— a film by AA and RG

Duration: 13 - 18 May

Location: and Fotogalleriet's Instagram

– Can we take a virus and its communicability seriously? Can we take art and its communicability seriously? For the Society of the Friends of the Virus, the answer to both of these questions is yes!

– AA, RG, May 2020

To tackle the current moment of crisis, Fotogalleriet has asked reputable and young artists and art professionals to guide us through their thinking processes, generating an alternative space for critical thinking and advocating new forms of freedom and togetherness.

For the fifth week of the programme, we are excited to present CONTAGIOUS NEW YORK, a film that addresses the current moment, made by AA, RG*, two artists and regular contributors to The Society of the Friends of the Virus.

CONTAGIOUS NEW YORK is a video diary of two protagonists living at the fringes of Manhattan in 2020 during a global pandemic. Inspired by the Society’s own mixing of genres, the film is a poem, a political treatise, a question, an utter, a stutter, a shudder, a whisper, a note, a pause, a break, an attempt to actualize the forgotten, to open up the feeling to the infinite, to reestablish severed relations, to touch in words their meanings. It is a film made within the folds and ambiguities of this epoch of the virus.

The film will be available via the provided link in our bio and released episodically on Fotogalleriet’s Instagram page from 13-19 May 2020.

AA, RG have sent us the following text describing their exercise:

Since mid-March the Society of the Friends of the Virus has been publishing a series of political writings using art, epistolary form, poetry, manifesto, philosophy, agitational, playful, and analytical modes — which attempt to unsettle what the friends see as normative and normalizing, tonalities, discourses and relations toward the intrinsically political unease and experience of disease the virus provokes.

Can we take a virus and its communicability seriously? Can we take art and its communicability seriously?

For the Society of the Friends of the Virus, the answer to both of these questions is yes!

As it pertains to the virus, it has called the Earth’s people to stop their activities, to strike, or what they refer to as a beyond human-in-human strike or a life-place strike (as opposed to the traditional work-place strike). And it is within the terms of this in-human call to strike and the time it opens that a possibility for new relations to life can be reclaimed.

As it pertains to art, it is not, for the Society, a particular line of work, mode of doing or production. And most certainly it is not a particular field of professionality tasked with consoling or entertaining. It is, rather, a force of destabilization immanent within any profession or competence. It is what allows every form of doing to put into question its own ends, uses, and thus usefulness beyond mere instrumentalism. In this sense, for the Society of the Friends of the Virus, art’s affinities lay more profoundly with striking and the potentialities of relating anew to the forces of life.

There is no doubt that the virus has momentarily brought everything to a halt and one of the intrinsic questions for the Society of the Friends of the Virus is whether the various communities and societies of this world are able to use this previously unimaginable stoppage to shift the very terms by which life may be reinitiated, rethought, relived, and with whom?

To ‘restart the world’ we have been living before this suspension is as the Society has written, to restart ‘the world which destroys worlds’. And they ask, are we able to use this temporary suspension to look for friends and means by which we can make this suspension permanent. That is, to stop our complicity in the reproduction of this monolith the world - which hides behind its seeming wholeness all kinds of scissions and divisions, not only through impositions of class, caste, race, gender, sex, ability, coloniality and continued forms of violence; but also through separation from life itself, from Earth itself, from the cosmos itself.


AA, RG are two artists whose practice spans various fields. They are currently contributing in the margins of the Society of the Friends of the Virus.*In this case, the two have proposed to use only their initials in keeping with all who publish materials in PERSPECTIVES a political, philosophical, literary, and art journal maintained by the Society of the Friends of the Virus. Their film CONTAGIOUS NEW YORK will comprise part of Vol. 4 of the journal.
Links to existing publications of the Society of the Friends of the Virus:

Volume 1:

Volume 2:
Volume 3:


Let’s Talk About Images 2.1.0 is a #stayhome programme conceived and produced by Fotogalleriet in Oslo, Norway. The programme takes place from 16 April - 7 June 2020. The participating artists are announced on Fotogalleriet’s Instagram account every Monday. Follow us on Instagram for developing programme announcements and projects.

Artistic Director of Fotogalleriet Antonio Cataldo says:

– We are not turning digital, but we are hijacking the only available platforms at our disposal at the moment to keep discussions alive. This is in line with our mission to catalyse new and cutting-edge practices within the arts, and give artists a platform and needed support, enabling them to continue their artistic practice in these daunting times. By doing so, we hope to provide an opportunity to think freely and independently, share with others different worlds and modes of being, and to continuously affect thought.

To read more about the programme please click HERE or contact us at [email protected].