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November 8, 2023, Online

Anna Frants, Obstinacy and Persistence, Installation, 2023. CYFEST-15, Yerevan Botanical Garden. Photo: Jurgen Bunimovich

As part of LASER Talks at Stanford.

November 8, 12pm PST (California time) — Find your timezone here

Online, register via ZOOM

Special online LASER event hosted by Stanford University and Leonardo ISAST. This edition chaired by Piero Scaruffi highlights and reflects on Russia’s alternative media art with artists and curators of the Russian scene: featuring Nina Czegledy, Anna Frants, Elena Gubanova, Olga Shishko, and Natalia Kolodzei.


Nina Czegledy is an independent curator, media artist, researcher, educator based in Toronto, Canada. She collaborates internationally on art& science& technology projects. Recent projects: A Light Footprint in the Cosmos exhibitions for the Substantial Motion Research Network fo in Vancouver 2022, Sensoria, the Art and Science of our Senses, intercontinental, cross disciplinary collaboration: Laznia, Contemporary Art Centre, Gdanks, Poland and with Yu-Zhi Joel Ong, Sensorium, York University in 2022. Recent curatorial projects: Agents for Change/ Facing the Anthropocene (2020) The Museum, Canada; Who’s you? (2019) JD Reid Gallery, New Zealand; Leonardo 50th, CyberArts ARS Electronica (2018), Austria. In collaboration with Lynne Heller transitioning Dobble Debate an analogue card game focused on different and disabilities into an XR format. She is invited to co-organize remotely Yarun2023, Treecreate Australia, is co-chair of the Leonardo LASER events in Montreal and Toronto and is a co-founder with Roger F. Malina and Joel Slayton of the independent Post Pandemic Provocateurs (PPP) activities since early 2020. On behalf of Leonardo/ISAST she initiated and co-presented 27 Leonardo 50th Celebrations in 24 countries (2017/2018). Czegledy published widely in books and journals.

Anna Frants is an artist and curator, originally from Russia, who commutes between New York and St Petersburg. In 2006 Anna Frants together with Marina Koldobskaya founded the international media lab “CYLAND” in Russia, which since 2007 holds the annual festival of cyber-art “Cyfest”, the largest cyberart festival in Eastern Europe featuring media artists from multiple countries. Frants’ interactive installations have been showcased at Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Russia), Video Guerrilha Festival (Brazil), Manifesta 10 Biennale (St. Petersburg, Russia, 2014), Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Chelsea Art Museum (New York, USA), Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Kunstquartier Bethanien (Berlin, Germany) and at other major venues all over the world. The artist’s works are in the collections of Russian Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Museum of Art and Design (New York, USA), Sergey Kuryokhin Center for Modern Art (St. Petersburg, Russia) and Kolodzei Art Foundation (New York, USA) as well as in numerous private collections.

Elena Gubanova is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who lives and works in St Petersburg, Russia and Yerevan, Armenia. She graduated from the Ilya Repin State Academic Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture (Leningrad, USSR) and works in the fields of painting, sculpture, installations, and video. Her works have been exhibited at major Russian and foreign venues, including the Hermitage Museum, the Russian Museum, Museum of Moscow, University Ca’ Foscari (Venice, Italy), Chelsea Art Museum (New York, USA) and Kunstquartier Bethanien (Berlin, Germany). She has participated in the Manifesta 10 parallel program (2014, St. Petersburg, Russia) and several exhibitions parallel to the Venezia Biennale (since 2011) and she is a frequent participant and curator in CYFEST, one of the biggest international media art festivals in Eastern Europe. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Center for the Study of Russian Culture CSAR at Ca Foscari University in Venice. Since 1990, she has worked in collaboration with Ivan Govorkov.

Natalia Kolodzei, an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Arts, is a curator and art historian specializing on the art of Russia, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. She is Executive Director of the Kolodzei Art Foundation (a US-based 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public foundation established in 1991), and, along with Tatiana Kolodzei, owner of the Kolodzei Collection of Eastern European Art, containing over 7,000 artworks (paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photography, kinetic and digital art) by over 300 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has curated over 80 art exhibitions in Russia, Europe and the US. She is an author and editor of multiple publications on Russian art and artists, and organized and contributed to symposiums and panel discussions for universities and museums worldwide, including co-chair Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous (LASER) CYLAND Talks in Russia.

Olga Shishko is an art expert, art critic, curator, lecturer. Her research activities focus on different aspects of contemporary media art. She is the founder (since 2000) and director (since 2006) of the Center of Culture and Art “MediaArtLab”. She curated the first Da-Da-Net Festival at the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, a festival of Russian art resources on the Internet, she curated the ‘Contemporary Art on the Internet’ programme at EVA-Moscow, she was a member of the international jury of the ‘Art on the Net’ Internet festival in Japan (1998–99), she curated the multimedia studio ‘Cross-media’ (SCCA and ‘Termen Center’, Moscow Conservatoire, 1995–96), she coordinated the project ‘Art Laboratory of New Media’ (1993–94). In 2000 she co-founded the MediaArtLab Center for Culture and Art, a non-profit research platform, which for 16 years organized the Media Forum as part of the Moscow International Film Festival. From 2016 till 2022 was Senior Curator at the Department of Contemporary Art, Cinema and Media Arts in the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. She is the curator of many recent exhibitions and projects, including “Bill Viola. Journey of the Soul”, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, 2021; “There is a Beginning in the End. The Secret Tintoretto Fraternity” Church of San Fantin, Venice, 2019; “Man as bird. Images of Journeys ” – Special project of Pushkin Museum XXI as the Collateral Event of the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, 2017, Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel, “The Golden Age of the Russian Avant-garde”, Museum and Exhibition Association “Manezh”, Moscow, 2014, “Immersions:?Towards the Tactile Cinema”, “Ekaterina” Foundation, Moscow, 2013, “Transitland – Video art from Central and Eastern Europe for 20 years: from the fall of the Berlin Wall to 2009” (MMOMA, Moscow, 2010). She edited the catalogues, anthologies and books on contemporary media art issues, and she authored articles on the history of media art, notably editor of «Projections of the Avant-Garde” – Scholarly catalogue Moscow: Artguide Editions, “Art Guide” LLC, 2015 – 404 p., ill. Nominated by the SCE of Moscow and MEA “Manege” (“Innovation» prize, Russia). She compiled the first part of the Anthology of Russia’s media art “Video art of Russia”, 2000, Moscow, Author and editor of the catalogue “NewMediaLogia – NewMediaTopia”, 1994, Moscow. Since 2022 she resides and works in Italy, where she is professor in the Department of Art, Film and Philosophy at Ca Foscari University, Venezia, researching the development of media art in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall. She is also developing the Mapping Diaspora project voluntarily. She is also head of the Art Department on the Cifra platform for Media Art.



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