On a typical afternoon on Zoom, a few months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a colleague of Hubert’s interrupted the conversation to share that he had purchased the same office chair as him—an Ikea chair, which they had both chosen because of its respectable price-quality ratio. In the weeks that followed, that chair seemed to multiply from one Zoom screen to the next, gradually taking over the uncertain material conditions of the remote university. While sharing this anecdote with Monica as we began editing this issue, we realized that this moment of mutual recognition was emblematic of the situation’s configurations. This movement of replacing kitchen chairs of questionable quality into ergonomic work furniture seemed a banal testimony to the strange ambivalence of the transition of our academic activities online, prompting us, at rhythms somewhat synchronized, to reimagine the material and aesthetic configurations of our daily lives.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Hubert Alain, Monica Henderson