Revealing the invisible: The virus is looking at you

Barker, Garry ORCID logoORCID: (2021) Revealing the invisible: The virus is looking at you. Journal of Visual Political Communication, 77 (11). pp. 61-87.


The output is a journal article reflecting on visualising the coronavirus as an invisible threat. The article is an exploration of the complex interrelationship between several long-standing visual tropes that over historical time have emerged from various cultures in response to a need to communicate invisible forces. A series of images were constructed in order to establish links and interconnections that were used to explore how invisible threats have been represented and to explain how the corona virus can be read as a type of ‘dark star’ or anti-sun. Research process: The use of drawn narratives to illustrate how over long time periods and throughout many cultures pictorial ideas of how to visualise invisible threats have existed. These images are embedded into a cross cultural historical narrative, that seeks to establish that ‘gleam’ and ‘shine’ are in reality modern versions of imagery first used to celebrate the awesome power of sun gods. Hygiene and the associated science that surrounds it being seen as a contemporary healing narrative that is in many ways similar to much older stories of healing and the passing on of life forces. Dissemination: The concept of visualising the invisible is being embedded into new research into interoception and this article along with other related texts will be referenced in (hopefully) a forthcoming book on contemporary approaches to perception.

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