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April 10, 2021, Online

Alexandra Dementieva (Belgium), Inland Wonderland, media installation, 2021 © Alexandra Dementieva
Alexandra Dementieva (Belgium), Inland Wonderland, media installation, 2021 © Alexandra Dementieva

April 10, 1 pm New York | 20:00 St. Petersburg

What is the universe? How did its image form in science and art? How do scientists and artists work with the “unpredictable”? Participants discussed dogs’ participation in the first suborbital and orbital flights, and also the image of these “cosmic” animals in the Soviet media, and then turned to the subject of tardigrades and their ability to survive in extreme ecological conditions, including space, and larger beings which feed on the energy of black holes. Other topics included artistic research based on existing knowledge about interspecies communication and the hypothesis of the distribution of interplanetary civilizations, the creative process and the interest in space, and much more.


Olesya Turkina is a senior researcher at the Russian Museum and an associate professor at St. Petersburg State University. She has been a full member of the Northwest Branch of the Russian Federation of Cosmonautics since 1999. Since 1997, she has collaborated with the Museum of Jurassic Technology (Los Angeles), and since 2012 with KSEVT (Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies, Slovenia). She has curated countless exhibitions of contemporary art, including space-related shows, and has written numerous articles and books, including Soviet Space Dogs (FUEL, 2014).

Alexandra Dementieva is a multidisciplinary artist. Her installations use dance, music, cinema, and performance. She raises questions related to social psychology and theories of perception, suggesting solutions to them by contemporary artistic means. Her works have been exhibited worldwide. Her recent essay in Leonardo Journal “Homo Sapiens, Mnesitardigrada Class and Umwelt: A Dialogue on Interspecies” focuses on existing knowledge about interspecific communication and hypothesis about the spread of interplanetary civilizations. It is expressed as an imagined communication flow between a human earthling scientist and a Kquaanian–human hybrid who is an artist by earthly occupation.

Andrey Bartenev is a multimedia artist, sculptor, experimentalist, and creator of many provocative, interactive installations and performances. Bartenev, who since the 1990s has been known as the ‘Performance Man’ and the ‘Master of Installations’, perceives the world through contrasts of colors and volumes, textures and surfaces, an active interplay of materials and shapes. In 2002, he worked on a performance entitled “The Stairway of Red” in the summer center of the Watermill theatre in the Hamptons, NY. In 2007, Bartenev participated in “Click I Hope,” the Russian pavilion’s group exhibition at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2017, he took part in Burning Man Festival with the camp entitled “Aliens? Yes!”. In 2018, Bartenev won the Alternative Miss World as Miss UFO.

Matthew Lee is a poet and also a quantitative hedge fund manager. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from UCLA where he studied Theoretical Elementary Particles and also Non-linear Dynamics. He has dreampt about black holes since he was a child. And feels everyone should have a pet Tardigrade.


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