By: Peggy Nelson
April 17, 2020

Day 11: The Internet


You know I really wanted to say this one goes to eleven.

We hope you have enjoyed TEN DAYS, HILOBROW’s Decameron for the COVID-19 era. Over the past week and a half, we have featured wide-ranging experiments in narrative form and content, including essays, photo series, sound art, film stills, poetry, myth-making, fantasy, and tales. The entries have been collected here under the tag TEN DAYS for ease of future binging.

I personally have been delighted to amplify and cross-pollinate these varied voices; for although there are undeniable similarities in our circumstances due to the global pandemic, there are as many responses to those circumstances as there are individuals.

This is a time of collective isolation, framed and punctuated by sudden illness, frantic activity and clear danger. The paradoxes are become pragmatic, the surreal is real. What to make of it? Because one thing is clear: we must make something.

The ten contributors here offer ten radically different perspectives which contain, not solutions, but an idea of how multi-dimensional the questions, and problems, and ultimately opportunities, are and will be.

So how does it end? We’ve reached the conclusion of TEN DAYS, but we’re not close to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all still here; in our homes, in hospitals, in cyberspace. We just have to keep going, even if it feels like, for some of us, an accelerating treadmill with no Jane in sight to let us off this crazy thing; while for others of us, it feels a lot like standing — actually sitting — very still. Thank you for lending some of your attention to accompany us on this digital picaresque.

I will leave you with this thought: here in Year One of A.C.V. (After Coronavirus), may we mark this turning point by making this timeline into a better place than the one that has come before.


Recap (brief descriptions mine):

DAY ZERO (New York): Peggy Nelson (ed.), Series introduction

DAY ONE (Seattle): Vince Keenan: You do have to go home and you can’t stay here: a paean to cocktail culture when all the “third places” have closed for the duration

DAY TWO (Seattle): Scotto Moore: TEETH: a fantastical autopsy of the body politic

DAY THREE (Toronto): Puzzlepurse: Scenes and sightings: a photo series investigating Toronto and beyond

DAY FOUR (New York): Vijay Balakrishnan, Esthetique du Banal: a prescient poetry cycle about New York City

DAY FIVE (Newcastle): Jimmy Kipple Sound, if not gold well still then something: a sonic suite featuring field recordings of spaces both inside and out

DAY SIX (London and Berlin): Russell Bennetts and Colin Raff, This you? (choose which 1 u r bc u r u): lockdown avatars

DAY SEVEN (Boston): Joshua Glenn, Validation Session: a excerpt from a work-in-progress

DAY EIGHT (Lausanne): Andrew Sempere, D2020: Notes Towards An American Decameron: film stills from a lost cult classic

DAY NINE (Boston): Tom Nealon, The mythology of minestrone: a community stirs up some siege stew; plus! a recipe

DAY TEN (San Francisco): Marc Weidenbaum, Zeffirelli Wand Shop: the opening section from a novel-in-progress

DAY ELEVEN (The Internet): Peggy Nelson (ed.), Coda and conclusion


Complete series: TEN DAYS on HILOBROW