John Kilburn ︎︎

One Step from Chaos

Pandemic numbers. Letterforms and abstract creatures inspired by the pandemic made entirely using MIRO, an online whiteboard and visual collaboration platform.

Throughout the pandemic the government and scientists have tried to maintain order through graphic messages, slogans and traffic light systems but mostly this pandemic has been about numbers. Large abstract, scary numbers, presented as graphs, charts and percentages aimed at keeping us alert to danger and abiding by the rules – to do the right thing. Wash your hands. Stay home. Protect the NHS. Save lives. This creative project acts as a personal, playful, and absurd counterbalance to the overwhelming bombardment of organized data.

  For educators and artists, the impact of Coronavirus has been dramatic - as seen in nature, a catastrophic event acting as a trigger for rapid diversification and evolution. Enforced isolation and social distancing has resulted in widespread uptake of new or previously underused digital communication and visual collaboration platforms. Our working methods have changed as we seek new ways to connect and to recreate physical workspaces online. It has often felt we are one small step away from chaos and whilst this has caused untold missteps and frustrations, there have been many positive developments. We are further apart but closer together.

Existing partnerships and projects have expanded and international prtnerships have become easier and more exciting . Software such as Miro & Padlet allowed us to easily work in virtual spaces, creating collaborative play areas, exhibitions, maps and diagrams. Ubiquitous use of zoom and Microsoft teams formed part of our daily lives whilst helping us to stay in contact with loved ones and to reach out to our most vulnerable. It has been fascinating to see the creative community bring new perspectives to these apps, using them not only for ‘work’ but also as creative outlets in their own right.