Dossier 1: Quarantine edition

Introduction

Due to the coronavirus, the internet has become even more present in our daily lives. An internet connection is our door to the outside world. We are working remotely and staying in touch with teachers, colleagues and family via video calls or streaming platforms. Companies like Netflix and YouTube had to slow down their streaming capacity to make room for our new habits and ensure the internet won’t break.

It’s an interesting times for internet cultures. Our screen time has increased. We’re interacting with each other across multiple interfaces, helped by platforms that we didn’t use before. ‘Offline’ and ‘online’ have long been seen as two separate worlds, but this crisis is showing that there is too much overlap to make this distinction. In the last months it has become even more clear that internet culture is our culture.

In this dossier we’re exploring how the role of the internet has changed in this time of self isolation. Margarita Osipian interviewed artist Alina Lupu about the impact of the quarantine on artists and cultural workers, many of whom already work under precarious conditions. Lilian Stolk spoke to Lotte Houwing from Bits of Freedom about our life after the (intelligent) lockdown. Can we control the virus without giving up our privacy? We’ve asked online hoarder and former speaker Jolie van Wijngaarden to list some AliExpress must-haves that can help us get through this time. Hmm-friend Deborah Meibergen was being bombed with memes by her parents. She selected the ones that were worth checking out. And we’ve made a Corona-Cribs quiz. Can you guess which home belongs to which celebrity?