News/January 2019
Close up of model hotel room

A Cluster of 17 Cases will be exhibited at the Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts in Hong Kong from January. Previously shown in New York, the work is inspired by the stories of the 17 unsuspecting people who stayed on the 9th floor of the hotel on the night of Feb 21, 2003. These 17 people were subsequently identified as spreading the SARS virus to at least 546 people around the globe.

The work is the result of artists Matt, Ju and Nick being the first ever artists-in-residence at the World Health Organization in Geneva. During three trips in early 2018, they interviewed key staff at the Strategic Health Operations Centre (“SHOC”), which monitors epidemics and pandemics across the world and coordinates international collaboration in response. They explored how epidemiologists studied the movements of each of the guests in the Metropole Hotel that night; even conducting tests to trace airflow between rooms.

A series of multidisciplinary programmes will also run until July 2019, including a talk on the SARS virus at the Hong Kong Science Museum.

A Cluster of 17 Cases is a new work by Blast Theory, supported by Wellcome as part of Contagious Cities.

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