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Undergarden

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Authors Victoria Gopka, Anna Kaplan, Grigorii Kirgizov, Sofiya Osbanova, Anastasia Slavina
Performance Alexandra Kolesnikova, Grigory Kirgizov
Sound artist Fragile Hex
Construction consultant Bulat Shakirov

About

"Finally, we will speak of the haptic whenever there is no longer a strict subordination in either direction, either a relaxed subordination or a virtual connection, but when sight discovers in itself a specific function of touch that is uniquely its own, distinct from its optical function".

— G. Deleuze. Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation

Entering into interaction with the world, humans use light in the usual way to clarify for themselves other forms of existence – procedural, variable systems formed by continuous interspecies communication. Clarity is an anthropocentric weapon against the alienness of nonhuman systems, a way to filter a dark heterogeneous environment through a language, enclose it in the framework of rational terminology, reduce a complex set of relationships to another tool in hands of a human. Gardens express our affection for nature, beauty and harmony, but we neglect its most fundamental matter – the soil which remains strangely alien for our senses. Soil is a complex system based on the interaction of a number of factors: climate, time, source rock, terrain, plants, and animals. The uniqueness of this natural body is not only in the fusion of organic and inorganic, but also in the density of living organisms. Soil is the habitat of a huge variety of organisms – from bacteria and protozoa to plants and mammals. Settling the solid, liquid and air phases of the soil, these organisms are constantly involved in the interaction processes that regulate the functioning of the system. Depending on the type and depth of the soil, the species composition and biological activity change. At the same time, the human presence also leaves its mark on soil life. In UnderGarden project, we try to open up uncommon garden perspectives, suggest entering the territory of soil otherness, discarding the usual ways of thinking, and commit thereby “anthropological exodus from the dominant configurations of the human as the king of creation.” By rejecting vision based on stereotypical models of knowledge, we try to reconstruct our perception and give preference to tactile and auditory sensations which, in isolation from visual cues, can generate unexpected, spontaneous images. This new sensuality can help us to move intuitively into the zone of the nonhuman. At the same time, we do not try to dissolve ourselves into the Other, do not give up our own environment, but recognize in ourselves a “nomadic, embedded, embodied, and technologically mediated” subject, “a complex assemblage of human and nonhuman, planetary and cosmic, given and manufactured.” The sound filling of space with field recordings is another way to consider the relationship between the human species and the environment. Within the sound space, natural sounds and human coexist, complementing each other, but not suppressing.The development of sound canvases in real time reflects the procedural character of natural systems. As a result, the observer finds himself in a space that is in constant motion. The dynamics of the sound space reflects the dynamics of the natural soil system,using technology as a medium.

Bio

Anna Kaplan graduated from Saint Petersburg State University with a degree in soil science. Сurrently she is studying for a master’s degree in Art and Science at ITMO University. The main area of interest includes theoretical and practical artistic research of natural science concepts. Part of the team of curators of an interdisciplinary artistic and educational project at the Museum of soil Science.

Grigorii Kirgizov a programmer turned into conceptual bio artist with professionally-inspired interest in generative art & interactive installations. Finished computer science degree with excellence (SPBU, Math & Mechanics department, 2018). Swapped from researching abstract structures and meta-programming into artistic explorations thanks to Art&Science Masters program at ITMO University in St Petersburg, Russia.
Currently I’m researching through artistic practice two themes: what I call “the convergence of codes” — how genetic and computer code become parts of the same information systems (as exemplified by bioinformatics and proliferation of computational paradigm in life sciences); and the role and place of liminal experience in personal relation to pressing global issues, in particular, to ecological crisis.

Slavina Anastasia – architect, interdisciplinary designer.
Education : faculty of “Construction of electronic devices”, Bonch-Bruevich university (2016-2018). Currently i study “ Architecture and Urbanism” at Moscow architectural school.
The area of interest lies in research of haptic perception of space, opposed to one in cartesian Western Europe culture. Also, the ways of how that haptic perception could be realised due to some devices: materials and formative elements interacting with kinesthetic, auditory and tactile organs of perception of space.

Sofiya Osbanova graduated from the Polytechnic University named Peter the Great in the department of “Medical and Bioengineering Physics”. During her studies, she practiced and worked at the Laboratory of Molecular Neurodegeneration. Currently she is a student of the “Art & Science” Master’s program at ITMO University. She is interested in artistic research of natural science concepts through the ideas of posthumanism. She is one of the curators of an interdisciplinary art and educational project dedicated to the study of soil, based on the Central Museum of Soil Science named V.V. Dokuchaev.

Victoria Gopka graduated from the Faculty of Philology (Pushkin State Russian Language Institute), Art Direction and Media Design Program (Higher School of Economics), worked as a journalist and a graphic designer. Currently she is a second year Arts & Science master student at ITMO University, St Petersburg, Russia. She is researching theoretical aspects of posthumanism and curating an artistic and educational project dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of soil.

Fragile Hex is a musical project currently based in Moscow which seeks to redefine the distinctions between tonal sound and noise, exploring the expressive capabilities of their borderline states.
He perceives electronic noise music as a radical cultural practice which is able to create an alternative to conventional cultural attitudes that limit human perception. His creations, be it rhythmically oriented electronic music or experimental soundscapes, are infused with the concept of ritual and attempt at conveying abstract and even incommunicable ideas through the medium of music.
In his work, Fragile Hex draws on his background as an art historian and researcher of noise culture, currently finishing his master’s degree (MA) at RSUH.

Shakirov Bulat, 1978, graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Repins Institute, where since 2018 he has been the head of the laboratory. Attended courses at KIBI, India, and Bauhaus Uni Weimar, Germany. Academic interests include research in sustainable architecture and philosophy and traditional crafts. Worked in the field of architecture, animation, graphics design. Participated in architectural competitions and exhibitions, created educational programs and master classes related to sustainable building.