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Monday 6 April 2020
Institute of Contemporary Arts
July 2022

Today’s ICA Daily is edited by theorist and media activist Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi who recently spoke at the ICA, discussing his book On Futurability. Franco is currently writing dispatches from his home in Bologna: Diary of the psycho-deflation, published in English by our friends at Verso.

Many Doctors and nurses have died, in Italy, in the last three weeks, while fighting courageously for the common good. One of them is Valter Tarantini, a gynaecologist in the city of Forli, in my region. I cried this morning reading the news in the paper, because I remember Valter. He was my deskmate in the Liceo Marco Minghetti of Bologna, in the ’60s. I remember him as a beautiful young man, blond, grey smiling eyes, enjoyable and witty. This ICA Daily, for me, is dedicated to him. Farewell Valter, my unforgettable friend.

– Franco, 5 April 2020


I want to start with ‘The Coming Collapse’, an article that was published two years ago on the Common Dreams website by journalist and writer Chris Hedges.
VSC is a useful website that aims to create new forms of social autonomy and organisation in the time of pandemics.
My third proposal is ‘Reality Has Endorsed Bernie Sanders’, a text by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor published by The New Yorker.
Then I suggest the reading of a text published on the Institute of Network Culture's website. The piece, signed by Tsukino T. Usagi, recounts the corona-days of a young man who lives in Shanghai.
The last website I propose is Lobo Suelto!, an Argentinian website where it is possible to read many interesting things, particularly a text by Lucia Naser, ‘Saber parar. Sobre el rol del cognitariado durante la cuarentena’, and a text by Paul B. Preciado, ‘Covid: Aprendiendo del virus’.

Next, a poem by Anna McDonald, from Jason Dodge and fivehundredplaces: ‘Poems written in the beginning of Covid-19 series’:

Prospect Heights Lament
On the first day I took secateurs to Prospect Park and cut out some forsythia.
On the second day I ate garlic by the bulb.
On the third day I heard the crackle of my lungs and remembered hiding out once in an attic padded with fiberglass.
On the fourth day I watched the neighbors leave.
On the fifth day I ordered pineapple linzer sandwich cookies from the shut-down tea-house.
In the sixth day, countryhouseless, I thought of Basho:     
       In Kyoto,
       hearing the cuckoo,
       I long for Kyoto.
From black bananas I made bread.  
Then I gambled in the stock market with the extra black bananas.  
Then my Adam's apple became a sweet gumball fruit.  Then an avocado stone.
Then I stood on my balcony and cried for the clerks and the nurses.  
I cried for my city wheezing under its viral load.
I cried for the ventilators lost in the warehouses.

Then I ordered a nebulizer, Sunshine chorella tablets, meyer lemons, 91% isopropyl rubbing alcohol, albuterol, Annie's Shells and Cheese, and macadamia nut milk over the internet.  

Then I attended a funeral on Zoom.
Then I learned how to be a crow and a pigeon.
Then I sweat out what had entered via my thumb pad into the corner of my eye.
Then I gave up my unclean hands to the sky, and got on my clothesline and sang for the dead.

Track of the Day

Finally, an excerpt from Wrong Ninnananna, a forthcoming album by Marco Bertoni, featuring Lydia Lunch and Bobby Gillespie with texts by me.

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Image: Totò and David Bowie in the toilet of the Topos Bookstore in Woodbine, New York, by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi.