Coronary (Coronário)

Creative Work
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Description (in English): 

The coronavirus has created a new lexicon, which shaped, modulated and mediated a global confinement experience. Due to the negationism of the pandemic by President Bolsonaro, in Brazil it gains particular features, while maintaining a dialogue with the global scope.

Words, terms, and places, like alcohol gel, mask, chloroquine, and Wuhan, have entered the everyday vocabulary. Neologisms in Portuguese, such as testing positive, and communavirus, and expressions such as lockdown, hand washing, and social isolation11 have taken on new meanings. Home Office, Zoom, Emergency Aid, YouTube Lives, and PPEs are other keywords of the moment.

Together, they indicate that the pandemic (another word which became recurrent) has created a whole spectrum of new languages and representations. Will they be quickly forgotten, deleted, and erased from memory, or will they remain?

It is too early to anticipate what will happen in the post-pandemic context. However, it is not premature to state that it has already dictated a few rules of the neoliberal grammar as social foundations like: naturalization of surveillance through cell phone monitoring, the brutality of the remote work regime, the condemnation of the elderly to a dysfunctional position, which consolidate the guidelines that “late capitalism of the ends of sleep,” a 24/7 world, has enunciated some time ago.

In this project, we gather the most striking words of the coronavirus cultural experience tracked by Google data, during the months of March and April, period that coincides with the beginning of the “quarantine” in Brazil. The most searched-for words by the audience of the Coronary website respond dynamically, changing color, according to a heat map that reflects the attention given.

Popularized by the thermosensors, widely used in Asia, heat maps are one of the aesthetics of surveillance that are embedded in COVID-19.

In this context, the Coronary functions not only as a glossary of the pandemic cultural and social experience, but it is also a “surveillance performance" exercise done in public. The colors of the words reveals the economy of attention and the politics of gaze that the Internet puts into play, translating the most visited words into warm colors, and the less visited, into cool colors.

(Source: Author's description on project site)

Contributors note: 


Giselle Beiguelman

João Henrique Amarante

Alexandre Gonçalves

English version: Adriana Kauffmann

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Screen shots: 
Coronary heatmap screenshot Portuguese
Coronary heatmap screenshot English
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Scott Rettberg