Final Discussion – Vi-ral-enna. Tracing Comics through Vienna in Times of Corona
Bernhard Frena, Marina Rauchenbacher, Katharina Serles (OeGeC)
July 30, 2020, 16.00–18.00 CET
Via Zoom

Physical distancing in corona times has carved out the importance of strong and re-traceable networks, measures to make visible and to connect cultural initiatives as well as offering online alternatives. Vienna’s comic scene, especially, is bustling but hardly institutionalized, let alone connected, and thus hard to access for outsiders. 

Thus, as part of the trace “Vi-ral-enna. Tracing Comics through Vienna in Times of Corona” of the Nordic Summer University’s Summer Session, we have begun to devise an online map that aims at identifying, ‘tracing,’ and visualizing comics, comics agents and spaces in Vienna. Plenty of collections, (private) archives, exhibition spaces and galleries, bookstores, and libraries specializing in comics exist, but their location, contact, and content info are not collected or made accessible publicly. As such, they remain detached and isolated. 

For our final, online presentation within the Summer Session, we will present this map and open up a broader discussion based on our findings. The current situation, in particular, allows for contrasting our methods of tracing with pathologizing/epidemiological trackings of chains of infection, identifying viral-/net-structures within the comic form and as such reflecting on and contextualizing ‘Corona Comics’/‘Comics in Times of Corona’ as societal-political and cultural-critical practices. 

Questions we would like to address are: How can comics be made tangible in times of corona and which new dimensions arise precisely because this tangibility is happening now? How can comics as ‘visual witnesses’ (Hillary Chute) contain COVID-19, and can comparisons be drawn to instances of ‘queer temporalities’ (Jack Halberstam) in comics regarding the AIDS crisis? How do comics in content, form, and modes of reception negotiate virality, and in what ways could a comics-‘cultural virology’ (Susanne Ristow) be made fruitful? 


Seit November 2019: Monatlicher Stammtisch im WUK Statt Beisl
27. 05. 2019
14. 10. 2019
16. 12. 2019
13. 01. 2020
08. 06. 2020

Zu unseren CoMons (= ComicMonday) diskutierten wir bereits mit den Künstler*innen Nina Hable, Regina Hofer, Renate Mowlam und Horst Stein, sowie mit den Künstler*innen/Vermittler*innen/Forscher*innen Thomas Ballhausen (Graphic Novel Schwerpunkt der Erich Fried Tage), Andrea Praschinger (Medical Comics Ausstellung im AKH), Barbara M. Eggert und Gottfried Gusenbauer (NEXTCOMIC Festival)

07. 10. 2019
Gemeinsam mit dem Arbeitskreis Kulturanalyse (aka) lasen und diskutierten wir Comics rund um die Themen Grenz|Körper|Ränder und Trans|Gender.

22. 03. 2019
Konstituierende Vorstandssitzung