At first glance, it seems obvious that historical time is divided into ages, eras, periods and generations. The categories which designate them, such as «antiquity» and «middle ages», «feudalism» and «capitalism», «classicism» and «romanticism», «60s» and «70s», «ottepel'» and «perestroika» often do not require explanation. Learned back at school, they seem self-evident. It is doubtless that every period has its clear time limits, as well as a set of specific characteristics, through which we can identify it and distinguish from any other. Looking at a thoughtful gargoyle, we understand that it would be a fragment of a Gothic cathedral. Seeing on the wall a portrait of Hemingway in a sweater, we understand that we are in a Soviet apartment from 60's. Certain things are easy to form into a gestalt, and in the mind there appears a guess that some time our age will also get its nickname, and will be immediately answering to it. Guess is replaced by eager curiosity, the curiosity being replaced by desire to collect by ourselves all the keys to the present on one ring, to become Columbuses of our own epoch.
But are there gestalts of eras in reality, or are they merely a result of simplifying revision of the past? Aren't they created by the optics
of our historical, retrospective vision that doesn't tolerate homogeneity and continuity? Finally, aren't they arbitrary constructs, created by historians, intellectuals, status groups or educational systems, power relations and division of labor? Is it correct to speak about «code of the epoch»? Or is the very concept of «code», despite its neutrality and technicality, loaded with ideologies?
Even if the idea of epochs is just a construct, and the «code of epoch» is an ideologeme, it still remains undeniable that artists, philosophers and scientists passionately desire to think in terms of these notions, as well as to understand what is the time in which we live. So what does this preoccupation with present suggest? It is symptom and sign of what? Who, for what reason, under which circumstances, on the basis of which criteria, with which tools and with which consequences is attempting to draw borders of contemporaneity? We suggest to answer these questions in the course of the Round Table «Zeitgeist. Is the decoding possible?» in the framework of international multi-genre creative project in the field of contemporary art, music and dance – «Zeitgeist».
Arseny Khitrov, Ph.D., associate professor of the cultural sciences of Higher School of Economics, program consultant.
Oleg Aronson / Arseniy Khitrov / Ilya Afanasiev / Ivan Boldyrev / Viktor
Wachstein / Andrey Velikanov / Irina Gluschenko / Gasan Guseinov / Ilya
Inishev / Boris Kagarlitsky / Kirill Martynov / Ilya Matveev / Mikhail Mayatsky
/ Alla Mitrophanova / Georgy Nikich / Elena Petrovskaya / Valery Podoroga / Kety Chukhrov / Elena Shklyarik / Viktor Misiano
Program of video interviews.
In this part of the scientific program, the scientists
were asked to answer three questions:
1. Who, why and with what consequences draws borders of epochs / generations / present / past?
2. Do we want to be modern? Yes / no - why?
3. What is your view on properties of contemporaneity, its features? Where are the limits of contemporaneity? Are we now in the beginning / middle / end of the age?
Their reflections on these questions were provided by:
• Elena Petrovskaya, PhD, chief editor of «Blue Sofa» magazine
• Viktor Misiano, contemporary art curator and critic, the editor of «Moscow Art Magazine»
• Georgy Nikich, curator
• Ilya Inishev, PhD, assosiate professor of the cultural sciences of Higher School of Economics
• Oleg Aronson, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, winner of the Andrei Belyi prize for the book «The communicative image»
• Boris Kagarlitsky, director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSM)
• Kirill Martynov, philosopher, teacher at the Higher School of Economics
• Victor Wachstein, PhD in Sociology, Chair of theoretical sociology and epistemology in the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation, a specialist in the sociology of everyday life and social theory.
The second part of the scientific program of the festival is presented by a series of articles on “Kod epohi «Zeitgeist»:
• «The epoch of codes». Ilya Inishev, PhD, associate professor of the cultural sciences at the Higher School of Economics
• «Signs and ghosts of time» (Contemporary art and abstract capitalism). Oleg Aronson, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, winner of the Andrei Belyi prize for the book «The communicative image»
• «Permanent present, or The end of the world as the only possible project of the future». Ilya Afanasiev, historian, postgraduate of the Oxford university.
• «Code of timelessness». Boris Kagarlitsky, director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements (IGSM).
• «OLVIDO». Irina Glushchenko, philologist, historian of culture, associate professor at Higher School of Economics.
• «Touching and quote». Ivan Boldyrev, philosopher.
• «A person who has had too much contemporaneity». Kirill Martynov, philosopher, teacher at Higher School of Economics.
• «Decoding the age». Andrey Velikanov, artist, philosopher, teacher of the course «Philosophy of Art», Associate Professor at Department of Cultural Studies of Philosophy Department at Higher School of Economics.
• «Zeitgeist». Ilya Matveev, a graduate student of Philosophy Department at Moscow State University, activist of the Russian socialist movement, participant of «Collective of researchers of politicization», member of
the organizing committee of the Free Union of university teachers «University solidarity».
• «Code of the epoch: from phenomena to models, and from models to a symptom». Alla Mitrofanova, cultural studies, independent researcher, curator of Philosophy Cafe (St. Petersburg).
• «End of epoch». Mikhail Mayatsky, Professor of Cultural Studies Faculty of Philosophy at Higher School of Economics, Ph.D., author of the books: «Secondly» (Moscow: Pragmatics of Culture, 2002), «Resort Europe» (Moscow: Ad Marginem, 2009), «Debate about Plato «(Moscow: printing house of HSE, 2012).
• «Code of the epoch: Disappearance» (anthropological aspects). Valery Podoroga, Ph.D., professor, one of the leading scientists of the Institute of Philosophy, of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The third part of the scientific discussion is the Round Table on the topic «Code of the epoch. Is a transcript possible?» that will be held on March 16 at 15.00.
Moderator of the round table - Gasan Guseynov, philologist
The All-Russian Museum of Applied and Folk Art, International Culture Project "Art-Residence"
Curators of the festival: Konstantin Grouss, Dmitry Alexeev
Kod Epohi / Zeitgeist
Contemporary art, music, dance in the world of ideas and objects
14-24 March, 2013