Lecture by Andrey Velikanov. Homo Habilis: The Skillful Man. Anthropogenesis

Lecture by Andrey Velikanov. Homo Habilis: The Skillful Man. AnthropogenesisLecture by Andrey Velikanov. Homo Habilis: The Skillful Man. Anthropogenesis


The lecture is dedicated to the emergence of homo sapiens—the thinking man who can speak and use tools.

Anthropogenesis is part of the biological evolution which has led to the emergence of homo sapiens. The key stages of this process, that allowed humans to separate from the world of animals, include the beginning of producing tools, the mastery of fire, and the development of language. This is how homo habilis (the skillful man) was born. The next important stage was the Neolithic revolution—a transition from the primitive economy of hunters and gatherers to agriculture based on crop and livestock farming. Object writing and pictograms appeared during the same period, marking the start of rapid cultural development.

“…the causes of intelligence … in combinations of accidents which, though neutral when they occurred, later took on a sardonic significance: cannibalism turned out to be a spur to mental development; the threat of glaciers, a prerequisite for civilization; the gnawing of bones, the inspiration for the origin of tools. And the junction of the organs of generation with those of elimination, taken from the fish and reptiles, became the topographic map not only for eroticism but for metaphysics, too, which oscillates between defilement and divinity.” (Stanislaw Lem. His Master's Voice. 1968)


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