Center for Arts in Medicine

Creating Healthy Communities: Arts + Public Health in America

Performing Public Health: Remote Cultures

The following resource was created by an interdisciplinary team of artists and researchers to support artists and creative communities, ask important cultural questions, and center artists’ knowledges during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21. We encourage the use of these resources as a means of bringing lessons from the pandemic into a new reality. Download key takeaways from the project authors here: Key Takeaways & Coded Conversations.

What are “Remote Cultures”?

In this context, “Remote Cultures” refer to the cultures evolving in response to the public health measures implemented due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Remote Cultures vary among different populations and communities, including Unique Precarities (particular experiences, knowledges, needs, and abilities of marginalized groups) and individuals' adaptations to the novel public health measures implemented during this pandemic.

How are “Remote Cultures” forming?

Cultural norms have shifted as people are prevented from being in close proximity to each other, communicating face-to-face, or leaving their place of residence for nonessential activities. Under the constraints of social distancing, people primarily communicate through digital screens, phones, or other innovative ways, rather than in person. Even as society works its way back to its routines by reopening businesses and areas of congregation, we find everyday life has changed, calling for quick adaptations to fulfill general health and well-being needs.

Why define “Remote Cultures”?

The overarching goal of this process is to provide for an understanding of the experiences of Remote Cultures in our current time of COVID-19 and to initiate a broader dialogue among communities and resources. Everyone is living in some new level of remoteness, but each individual’s experience is positioned within the context of their baseline determinants of health and unique situation. Certain remote cultures may be more prone to isolation, loneliness, dramatic decreases in overall well-being, and various other stressors. Accounting for these circumstances may prove edifying and valuable for research and application purposes.

What roles do the arts play in “Remote Cultures”?

Sharing and learning new practices of interaction within “Remote Cultures” is constant. The arts and arts communities are playing integral roles in COVID-19 awareness, prevention, and management. The arts can serve as unifying bridges, connecting people across cultures, social barriers, and various other circumstances. Artists and art communities have a vital role to play in helping facilitate human connection, interaction, and communication surrounding the health of communities during COVID-19.

Guiding Questions:

  1. How can artists best support public health in COVID-19 awareness, prevention, and management?
  2. How can the arts uplift communities during this time and lead us on a road to recovery?
  3. What will these new remote cultures evolve into overtime?

Remote Culture Conversation Series 

Register for upcoming webinars and replay past webinars by clicking on each of these expandable options:

Remote Culture Conversation: How Uniquely Precarious Artists are Performing Public Health

Description: The Remote Cultures project seeks to recognize the ways in which the arts are adapting to public health measures and innovating responses to them. In the first virtual conversation, moderated by Remote Cultures project representative, Aaron Cloverson, we have invited two uniquely precarious artists and one budding public health professional to have an informal conversation about their experiences during the pandemic and how their experiences have shaped their work.

• Charlee Huffman (maxpú hiⁿga miⁿga) is a member of the Unique Precarities team, and will be participating in the conversation as a representative of that project, as well as speaking to their own experience with wellness, community events and organizing within their own tribal (Kaw) community.

• Kenya (Robinson) is a local Gainesville-based artist with a uniquely adapted practice and an internationally renowned body of work, who will speak to that practice as part of the conversation.

• Erin Kim is a representative of the Gainesville chapter of the contraCOVID project, which seeks to serve Latinx and immigrant families during the pandemic and to provide general resources for precarious communities beyond Gainesville.

Graphic Design by Edith Williams

Remote Culture Conversations: How the arts build and maintain relationships during the pandemic. 

Description: How have the arts helped people maintain relationships and nurture community during the pandemic? As the United States awaits the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and the global death toll surpasses 2 million people, Remote Cultures takes a moment to talk with several key artists and researchers who have developed innovative ways of supporting their communities and modeling connection in these difficult times. We understand now more than ever that well-being is dependent on relationships-- this conversation takes an in-depth look at the arts' capacity to facilitate support, connection and healing.

In our conversation we have:

  • Dakota Camacho, Artist and Indigenous Rights Activist
  • Dionne Champion, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Arts in Medicine
  • Kevin Gotkin, Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication
Remote Culture Conversations: How the emergence of a vaccine provokes urgent collaborations in the arts and public health

Description: The discussion centers on strategic partnerships between artists and public health professionals, particularly how they can collaborate across sectors in vaccine-related health communication efforts.

In our conversation we have: 

  • Merith Basey, Universities Allied for Essential Medicine
  • Dannie Snyder, Interdisciplinary Artivist (artist + activist) and a member of the #FreeTheVaccine campaign
  • Dr. Edward Scott, Professor in the UF Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Remote Culture Conversations: How Artists Support Pandemic Recovery Efforts

The discussion will center on how artists and curators might collaborate with the public health sector in the transition from the remote cultures of the pandemic to a new normal. What do artists and public health administrators keep from the adaptations made during the pandemic? How do we work across sectors to reimagine a new reality? How can artists help the public re-acclimate?

In our conversation we have:

  • Stephen Kwok, an artist working across multiple forms
  • Edie Hubert, a musician, educator, and Performing Public Health Advisory team member
  • Louise Shaw, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Museum Curator

Remote Cultures project citations can be found on the PPH Advisory page.

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