#Logistics in the time of COVID


Supply shortages. Transportation challenges. Securing Bubble Space… Has anyone ever noticed how these parables of contagion are all about #Logistics? #CovidXLogistics, #ZombieLogistics, #SoLogistical
Supply shortages. Transportation challenges. Securing Bubble Space…
Has anyone ever noticed how these parables of contagion are all about #Logistics?
#CovidXLogistics, #ZombieLogistics, #SoLogistical

1. Dawn of the Dead (1978): What might this classic scene of nihilistic consumerism at the shopping mall look like in the era of Amazon-powered e-commerce? Check out the wheelbarrow of stuff slated to be “delivered” to safety (starting around 0:53).

2. Pushing Daisies (2007): This American fantasy-comedy centers around the character Ned, who possesses a mysterious ability to restore life with a touch, unless he touches again. Ned faces various challenges as he falls in love with the girl awakened by his touch. Their romance (and co-residence) can continue only with the strict rules banning any physical touch. Every move in their house and work should be carefully choreographed (like wearing slippers with bells), and some intimate gestures should be innovated (like kissing with plastics). Space and time needs to be meticulously “measured” and “coordinated” to make sure that they do not unintentionally kill the loved ones or awake those who shouldn’t.

3. Dead Set (2008): Tonight, someone is going to get voted “off the island”, as they say, on the set of this fictional version of England’s Big Brother reality TV show! Unfortunately, outside the doors of the set, a zombie apocalypse is underway. Trapped inside, producers and contestants are forced to improvise in the face of encroaching zombies, collapsing technologies and broken information flows. A dark tale about the vulnerability of hyper-technological worlds.


4. Train to Busan (2016): In this South Korean film, the zombie outbreak requires several logistical measurements. Containing zombies in particular cars in the train; sorting out (potential) zombies from survivors; deciding on what (and whom) to sacrifice in the process of containment and sortation. While passengers argued over whom to live and let die, the authorities pinpointed the train full of zombies as the target of isolation and containment, to prevent further development of outbreaks in their country.

5. Zombied (2019): A comedic short film about zombie contagion from the perspective of a vulnerable American “essential worker” - the supermarket employee. A biting commentary (pun intended) on the undead nature of labor in the logistical flow of our on-demand economy. The end is eerily prescient - just missing the new corp of Instacart delivery workers in the scene.

6. #ALIVE (2020): #ALIVE is a zombie movie for 2020. Taking place in Seoul, it features digitally-savvy characters who are trapped inside their highrise apartments and forced to ration food as a deadly virus ravages the outside world. Sound familiar? The quarantine aspect of it, down to pantry recipes, hits a bit too close to home for many of us who have been in our own pandemic lock-down since last year. (Start video at 8:30 for zombie logistics scene.)

Why You Wouldn't Survive #ALIVE​:

7. Reality Z (2020): Inspired by the British miniseries Dead Set (2008), this Brazilian TV drama series imagines an unfolding zombie apocalypse that collides with a reality TV show, “Olympus”, in Rio de Janeiro. Zombies are mistaken for rioters as the Olympus set -- designed to be a “self-sustaining” home akin to Big Brother -- becomes a refuge for beleaguered reality show personalities. As the living dart in and out of Olympus for essentials like medicine and gasoline, will they work together or eat each other alive? 

Bonus Reading Materials

8. Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic (2011): The Center for Disease Control in the U.S. made a zombie comic book about emergency preparedness for an outbreak way back in 2011. Check out pages 21 and 29-30 when the warehouse managers and truckers emerge as potential heroes:


9. My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead (2010): Here’s American journalist Chuck Klosterman’s ruminations more than a decade ago about zombie fascinations in pop culture and its resonance with the ever-escalating onslaught of digital flows: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/arts/television/05zombies.html

Inventoried by: Julie Chu, Jack Mullee, Heangjin Park, and Philana Woo