[ISEA94] Panel Statement: Marat Guelman — Russian Media Artists Working with Military Technology

Panel Statement


In Russia, a peculiar relationship between art and new technology has always been predominant: think only of Levsha, the left-handed smith of Russian folklore, who knew how to shoe a flea, but with the help of technology that was primitive indeed.

The technical innovations were regarded as follies, something one really did not believe in. Still in the 70’s, a normal audio magnetophone was considered dissident. The possibility of manipulating information with technology was the privilege of the State. The only official centers for new technology were provided by corporations of the military complex. This is why “Conversion” – the recycling of military technology for peaceful purposes – became synonymous for the “Eastern way” as opposed to the “Western way”.
(See also the ‘Conversion’ Exhibition on the Art Events page of ISEA94).

  • Marat Guelman, curator, Guelman Gallery, Moscow, Russia. Marat Guelman was born in 1960. Since 1990 he has been the director of “M. Guelman Gallery”. He is Dean of Art Management Academy. Curated exhibitions, connected with “esthetics of participation”: “Dedicated to the 7th congress of the People’s Deputatest”, “Conversion”, “Conformists”, “People’s choice” etc. He has organised more than 60 exhibitions during the last four years.