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Benjamin Peters (USA), Svitlana Matviyenko (UA), Denis Leontev (RU), Ksenia Fedorova (RU), Ksenia Tatarchenko (RU), Katja Novitskova (EE), Jasmijn Visser (NL) and Valia Vetisov (RU).


United States, Ukraine, Russia and Estonia. 

Dates of visit

29 November to 2 December 2018

Purpose of visit is a lab devoted to collective research and the creation of a map of the current Russian geo-zone, part of the Vertical Atlas programme of Het Nieuwe Instituut. It brings together media scholars from Russia and other nations to investigate the developments in the Russian internet and their relations the Russian and Soviet technological culture.

The overall aim is to develop techno-political cartography of Russia; in other words to map the histories of and clashes on the different layers of the Russian (and Soviet) stack. Is there a Russian model of technological development? If yes, how has it developed out of the Soviet sensibilities? How does this relate to the reality on the ground, the state’s political ambitions and fears, and current infrastructural imitations? How does this Russian model relate to the broader geopolitical context?

The research lab will be facilitated by Benjamin Bratton, Leonardo Dellanoce, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer and Arthur Steiner. Besides giving their intellectual input/output, the 8 invited participants will also meet representatives of Dutch universities, research centres and other organisations working in the field of media studies and media culture. These meetups will enhance opportunities for further collaboration.


Benjamin Peters is author, media scholar, and an Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tulsa and an affiliated fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, he is currently working on the stupid history of smart media in the global North. Svitlana Matviyenko is an Assistant Professor of Critical Media Analysis in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada. Her research and teaching are focused on the political economy of information, infrastructure studies, history and philosophy of science. Denis Leontev is an architect and Co-founder and CEO of Strelka KB, Russia's leader in city strategy consulting.

Ksenia Fedorova is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Art and Image History at Humboldt University in Berlin, working on a manuscript of her book “Tactics of Interfacing Encoding affect in Art and Technology”. Ksenia’s research interests encompass media art theory and history, aesthetics, philosophy, techno-cultural and science and technology studies. Katja Novitskova researches ongoing ecological transformations of matter, social and informational processes. Jasmijn Visser is a Dutch artist who works on the intersection of art, writing, research and design. Her projects comprise long term (on-site) research and interdisciplinary collaboration, with an emphasis on experimental design. She recently finalised her Conflict Atlas, Geopolitics and Contingencies on the Malvinas - Falklands archipelago in collaboration with Metahaven.

Valia Vetisov is a visual artist, currently working on his Masters in Surveillance Architecture at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. In his practice, he often alters standard algorithms and works with automatic systems in order to bring into view their ambiguous nature, making them take on a threatening, rather than auxiliary form.