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.

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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…

 

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