Viral human consists of a sound journey through the historic buildings of the Serenissima, protagonists of the Venetian chronicle during the plague epidemic of 1575-77 and the chronicle of the COVID-19 pandemic; the journey takes place through an app designed to guarantee an immersive and interactive listening experience.
The plague epidemic that affects Venice in those years is described in precious documents made known by Paolo Preto in “Peste e societa a Venezia nel 1576” among which appear “I Novi Avisi di Venetia” dedicated by the notary Rocco Benedetti to the Venetian nobleman Giacomo Foscarini.
Benedetti describes the evolution of the plague by reporting the requests that the Great Council of the Republic of Venice had addressed to the doctors of the Studio of Padua, whose response was reassuring at the beginning, but contradictory later. As the disease progresses, the notary has before his eyes a disastrous situation: the streets and deserted fields, the immense effort made by the Lazzaretti, the explosion of social diversity. Benedetti’s words give us a valuable testimony on the measures taken by the magistrates of the Republic to keep the infected people away from each other; to isolate the affected areas, to bury the infected bodies.
Through a series of political, religious and social events, the Republic of Venice reveals far-sighted interventions in the management of the plague of 1575-77, but also a solid religiosity; which begins with the Doge’s invitation to penance and faith and ends with thanksgiving for the Grace received, through the construction of the “Basilica del Redentore.”
The visit itinerary unfolds as a treasure hunt: a navigation guided not only by the coordinates of a geolocated map, which outlines on the islands the path to follow, but also by mysterious characters including the “Speziali”, the “Medici” (the vultures), the “pizzigamorti”. These characters will accompany the visitor in a late Renaissance Venice struggling with deep issues such as faith, health, death.
Thanks to the help of 3D audio technologies, the visitor enters into the narrative technique of the monologue, focusing on sound, listening and, at the same time, triggering multidimensional artistic experiences and new interpretations of reality. In addition, the voices of two ages compared are enriched by the intimate testimonies of 40 people from Asia, America, Africa and Europe through 90 seconds of audio recording.