Internet Web Logs as Cultural Resistance: A Study of the SARS Arts Project Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This article examines an Internet project — sarsart.org — that features digital artworks created in response to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in spring 2003. Qualitative methods including archival research, semiotic analysis, and interviews are used to examine the emergence and substance of this Internet project. The analysis identifies ways in which contributions by artists and bloggers (i.e., individuals with their own Internet site or Web log) contest institutional representations of SARS. The site challenges the representation of the outbreak on three levels: portrayals of citizens affected by SARS, portrayals of health professionals, and portrayals of the risk and panic associated with the outbreak. The argument is made that Internet projects such as sarsart.org can increase the capacity for cultural resistance by creating greater opportunities for the expression of political opposition to institutional authority.

publication date

  • January 2007