re: Russian Cosmism

Over at e-flux, Marina Simakova examines (and identifies four hypotheses to explain) the recent and growing interest in Russian cosmism, as a subject of theoretical polemics and a conceptual frame for several major art projects.

labas_01web

Alexander Labas, Aliens: Variant, 1974. From the series The Inhabitants of Distant Planets

A few centuries after the Renaissance man and long before the scientistic rage for interdisciplinarity, cosmism imagined an artist-cum-researcher thinking beyond disciplines and formal restrictions, and motivated by the desire for the absolute intellectual and creative freedom that was available to everyone. Like Renaissance culture, cosmism was anthropocentric, but it was an anthropocentrism focused on the collective rational subject, one that had absorbed the lessons of Russian religious thought and the theories of the utopian socialists. Cosmism’s totality was also ensured by the fact that it dealt with a social ideal that embraced (and permeated) the entire universe. This ideal put a premium on the fraternalism and responsibility that ensured immortality, which, like salvation from disease, was one of the objectives in cultivating outer space…

 

Clara Olóriz and Koldo Lus Arana interview Sir Peter Cook

The conversation ranges from the influence of comics and Americana in Archigrams early work, to why he thinks Japan is the most Archigramic place. Also why/how he has become conscious of “the nose motif” (as exemplified by his later solo works; the Graz building, the Vienna building, the Australian building).

20_amazing_archigram_02

Left: Amazing Archigram 4: Zoom Issue. Cover by Warren Chalk, May 1964. Right: Cover of Mystery in Space #86 (DC Comics, September 1963), drawn by Carmine Infantino. (Diagram extracted from “Futuropolis: Comics and the Transmediatic Construction of the City of the Future”, by Koldo Lus).

More via MAS Context