CORPOREAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL REALITIES

This picture is quite allegorical of several  aspects that have become central during this period of lock down during COVID 19. An old USB extension chord I purchased about three years ago was “brought back to life” during COVID since my new laptop has only two USB sockets. The extension – designed to look like a man whose limbs taken on the extra USB extensions, was my rescue for multitasking and connecting more than two devices to my laptop. In the picture, this USB human looks particularly distressed, entangled into the wires. At the same time, s/he is sitting within the black space (of the speckled table) which almost makes him appear suspended in a starry abysmal hollow space. The “power” light in red harks a kind of fatality in correspondence to the gently bent neck and leg that gives the overall posture of its body a sombre depressed demeanour. To a large extent, it talks to the grimness of these times of the pandemic.

On the other hand the image suggests the extended limits of electronic and web connectivity that everyone is largely reliant on during these days. “WFH” has become a new acronym for everyone (which stands for Work From Home). Social media is saturated with webinars and online talks open to public. Several people have jokingly called it as a pandemic of webinars! Amidst all this, the human body is literally suspended in the e-space while physically immobile. Energized through new channels, such extensions are keeping us afloat, and mentally alive – allowing a new kind of normalcy. The colourful speckles in the dark vacuum together make up for a dual reading. The image brings out poignantly a range of emotions – the corporeal and technological reality of a large section of human lives during these gloomy times of the pandemic. The seeming ascent of the floating body here, suggests the hope of escape from these troubling atmospheres.

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