Before 2020, I rarely watched or read the news. I do not own a television, and the primary reason that I would purchase a newspaper is to do the crossword. However, in March 2020, I let the news inundate my life. Reality seemed to become a hot mess and the internet was there to host a socially distanced watch party. Public life stopped: live gigs were cancelled, car and plane traffic noise disappeared, and the laughter of friends was only experienced through my laptop speakers. As slow as life seemed, the volume of noise alive on the internet was louder than ever.

Jodie Rottle Jodie Rottle. Photo © Vivid Visual Co

My new work Public Figureis a reaction to the inundation of news and information reliance as a result of the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic. I found I became dependent on social media platforms and I began to consume content that I had never before had interest in watching. The internet became an odd and somewhat unwelcome replacement for in-person social interactions. I still look on with dumbfounded amazement,...

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