Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism, which it started reading on the recommendation of a tutor in a one to one tutorial, On the first page of the book, it mentions the image of a pig balloon on top of a Battersea Power Station, the cover of the Pink Floyd’s Animal’s album. I saw the building several times because it was under construction near the college, but I didn’t know it was so famous that it was used as an album cover for a famous band. Anyway, the album cover was inspired by George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm” and It was a moment that reminded me of the animal farm that I read as a child. Animals that have gained freedom from humans but are victimized and exploited by pigs of high knowledge, pigs walking on two feet as if they were humans after all. This novel was published in 1945, and it allegorically expresses the times of that time. However, even after 75 years, human society has not changed much.
In 2020, when the world suffers from Pandemics, the Black Live Matter movement took place around the world again in memory of George Floyd, who was victimized by excessive police suppression. Human beings are composed of various races, including white and black Asians, but there are many discrimination and conflict within them. One of the biggest reasons for this discrimination is that mankind is still a white-centered society. Everyone knows that many European countries in the past have built colonies in many parts of the world and thus accumulated huge wealth. Was it possible because they were superior to other races? Perhaps most people know the answer. In Jared Diamond’s book ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’, he talks about the benefits of form on the continent as the first reason that European countries have been able to stay ahead of other countries. The form of agriculture is more affected by latitude than longitude, with Eurasia being the longest continent on the side. In other words, it means a large area with the same latitude. This has brought the spread and development of agriculture to Europe, and the development of agriculture has led to population growth. The increase in population also created an empire, in which letters were born. The birth of letters caused the development of technology, or military power, through the database of records. Secondly, many mammals such as cattle horses and pigs that can be domesticated live in the Eurasian continent. This livestock has had a great impact on agriculture and technological development and have also given Europeans antibodies to the germs held by various animals. When Europeans arrived in the Americas in the past, the natives, who had only antibodies to one type of germ, were exterminated. As you can see in his book, the reason why European countries representing white people were so powerful is because of environmental factors, not race. These days, articles about Asian abhorrence are frequently published because of the coronavirus. Although it is true that the virus spread first in Asian countries, it is only for a number of environmental reasons and should not act disparaging Asians. In a time when many people are struggling and exhausted by the coronavirus, we should cooperate with each other to cope wisely with the post-corona era, rather than confront each other between races.
‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ by Jared Diamond
Just a hundred years ago, or a few ten years ago, many countries carried out public executions of criminals, and it is still happening in some countries. In the past, those in power tried to maintain their power by using the fear of the people as physical punishment, but the occurrence of prisons and prison sentences has changed from a fear politics involving violence to a system of monitoring the people through invisible surveillance.
Many scholars now refer to human society as a panopticon- society. We are being recorded unknowingly by store security cameras, car dash cams, and street cameras. In addition, the use of credit cards stores personal records of where and how much we spent, and the government uses these records to levy taxes. Michelle Foucault feared that the database, where all the data on a person’s private life is stored, might be misused as a tool of power to control and manage the public from birth to death, just as Panopticon monitors prisoners. Most people have an antipathy to this surveillance and are afraid just by the thought that they are being watched by invisible power. Also, several artists have produced works of art and films related to this monitoring and control, and these works of art are usually focused on the negative.
The coronavirus has brought many changes to human life. Many liberal countries have created laws to keep people at home for weeks in the name of preventing the spread of infection and punish them if they violate them. Currently, the U.S. and European countries have restricted access to markets and public transportation without masks. In Western cultures, where people don’t usually wear masks, viruses have changed their way of life. In the journal “the world after Coronavirus,” Yuval Noah Harari argues that many countries will establish a system to legally monitor the people. The government requires surveillance programs to install smartphone apps for public safety reasons, but no one knows if they will be used for public health. The fear of viral proliferation is also changing people’s perception of surveillance. In South Korea, for example, one of the recent visitors to a club in Seoul was infected with the coronavirus, and the virus spread nationwide through those who contacted him. Although the number of confirmed cases is not increasing as the government is coping better than in the early days of the virus, many people are starting to hate those who enjoy the entertainment in clubs. In addition, the government requires people there to be tested for viruses through broadcasting and public text message and is trying to figure out the contacts of those who were there that day through telecom companies. If it had been in the past, this government intervention would be considered an invasion of personal privacy, but now many Koreans hope that those who went there will be inspected quickly and want the government to respond more strongly.
As such, the coronavirus creates numerous dilemmas between public safety and individual freedom. Just as no one knows what life will be waiting for us after Corona, I wonder how art should adapt to people’s changed perceptions.