HD video, 25 min, 2016
The video-play Communion unfolds as the clash between 3 female characters: the subaltern, unenlightened hired worker and the representatives of the cultural elite, who happen to convey the values of religion and spiritual growth, thus speaking on behalf of social authority and ethical power. The play is not so much the social critique, but rather an attempt to reveal the hypocrisy in the institute of belief, which pretends to appropriate the rhetoric of virtue, but stems from oppression. The play questions the issue of commons in the conditions of extreme inequality paired by the social hegemony of the elites, manifested as well as an intellectual and cultural domination. However, the quest among the protagonists is still about the search of experiences that would paradoxically accomplish the expectation of commonality.
Credits (2016, 25’, English subtitled HD video). Based on the original play by Keti Chukhrov, 2009. Translation: Stephany Sandler, Marijeta Bojovich, Kevin Platt, Bella Shaevich, Ainsley Morse. Producer: Olga Shirokostup. Video editing: Victor Alimpiev. Performers: Vera Kuznetsova, Keti Chukhrov, Anastasia Ivanova. Camera: Sergey Shilovs. Sound: Victor Timshin and TEAMSOUND STUDIO. Music: Nikolay Krasotkin. Subtitles: Alex Buldakov. Color-correction: Vladimir Mogilevsky. Supported by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Moscow).
HD video, 42 min, 2013
Love Machines examines a shift of contemporary thought, science and culture towards post-human condition with its negation of outdated human community, love, solidarity, grief, and other forms of collective sensibility, mainly residing in mass culture or unprivileged social layers. In the oscillation between the artificial intelligence, the human and the animal it nevertheless questions the possible potentialities for the ethical conduct.
Credits: (2013, 42', English subtitled HD video). Based on the original play by Keti Chukhrov, 2013. Translated by Thomas Campbell. Producer: Olga Shirokostup. Video editing: Victor Alimpiev. Camera: Sergey Shilovs. Sound: TEAMSOUND STUDIO, subtitles: Vika Marchenkova, Actors: Dina Gatina, Arseniy Zhilyaev, Vera Kuznetsova, Maria Chirkova, Andrey Andrianov and Truppa Rupor group, artistic director: Semen Philipov. (Commisioned by Bergen Assembly 2013).
Today’s ruminations on the non-human agencies claim that to achieve a planetary dimension of life on earth we need to get rid of our humanness. It is particularly odd that contemporary object-oriented ontologies – actor network theory, speculative materialism, accelerationism, 13 or biotechnological optimizations of mind (Metzinger) – are still confined to the geophysics of a single planet, and are returning to Ptolemaic constructs of the world centuries after the Copernican turn. Meanwhile in the Renaissance era it was precisely the discovery of the cosmological dimension of the universe that entailed the human condition and its social utopias. Nowadays the striving toward a global dimension of the world dismisses humanness as some kind of fossil remaining in the constraints of national countries, cultural localities, folk politics, limited intelligences and similar. Conversely, at the outset of the modern era the cosmic dimension coincided with the rise of humanism and the incomprehensibility of cosmos only served to confirm it as the true universal surroundings of the human mind and its quests. The cosmos was not treated as alien, despite being largely inscrutable, whereas today what is imagined as alien comes closer and closer, invading human bodies and minds. Thus any automatic extension or technological invention is a priori treated as an alien presence, and is either fetishized or defied; any computed capacity or manmade mechanical agency stands for something converse to human. This is definitely a syndrome of the capitalist condition: everything is alienated, reified and externalized, but to be alienated is even desired – and desirable. Only total externalization and self-alienation can bring the confidence to handle what is alienated, abstracted, ungraspable. Thus it is only natural that with such logic even the simple prosthesis is alien, or now-standard cybernetic programming performed by man seems a macabre invasion of inhuman intelligence. This is because the condition of the Universal turns in this case into mere nominalized abstraction, but such abstraction is far from the generality of the concept in the Hegelian sense. In communism the logic would be different: even the things that are remote, abstract, inconceivable and universal would become part and parcel of concrete mundane life and its social imaginaries.