Staying in touch: Case study of artistic research during the COVID-19 lock-down

Louise Mackenzie (Lead / Corresponding author), Robertina Šebjanič, Karolina Żyniewicz, Isabel Burr Raty, Dalila Honorato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In April 2020, artists Isabel Burr Raty, Louise Mackenzie, Robertina Šebjanič and Karolina Żyniewicz were invited by Dalila Honorato to develop research on the theme of “Staying in Touch: post-coronavirus art curating” as part of the collaborative digital art residency Braiding Friction. Working remotely across Slovenia, the UK, Poland, Belgium, Greece, USA and Portugal the group developed a speculative fiction in which art is the virus and art practitioners act as frontline workers. Braiding historical and contemporary art, architectural and bio-art practices, the group developed potential futures for post-pandemic art spaces, resulting in a fictional account of a series of art exhibitions that coincide with a pandemic event. The research was synthesised in the form of a pseudo-documentary premiered by the Creative Europe project BioFriction on 23rd July 2020. This article presents the transcript of the pseudo-documentary “Staying in Touch” (Honorato, Mackenzie, Żyniewicz, Burr Raty, Šebjanič and Tavares 2020, 00:00:00 to 00:47:55), set in 2039: an ergodic narrative constructed as a self-ethnographic role-playing exercise by its contributors, where alter-egos Vess L, Arri Val, K-130, Soladite Carnelian and Anise Neuchâtel reflect on their curatorial practices before, during and after the pandemic. Whilst the narrative draws from many academic and contemporary influences, any references to historical events, real people or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places or incidents are the product of the authors’ imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. “Staying in Touch” was edited by Pavel Tavares with the support of Cultivamos Cultura and included cameo appearances by artists Marta de Menezes, Yann Marussich and Adam Zaretsky. At its core, this work is a case study of artistic research and the possibilities of interactive engagement during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue numberNo 27
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Artistic research
  • COVID-19
  • Curating
  • Digital collaboration
  • Multispecies
  • Pandemic sci-fi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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