A lecture by Andrey Velikanov: Homo Sidereus: The Cosmic Man. Floating one by one

A lecture by Andrey Velikanov: Homo Sidereus: The Cosmic Man. Floating one by one A lecture by Andrey Velikanov: Homo Sidereus: The Cosmic Man. Floating one by one


The lecture is dedicated to man dreaming of and accomplishing the most distant travels.

Before being able to travel to outer space, man had to cognize the world as limited, or ending there where, beyond any given frameworks, a different realm emerges. Upon realizing it, man had to not only create the technical devices for such a distant journey, but also to imagine space per se, and get there using imagination. Philosophers, writers, poets, and cinematographers have spent much time aiming to define and depict this type of space.

“The material stuff out of which the inhabitants of different planets (including the animals and plants) are made must, in general, be of a lighter and finer type and the elasticity of the fibres as well as the advantageous structural design must be more perfect in proportion to their distance away from the sun. […] Human nature, which in the scale of being holds, as it were, the middle rung, is located between two absolute outer limits, equidistant from both. If the idea of the most sublime classes of reasoning creatures living on Jupiter or Saturn makes human beings jealous and discourages them with the knowledge of their own humble position, a glance at the lower stages brings content and calms them again. The beings on the planets Venus and Mercury are far below the perfection of human nature. What a wonderful view! On one side we see thinking creatures among whom a Greenlander or a Hottentot would be a Newton; on the other side we see people who would wonder about Newton as if he were an ape.”

(Immanuel Kant. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens, 1755)


Andrey Velikanov is a philosopher, art theorist, and artist. His publications on art and cultural theory include Am I a Trembling Simulacrum, or Do I Have the Right? (NLO, 2007). He has taught at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian State University for the Humanities, UNIC Institute, Wordshop Communications Academy, Moscow 1905 Art Academy, MediaArtLab Open School, Center of Avant-Garde at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, and Free Workshops Art School, and regularly gives talks and takes part in discussions at various venues. He is also a recipient of several media art awards and prizes including Ostranenie (Germany), DADANET (Russia), Art on the Net (Japan), TrashArt (Russia), Southwest Interactive Festival (U.S.A.), and Split (Croatia).


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