventions in public spaces (online and in the real world).
Images: Jason Eppink (top); Museum of the Moving Image (bottom)