Andrey Velikanov. C — Civilization. / Centrism. Circus. Shush


From 26 March 2017




Garage Education Center
Andrey Velikanov. C — Civilization. / Centrism. Circus. ShushAndrey Velikanov. C — Civilization. / Centrism. Circus. Shush


In his last lecture in March, Andrey Velikanov looks at the concept of civilization from a philosophical point of view.

The term ‘civilization’ dates back to the eighteenth century and originally was used to distinguish ‘advanced’ societies from primitive cultures and barbarians. Later, people started speaking of different, ‘local’ civilizations. Among them were thinkers like Arnold Toynbee, Lev Gumilyov and Oswald Spengler. Spengler, for example, argued that every culture lives through several stages, civilization being the final among them.

‘Each culture is deeply symbolic in connection with the matter and space, in which and through which it seeks to be realized. The aim once attained—the idea, the entire content of inner possibilities, fulfilled and made actual—the Culture suddenly hardens, it mortifies, its blood congeals, its force breaks down, and it becomes civilization, the thing which we feel and understand in the words Egypticism, Byzantinism, Mandarinism. As such it may, like the worn-out giant of the primeval forest, thrust its decaying branches toward the sky for hundreds or thousands of years, as we see in China, in India, in the Islamic world. It was thus that the Classical Civilization rose gigantic, in the Imperial age, with a false semblance of youth and strength and fullness.’ (Oswald Spengler. The Decline of the West)


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).


The free lectures and seminars will take place on Sundays from 17:00 to 22:00. Participants in the study group will be expected to spend extra time on further reading and studies, individually as well as in the group. 

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