Author of Pro&Contra project.
Media artist, theorist, art director of the MediaArtLab (SCCA, Moscow),
curator of the art resource ‘Da-Da-Net’
festival in the Runet, organizer of the first International Festival of
Experimental Video, Computer Animation and Projective Synthesis.
Author of the following projects: ‘Underground Land’ (Estonia,
Tallinn), 'Labyrinthology' (Moscow), net project ‘My
Selected events: International Festival ISEA-98 REVOLUTION
London-Manchester (1998), ‘It’s a better world’ in Secession
Museum, Vienna, Austria; Art Forum Gallery in Mirano, Italy (1997);
European Contemporary Art Biennale ‘Manifesta 1’, Rotterdam,
Holland; video-installation ‘S.Eisenstein’s Pavilion’, together
with V. Podoroga (1996); one-man show in the ‘Ptuch’ video Gallery,
Moscow (1995); International exhibition project (curator - Jean François
Taidei), France, Saint-Naser; Annual Exhibition of the Soros Center of
Contemporary Art ‘New MediaTopia’, video-installation, Moscow
(1994); International project of Komar and Melamid ‘What to do with
monumental propaganda?’, New York-Moscow-Tallinn (1993);
‘Avant-garde and Traditions. Books of Russian Artists of the 19th
Century’, Museum of the Book, Moscow-Paris, National Library (1993).
Сonception of communication
A copyright text. Quotations and references that have slipped
into the discourse do not affect the author's position. Events and
characters dissembled in historic references are subject for a special
It is necessary to admit that development of technology is a logically
Historic technological modernization is motivated by absence of other
perspectives. Modernization is a practical basis of the Consumer
philosophy and perhaps a negative aspect of Contemporary culture as a
It was not long ago when contemporary art used to make experiments with
forms of representation at exhibitions, expropriating, step by step,
space of media. 'Epoch' of art gestures used to die in it's boots - and
is dead. The fact is pointing to art's media dependence on the Consumer.
Modernization adds aesthetics, philosophy, ideology and ethics into the
notion of new media technologies 'as if' hinting on general causality of
culture and technological side-show. Do media technologies engender
communicative medium? Or is it vice versa? (Self)representation of an
artist in a new space of the Internet is not a necessity. It's just the
theory and practice of contemporary art that proceeded from active
strategies of media - its forces of immediate reaction. Performance,
action occurred to take main position in video- or TV-strategies of both
Russian and Western artists. Topics of self-identification of an artist
and art, reflections towards the audience, art institutions, money and
power used to retrieve their losses. Struggle for the very sense of
self-determination was placed in the center of contemporary art in
Russia. This struggle is both in intellectual substance positioning art
as a form of an artist's survival in This Reality, and in more radical
gestures of violence. A spectator turned into a witness of violence
actions. A witness turned into a spectator of struggle activities for
the power. Art became a spectator of violence over itself. An artist
turned into a witness. A spectator became a Consumer. Media fixed traces
of the artist's presence in historic, aesthetical and technical
progression. Sign and trace were becoming more and more theatrical, on
the one hand witnessing the real presence of the artist in the news
tissue of events, and on the other hand indicating 'audience'
hallucination. Anyway, while modernizing, media technologies personify
the Power, and the Power has the right of violence. As well as the
state, political and financial power merely totally controls the media
in order of representation forcing out creative ambitions. Contemporary
art in the space of media loses freedom and obtains phantomacy. A
universal formula of generalization of various practices was put into
the grounds of new technology ideology. Mirror effect...
Contemporary art loses its actuality. Majority of Russian artists more
or less using media technology reject the Internet. And it is clear
since the practice and strategy of art do not coincide with the practice
of this new space or are not effective. Shifting of priorities of this
space, from presentation to communication, supposes other strategies.
Instrumentarium of Moscow conceptualism is working more effectively in
the Internet. The reason is in the data coded with objective medium,
individual mythology and real context. Data constructions, from Ilya
Kabakov to his followers, were communicative zones of art. And they must
have been generated by the age of stagnation which equalized data and
communication. Constructing of a conception indicating or presenting
data-message might be too sophisticated. Communicative channel might be
realized through performance, action, gesture, text, installation. In
any case definition of art expression as a message is fair. There're
well-known cases of deep conspiracy of authors and sense of their
messages, through meta-language of collective creation. Creation of
secluded communicative space in contemporary art practice is motivated
not by ideology but specificy of playing the elite game. Imaginative,
textual or objective media were recoded messages. Moscow conceptualist
practice contains positive experience of language, sign and
communicative strategies. This is a special subject which can't be
sufficiently covered in this publication. I'd like to bring the
discourse on new media, which unfortunately doesn't present experience
of contemporary art, to premises of including theoretic basis of art of
the last 30-40 years into ideological and philosophical implication of
media strategy. The problem of non-continuity and opposition, in some
cases, of the past and the present experience is rather in traditional
'political' and 'positioned' ambitions of different groups and
institutions curating these 'zones'. I wish, today the media theory and
practice were able to constitute themselves as art of new technologies.
Moreover that the new communicative space is nevertheless realized
through strategy and practice of contemporary art. The most striking
examples of Internet art projects clearly expose culturological victory
of conceptualism. These projects are well recognized both in Russian and
Western Net space.
Let's try to build up the conception of communicative space as an
object of contemporary art.
Data being a physical content of informational field is not a
Informational field is multi-polar and decentralized.
Information stream doesn't contain content, it only reflects its sphere
with a mirror inner surface.
Communicative zone, place or tunnel temporary appears in informational
field if there's a conventional dominant. This dominant might be
presented as another mirror reflecting the content of information
The reflected content has been already a message within which
imaginative, sign and language media of a work of art are formed.
This work of art is presented on-line in an Internet gallery, as well as
off-line in visual and textual documentation of
the realized action. These are quite acceptable by contemporary critic
forms of creative realization.
Thus. Trash will be the dominant of the modeling project.
Actuality of this notion is typical both for contemporary art and data
space. Art defines Trash through radical aesthetical categories, and the
net community - through negative actuality of data space. In both cases
revaluation or re-coding of the sense of Trash might become the
dominant. Any statement might be rejected, this meaning destruction of
communicative field during the process of its projecting. In this
project, the right definition of communicative language is the goal
proceeding from the Trash's sign status definition. And a dustbin which
is on the desktop of any user became such a universal sign. This sign
became the mirror of communicative space of the project.
Marcel Duchan exhibited a routine w.c.pan and re-coded its sense into an
art object. Is it possible to recode the sense of Trash bin in the
Internet? Suppose, someone looks for trash, and another one is eager to
get rid of it. Suppose, Trash is the data space dominant which is able
to perform as a content mirror and contain a message. A site presenting
multiple dustbins is being projected. The site technology gives chance
to any user to discard any visual, sign or textual data into the bin.
Technology provides equal opportunities for all visitors to add data
into Trash or to throw it out according to individual approach to the
Trash sign. The process of content formation is spontaneous and depends
only on selection tactics of visitors. Hence, technology generates
functional mechanism of recycling of data garbage while art replenishes
new Trash. Active policy of informing of the project in the form of
manifest, key words and informational field become communicative, while
the message becomes the object of art.
This conception was realized in March 1999 and has been successfully
working till now.