Live dashboard (embedded) and intro to Necroeconomics for Strelka Mag

In 2020, I was part of the first year of Strelka Institute’s design research program the Terraforming, in Moscow. Two months in, and we got terraformed out of the Terraforming by COVID-19. 

With the majority having to leave Moscow, the cohort of 29 researchers became scattered across the world. After settling into our seperate timezones (12 cities and 7 time zones altogether), and before starting on our final projects, we embarked on “Revenge of the Real”: a continuation of the already ongoing research into a viable planetarity but one that would take in the new realities of COVID-19.

In less than four weeks the program developed seven projects, and presented them alongside talks from Benjamin Bratton, Jean-Luc Nancy, Metahaven and Holly Jean Buck during a live-streamed public colloquium.

My group and I focussed on Governing Simulations, and investigated the Necroeconomics of COVID-19 and beyond. We developed a live dashboard (embedded above) that takes one of the most widely used methods to calculate the value of a life, VSL, and uses it to calculate the value of all the COVID-19 deaths to date.

Accompanying the dashboard is a full essay, published on Strelka Magazine, that lays out the history and implications of the ways in which our lives, and deaths, are financialized.