Accepted Paper:

Art in Quarantine: Visual patterns of confinement in times of pandemics  
Ana Gago (School of Arts - UCP Porto) Diogo Marques (University of Coimbra)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper we propose to examine some of the artworks featured in the online gallery “Art in Quarantine” (, in order to discuss the representational and therapeutical possibilities of visual arts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Paper long abstract:

The “Art in Quarantine” (AiQ) project is an online gallery and digital platform curated by wr3ad1ng d1g1t5 collective and designed to host more than 900 artworks, produced in the first 40 days after the Covid-19 pandemic status (March – April 2020), by more than 350 authors from 57 different countries, following an international Open Call for (e)-mail art and art by e-mail.

Launched as a first response action to an unprecedented global crisis situation, not only in terms of public health, but with foreseeing impacts at cultural, social, political and economic levels, the AiQ project includes an interactive digital interface and map in which visitors can track the arrival of artworks by day and location. By doing so, the gallery’s visual interface symbolically conveys and subverts a logic of contamination, revealing, day after day, the transmission chain of another type of infection; that of benign artistic expression.

In this sense, the AiQ project potentially serves as a visual archive of one of the most critical periods of the COVID-19 pandemic so far, allowing us not only to access the individual experiences of each of the participating authors, but also to identify visual patterns from a collective experience of confinement.

In this paper we propose to examine some of the artworks featured in “Art in Quarantine”, in order to discuss the representational and therapeutic possibilities of visual arts, during this traumatic experience; the collective pathos in which we remain submerged.

Panel P05b
The crisis of communication
  Session 1