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Roman Sergeevich Osminkin
Self-organization vs Institution: forms of collectivity in the era of post-Soviet publicity privatization

10 July
19:30 — 21:30
15 Vintage Hall

Roman Sergeevich Osminkin
Self-organization vs Institution: forms of collectivity in the era of post-Soviet publicity privatization


Post-Soviet cultural production seemingly is more democratic and diverse in comparison with ideological Soviet ones. But in fact most of the institutions are budget organizations or profitable clusters. The first promote national-patriotic education and exist in censorship. The latter are oriented on commercial instrumentalization, staying kind of “out of politics”.

The turn of modern art to social activity, shaped especially in the 1990s during the relational aesthetics, was developed in the transition to the social processes criticism themselves via activism. Today, this course is represented by the forms of collaborative, dialogical and interventionist art.

Such micro-utopias in Russia correspond to self-sustaining collectives on the grass-roots level. They operate mainly at “small businesses” level, but recently their activities are becoming more and more diverse: urban, environmental and feminist movements, drama clubs, samba bands, sewing cooperatives, homeless street-kitchens, children's and educational non-commercial projects, independent culture houses, activist libraries, etc.

Today's world extremely narrows down the field for political and free artistic expression. The confrontation with authorities and capital, which leads to marginalization and even criminalization, requires developing alternative models of collective artistic production with the potential to be decentralization polygons and counter public laboratories. The speaker will address several examples of new type collective initiatives, which forge a balance between autonomous self-organization and cooperation with large institutions in different ways.

A discussion with the participation of Svetlana Baskova, Konstantin Bokhorov, Boris Klyushnikov, Anatoly Osmolovsky and members of the Laboratory of Art Criticism will follow lectures. This section will moderate Egor Sofronov.

Roman Serggevich Osminkin - art theorist, poet, performer, media artist, curator. Graduated from the Russian Institute of Art History. Contemporary collective performance and artistic activism researcher. Editorial board member, Journal "Translit" and portal Krapiva. Co-organizer of "Technopoetics" performance-cooperative. The member of Union of the writers of St. Petersburg since 2007. Professor at the School of Involved Art “What to do”. Published in journals “New Literary Review”, “Translit”, N + 1 Magazine (New York), “Project Baltia” and on the internet portals: ART1,,,, Krapiva, etc. Based in St. Petersburg.

Laboratory of Art Criticism (together with Baza Institute) is an educational program supported by the Winzavod Found.

Laboratory of Art Criticism is aimed at developing the aesthetic criticism. The program of laboratory includes regular theoretical and practical classes, as well as publications on art, criticism and theory. The laboratory is run by Svetlana Baskova, Konstantin Bokhorov, Boris Klyushnikov, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Yegor Sofronov. The laboratory is focused on practical trainings. To publish participants' materials is developed a web publication option on