Volume 8, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN 2214-9953
  • E-ISSN: 2214-9961
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This paper uses the notions of dispositive and scale to explore the emergence and transformation of pandemic signage, focusing on a subset of regulative signs, i.e. requests to wear a mask. Based on a crowdsourced dataset of pandemic signs collected in Hamburg, analysis examines the multimodal resources sign-makers mobilize to create mask-requirement signs and the change of these signs in the transition from the first to the second pandemic wave during 2020. The findings show that regulative measures within the pandemic dispositive are scaled, i.e. given a particular spatiotemporal validity that is shaped by shifting power relations between sign producers and their audiences. This scaling is dynamically iterated as mask-wearing regulation changes its scope across pandemic waves. The rescaling of directive acts such as face-mask requests is reflected in the multimodal makeup of regulative signs, whose linguistic, pictorial, and composition choices shift as mask-wearing regulations are extended to outdoor space.


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