Viral Imagery: The Animated Face of Covid-19

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animated informational imagery about Covid-19 has become omnipresent; so too have imaginative depictions of how life has changed under lockdown, animating both the psychological and physical aspects of life in quarantine. This article examines the reasons why animation is an apt visual language to engage with Covid-19 and the wider epistemological and ethical issues that this raises about animated imagery in the digital era. I claim that animation has become so omnipresent in the visual culture of Covid-19 because of an interesting relation between (1) the definitions of animation; (2) animation’s qualities as informational aesthetics; and (3) animation’s central role in digital screen culture. As imagery that engages with a global epidemic, animation plays a dual role: as an increasingly dominant informational aesthetic in contemporary visual culture and as self-reflexive imagery about the nature of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalVisual Resources
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Avatars
  • Coronavirus
  • Covid-19
  • Digital
  • Gaming
  • Informational Aesthetics
  • Screen Culture
  • Virtual
  •  Animation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Museology


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