Taking humanity’s evolution to the next level and reshaping its relationship to the collective, its environment, and its future can be seen as one of the main themes of the early Soviet period. Various images of the ‘new man’ emerged and were intensively negotiated and discussed in the arts and sciences. In a peculiar way, between these two fields of knowledge and experience, monistic thinking is combined with elements of historical materialism and further developed in an attempt to transcend the boundaries between life, science and art, knowledge and action. Despite all the differences, the preoccupation with concepts of energy seems to shape these discourses through different fields of knowledge, disciplines, and methods.
The workshop “Life-Building” presents three encounters with the concept of energy at the intersection of culture and science in the early Soviet period. In order to further reveal the often-hidden significance and latent potential of this concept, it will trace energy as an operating and organizing principle in the developments of new artistic practices, art theory, architecture, and their interactions towards the refiguration of humanity and the transformation of life itself.
Organized by Susanne Strätling and Werner Boschmann as part of the DFG-project “Energy: Key Concept of Soviet Avant-Garde”
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