Arseny Zhilyaev

Publishere-flux2015
The museum of contemporary art might be the most advanced recording device ever invented. It is a place for the storage of historical grievances and the memory of forgotten artistic experiments, social projects, or errant futures. But in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Russia, this recording device was undertaken by artists and thinkers as a site for experimentation. Arseny Zhilyaev’s Avant-Garde Museology presents essays documenting the wildly encompassing progressivism of this period by figures such as Nikolai Fedorov, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Kazimir Malevich, Alexander Bogdanov, and others—many which are translated from the Russian for the first time. Here the urgent question is: ...

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Publishere-flux2014
Francis Fukuyama, and even his mentor Alexandre Kojève before him, warned of boredom, stasis, and homogeneity being characteristics of the “universal homogenous state” that would mark the end of history. As Fukuyama put it: in the post-historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history. And indeed, the phase of contemporary art has also been characterized in discussions over recent years as a reformatting of time into a perpetual present. The contemporary is the now that never ends, the art that circles itself at the tail end of history looking back on defunct ideologies, archiving and polishing them ...

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Publishere-flux2014
The museum may now be assuming a new function in the network. It is being reformatted as a recording device, a flexible memory machine that can store culture like a bank, artworks like a storefront, politics in the form of data. And each of these can be exchanged with one another as currency: the political movement can be turned into an activist archive, sold as an artwork, then exhibited as data, then sealed off in a vault with cultural artifacts for safe keeping. Museums in China are built without staff or contents to fill them long after they are constructed. ...

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Publishere-flux2016
The freeport method of art storage presents its critics with a problem. Is it something new? Or something old? What could be less surprising than an international aristocracy hiding treasures in a cave someplace? The CEO of the Geneva Freeport might have overcharged his Russian Oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, by one billion dollars for thirty-five paintings, according to Sam Knight’s recent, riveting account. Rybolovlev had himself acquired a large slice of the collective ownership of the means of production in 1992, when he was twenty-nine, in the form of Uralkali, a mining company developed by the State Planning Committee of the USSR ...

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Publishere-flux2017
The critique of bureaucracy slithers like a sewer—hidden, warm, and necessary—beneath the aging towers of the twentieth-century intellectual metropolis. Arising first as one answer to The Question—namely, what happened in the USSR?—bureaucracy eventually came to replace the bourgeoisie as the preferred explanation for why everything was the way it was. To this day, pseudonyms for bureaucracy remain highly fashionable pieces of conceptual hyperbole. Any characterization of instituted sociality as uniform unfreedom—the spectacle, the body without organs, libidinal economics, Empire, Bloom—has its origins in the bureaucratic obsession with control, as distinct from the bourgeois obsession with ownership. In “The Great Accelerator,” Oleksiy ...

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Publishere-flux2018
Some time around 1882, God was pronounced dead. For certain Russian thinkers of the era, this loss provided a building opportunity: where the place of one god closes, space for another one opens. Unlike most established schools of thought, Russian cosmism does not present a singular vision, a consistent epistemology, or a unified theory. On the contrary: the ideas of its nineteenth- to early-twentieth-century protagonists are often so divergent and contradictory that they appear incoherent, paradoxical, or delirious. Russian cosmism’s known scientists, philosophers, and writers have been understood to include figures ranging from Nikolai Fedorov, the nineteenth-century librarian who aimed to ...

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