Garage Museum of Contemporary Art Summer School. Earth and writing: a study of the anthropocene


From 1 July 2019 to 20 July 2019


Garage Education Center


Garage Summer School announces an open call for artists, curators, theorists, and researchers in the area of anthropology, humanitarian geography, and sociology wishing to enhance their academic study of the subjects of the Anthropocene, geophilosophy, and creative writing.

Beginning the second half of the twentieth century, the interrelationship between space and writing has remained one of the crucial issues in philosophy and art. This fundamental geophilosophical notion is approached through the relationship of Earth and World, space and consciousness, site and geoculture. At Summer School, such a general subject is specificated through the optics of the Anthropocene, linking the course to current sociopolitical and environmental agenda and connecting it with the issue of the relationship of man and nature globally today.

Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene is an interdisciplinary research and education project placing the subject of the Anthropocene at its core. Writing, understood rather in the sense of the French term écriture, or the English discipline creative writing, operates as the main cognition method. The three-week course is composed of lectures and seminars delivered by some of the leading Russian and international experts, including geographers and thinkers Dmitry Zamyatin and Vladimir Kagansky, artist and researcher Olga Deryugina, biologist and eco activist Maksim Bobrovsky, sociologist and geographer Jason W. Moore, curators, researchers and educators Binna Choi and You Mi (Unmapping Eurasia), philosopher and writer Ben Woodard, artist and researcher Emilio Fantin, and curator Viviana Checchia. The program for the participants includes critical/geographic courses, immersion in geophilosophy, deconstruction of the existent structures of comprehending space, introduction to localized curatorial practices, and external field research.

The School program will center around project work based on the apprehension of theory, field research of the Anthropocene landscapes, criticism and writing. Teaching is conducted in Russian and English.

The summer school Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene is conducted in a dialogue with the project The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100.


Viktor Misiano (b. 1957) is a renowned contemporary art theorist and curator. He was the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1995, 2003, and is a founder and editor-in-chief of Khudozhestvenny Zhurnal (Moscow Art Magazine) and Manifesta Journal: Journal of Contemporary Curatorship. Misiano has collaborated with numerous art magazines, and is author of the books Drugoy i raznye (2004) and Five Lectures on Curatorship (2014). He has given lectures at Bard College (New York), The Royal College of Art (London) and NABA (Milan), and maintains an active curatorial practice.


Nikolay Smirnov (b. 1982) is an artist, geographer, curator, and researcher. He works with spatial practices and the representation of space in art, science and everyday life. Curator of the projects Metageography, together with Dmitry Zamyatin and Kirill Svetlyakov, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow; Zarya Center of Contemporary Art, Vladivostok (2015) and Permafrost, Arctic Biennale of ContemporaryArt, Yakutsk (2016), Smirnov was nominated for the Innovation Prize in 2016. Author of a number of academic papers published in Khudozhestvenny Zhurnal, Raznoglasiya, CEM (Center of Experimental Museology), Urban Studies and Practices, e-flux journal. In 2018 he was awarded the Pernod Ricard Fellowship as part of the Villa Vassilieff residency.


The school is free. Students are admitted based on an open competition.

The school’s working languages are Russian and English.


Applications will be accepted from Russian and CIS-based artists, curators, critics, and researchers whose practice is focused on anthropology, humanistic geography, and sociology and who wish to develop a more profound understanding of Anthropocene, geophilosophy, and practice creative writing.


Applications are accepted until May 22. Please send your application to with “Summer School” in the subject line. 

The application will include:

An application letter in Word (in two languages);

A CV (in English or in two languages);

A portfolio (in English or in two languages);

A statement (up to 500 words, in English or in two languages).

The portfolio must include (inclusion of at least one of the two first points is essential. For example, researchers and theorists can present a portfolio consisting exclusively of texts, research findings, and links to published works):

  1. Examples of text-based works (essays, critical articles, artist texts, poetry, literary works, academic writing; text-based artworks).
  2. Examples of research, art, and curatorial projects looking into Anthropocene and geophilosophy. Examples of works exploring space.

The statement should show why the applicant is interested in the school based on his or her previous experience and plans for the future. A comment on the subjects in focus and a description of work that the participant might do during the school will be welcome.

The application letter and the statement must be in .doc/.docx. The names of files must contain the name of the applicant and the city where they are applying from.



The school is open to applicants from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Five successful applicants who live outside of Moscow and Moscow Oblast will receive a scholarship that will cover their travel to Moscow and accommodation for the duration of three weeks.


Viktor Misiano, the head of Garage Summer School.

Nikolay Smirnov, curator of the final project.

Ekaterina Lazareva, curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art; curator of the project The Coming World: Ecology as the New Politics 2030–2100 (with Snejana Krasteva).

Dmitry Zamyatin, geographer, poet, and philosopher. Zamyatin has developed original concepts of humanist geography, geographical image and metageography. He was the founder and head of the Center for Humanitarian Studies of Space at the Russian Likhachov Research Institute for Cultural and Natural Heritage (2010 to 2013) and is a chief research fellow at Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, National Research University—Higher School of Economics, and a lecturer at the summer school Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene.

Jason W. Moore, geographer, environmental historian, author of Anthropocene or Capitalocene? and professor of sociology at the State of New York University at Binghamton, USA. He is coordinator of the World-Ecology Research Network and a lecturer at the summer school Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene.

Emilio Fantin, artist and interdisciplinary researcher studying the relationship between art and agriculture. He is research coordinator at Osservatorio Public Art at the Polytechnic University of Milan and a lecturer at the summer school Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene.

Unmapping Eurasia, a research collective and project initiated by Mi You (curator, researcher, and lecturer at Academy of Media Arts Cologne) and Binna Choi (curator, researcher, director at Casco Art Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands), both teachers at Dutch Art Institute and the summer school Earth and Writing: A Study of the Anthropocene.


“Reading culture through landscape.” An open lecture by Vladimir Kagansky

Geographer, researcher, and traveler Vladimir Kagansky will explain how culture reveals itself in space and how to “read” the cultural landscape by discovering a radically new and independent source of information about it.

Tuesday, July 2
Garage Education Center

“Making Sense of the Planetary Inferno: Planetary Justice in the Web of Life.” A lecture by Jason W. Moore

Who is responsible for the climate crisis? For everyone who isn’t a climate denialist, there’s an easy answer to the question: humanity.


Tuesday, July 2
Garage Auditorium