Susan Maughlin Wood
Covid is a society-wide low tide that exposed our inequalities like nothing before, with truths no longer deniable about how our systems were designed to function for the powerful and malfunction for the marginalized. The world ends again and again in waves of inevitable political upheaval, the latest of which includes legislatures in a third of our states attempting to define parental support of trans kids as child abuse. The fact that many kids, including my own, carried out medical and social transitions during relatively safe stretches of school lockdowns was one more “threat” these laws are clearly designed to quell.
In the early days of the pandemic I adapted online mask patterns and sewed over 300 reversible, filter-ready cloth masks for friends, family, and a local Crafters Against Covid-19 group. The Covid Reset quilt was born of a need to step back during a “breather” and attempt to process the magnitude of what the world had suffered and continues to suffer from a maddeningly ill-managed pandemic. A corona(virus) of cloth masks in various stages of completion asks the perpetually unanswered question: is it RISING, or is it SETTING? The moon hangs next to it, a pseudo-magical orb of hopeful vaccination, spiky on the inside but absent the teeth to truly eradicate the virus in the face of maddening skepticism surrounding the vaccine and masking. The floating triangle under a reflective surface embodies unseen and, for both good and ill, unlearned systems—that is, we struggle to unlearn our various intersectional bigotries as we inadvertently also unlearn or forget the shared factors that could unite us against humanity’s darkest tendencies toward conquest, division and destruction.
Humanity has been given a reset button in this self-aware period of history. Are we going to fall to fascism again or can we rise up en masse, in finally enough mass to make real the ideals of equality we claim to embody?
Susan Maughlin Wood of Punchbeam Music, LLC is a multidisciplinary composer and artist working countercultural chamber music into film, apps, and other media. Her award-winning productions including “Spectratta” (described as Bartok meets Hanna-Barbera) and “Coastal Fire: A Common Diary” celebrate neurodiversity and social justice, spotlighting the need for emotional resilience within our shared political climate. She holds a Master of Music in Film Composition from the Pacific NW Film Scoring Program at SFI, and has served as both Past President and Vice President on the Board of the Seattle Composers Alliance. Susan has engaged as a panelist at SPU and SIFF, and has presented a film scoring multimedia lecture at Centralia College. She has created soundscapes for the story reading app Novel Effect, created electronic and acoustic interstitial music for choral concert Embracing the Journey, and continuously develops varied passion projects.