After Petropolitics: The Politics and Economics of the Coming World


From 7 September 2019 to 29 September 2019


Garage Education Center
After Petropolitics: The Politics and Economics of the Coming WorldAfter Petropolitics: The Politics and Economics of the Coming World


This project is open to artists, anthropologists, sound researchers, experts in media and geocinema, designers, web developers, and anyone who wishes to contribute to the study of the world after petropolitics.

Petropolitics reflects the fundamental role that the fossil fuels have been playing in human history and politics. It tells the story of a “conspiracy,” where crude oil acts as a lubricant for earthly narratives, shapes the planetary politics, and inevitably leads to the end of everything. But what if the Apocalypse does not bring the end of Earth, but the end of oil itself? Oil, the black sun of the Earth, is a non-renewable resource. It’s an investment made by organic life millions of years ago and which will be spent in a very short period of time. The end of petropolitics is looming. But the Earth will keep on spinning, creating new narratives and realities. Petropolitics will be replaced by a different, alternative politics of the Earth. But what will it be? Who will be its agent? What kind of histories will it produce?

The program will run along two tracks. The first one will be focused on the geology of petropolitics, the machinery behind fossil fuel narratives, and various versions of its ending based on the end of petropolitical topography in the post-Soviet space. The second will look into the precarious economies of a few settlements in Russia with a particular focus on the economies of groups and towns dependant on wild species. The tracks will come together during workshops involving the use of alternative mapping and energy agents.


Ippolit Markelov is a bio artist whose work is focused on interspecies communication, founder of 18 apples science art group. He studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University and is a Doctoral Candidate in Biology. He combines artistic research with neurobiological and bioengineering tools.

Katya Nikitina is an independent researcher in posthuman studies. She holds a PhD in Literature from the University of Silesia, Katowice (Poland).

Nikita Sazonov is a philosopher and independent researcher, whose writings and art collaborations are focused on speculative philosophy, inhumanism and inhuman politics.


The project is open to artists, anthropologists, sound researchers, experts in media and geocinema, designers, web developers, and anyone who wishes to contribute to the study of the world after petropolitics.

Please note, that the organizers will not be able to cover travel and living costs for participants from other cities.


To apply please send an email to by August 31.

The email should contain

—an application;

—a CV;

—the applicant’s portfolio;

—a statement (or up to 500 words).

The portfolio should contain

  1. Examples of research, art or curating projects related to the subjects covered in the course.
  2. Any other works that show the applicant’s abilities in art and research.

In the statement, the applicant should explain how taking part in the course will be useful in the context of their experience and future plans.

The CV, portfolio and statement should be in .doc/.docx/pdf. The file names should contain the name of the applicant and the city they are applying from:



Participation in the course is free based on an open competition.
The course is in Russian and English languages.



“Oil on the Brain: the Petrochemicals of Theory.” An open lecture by Nikita Sazonov

Human politics today is at its core shaped by what McKenzie Wark has described as the “carbon liberation front”: all political events can be explained by the struggle for the privilege to control the refinement and the subsequent burning of fossil fuels. The end goal of every narrative, oil also acts as a lubricant that connects all earthly politics into the politics of one hydrocarbon agent—the petropolitics that is a recurrent concept in contemporary theory. In a world overshadowed by petropolitics, theory itself is saturated by oil and has become one of its (lighter) fractions. At its worst, theory acts as a petroleum product—an oil derivative that projects its properties into thought. An example of petroleum products in theory could include Timothy Morton’s hyperobjects or the Anthropocene discourse. At its best, theory takes on the function of the disenchanted and grounded absolute spirit (Reza Negarestani) that has become conscious of the oil’s planetary mission and speaks on its behalf. But with oil on its brain, contemporary theory neglects the finite nature of the main catalyst of its paranoia. The lecturer will outline the petropolitical horizons of contemporary theory and pinpoint its thin areas that allow alternative thinking to seep through from the future.


Saturday, Septemeber 7
Garage Education Center

“Mapping Sustainable Futures.” An open lecture by Katya Nikitina

Sustainability addresses many different levels, from adaptation to the environment to the development of situational knowledge about the way human and nonhuman agents form vital bonds. As our very existence is threatened by the destructive influence of anthropogenic factors, humans need to hope for a sustainable future. The lecture will focus on mapping as a way of reflecting existing economic and interspecies bonds as well as a medium for projecting or creating various pictures of the world. Maps do not only describe the territories we inhabit and are part of, but also “precede territories” and create them. Maps are the future that is accessible to us today, and therefore the most sustainable kind of future.


Sunday, September 8
Garage Education Center

Participants of the project will present the scientific and artistic findings made during the workshops that involved working with alternative energy and mapping agents. The audience will see an alternative map of real and possible worlds, reflecting non-human politics and economies of the post-Soviet territories.

Saturday, September 28
Garage Auditorium