As we have pointed out in previous columns in the BMJ, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is very much an epidemic of the internet age (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7395/937/a and http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7399/1152-a). But information and data about cases, symptoms, and treatment are not the only SARS related material online. The outbreak has also spawned much digital folk art.
The SARS Art Project (www.sarsart.org/) is evidence of how much the epidemic has captured the popular imagination, particularly at the height of media attention over the disease. The site, which began as a series of posts on the weblog BoingBoing.net (‘a collection of wonderful things’), features a range of ‘found’ and original images, ‘online oddities that demonstrated the epidemics social impact throughout the blogosphere.’
Judging from most of the contributions from BoingBoing readers and net artists, it is clear that the mask is to SARS what the condom is to AIDS. Many artworks feature masks, from