Lecture by Andrey Velikanov. Homo Articis: The Artistic Man. Why do Humans Need Art?

Lecture Cycle. Homo Mutabilis: The Man Who Changes the World, Ideas that Change the Man.
7 October 2018


The lecture will explain how art has instigated the evolution of a monkey into a human.

Religion and science, where responsibility for the ultimate knowledge is attributed to superior beings and objective truth respectfully, can be considered the poles of cultural landscape. In between them however, lies an explored area within which humans strive to find answers to the most general questions, uncovered by other forms of cognition, and where they take responsibility for their actions. This is the area of art and philosophy—the two different ways of apprehending oneself and the world. These instruments can be seen as fundametally opposite and complementary at the same time. The differences between them are crucial however: while philosophy is based on logical thinking, knowledge and, ultimately, wisdom, art has no such basis. It is fragile and transitory. But still, it plays a pivotal role in human life.

“An image comes to mind, an analogical matrix of meaning: Historically, philosophy and art are paired up like Lacan's Master and Hysteric. We know that the hysteric comes to the master and says: "Truth speaks through my mouth, I am here. You have knowledge, tell me who I am." Whatever the knowing subtlety of the master's reply, we can also anticipate that the hysteric will let him know that it's not yet it, that her here escapes the master's grasp, that it must all be taken up again and worked through at length in order to please her. In so doing, the hysteric takes charge of the master, "barring" him from mastery and becoming his mistress. Likewise, art is always already there, addressing the thinker with the Art and Philosophy mute and scintillating question of its identity while through constant invention and metamorphosis it declares its disappointment about everything that the philosopher may have to say about it.” (Alain Badiou. Handbook of Inaesthetics. 1998)


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).


Free admission

UNIQLO Free Friday NightsUNIQLO Free Friday Nights—free for all visitors every Friday evening from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.Learn more

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and get the latest news from Garage