Friday, July 6. 2007, 8pm
Chto Delat
Self-organisation as method of art production, an open discussion with Dmitry Vilensky (workgroup “Chto Delat? /Was tun?” St.Petersburg), Zanny Begg (Sydney) and Johannes Raether (Meine Akademie, Berlin)
Moderator: Dmitry Vilensky


Self-organisation as method of art production

The open discussion with Dmitry Vilensky (workgroup “Chto Delat? /Was tun?” St.Petersburg), Zanny Begg (Sydney) and Johannes Raether (Meine Akademie, Berlin).

The main idea of self-organised structures is to keep under their control the full tasks of the creation, production and distribution of the art. It realises its activity in a form of creation of “Art Soviets” that are able to politicize cultural production through a process of collective subjectification. The main goal of this structure is to cultivate political instincts, and provoke a democratic, emancipatory activity in the spheres of labor, politics and aethetics.

It’ll be discussed about anti-capitalist practices, Russian situation, collective emancipation, the public as co-creator, radical poverty, inner temporality, a quarrel concerning the common, how not to choose beteween entrism and exodus, non-alienated relations, social impact of micro-political interventions, heated editorial process, local optic, experienced-base for solidarity, and how art not simply reflects the world, but takes risk to change it…

everyone is welcomed to think, to argue and hopefully to act together…


Chto delat? /// What is to be done? (
a platform for engaged culture

Founded in early 2003 in Petersburg, the platform "Chto delat?/What is to be done?" opens a space between theory, art, and activism. The platform's work is coordinated by a workgroup of the same name: its members include artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod (see full list of participants on the web site).

It is a project that is aimed at creation and developing a dialogue of different positions about politicization of knowledge production and about the place of art and poetics in this process. The platform's activity aims at triggering a collective initiatives in a form of “temporary art soviets”. The creation of “Temporary Art Soviets”, which are involved in the making of the different cultural projects from its earliest phases onward. It is the “Temporary Artistic Soviets” that could serve as a prototypical social model, capable of formulating and realizing its goals independently, taking on the function of an alternative power, an open system for interaction with society at large.

The participants of platform engages in a variety of art projects, including videoworks, installations, public actions, radio programs, and artistic examinations of urban space. Its most recent exhibitions and research project is "Drift – Narvskaya Zastava" (2004-2005), a community-examination of a constructivist-proletarian neighborhood in Petersburg and “Self-Education” (September 2006) – international exhibition and seminars program dedicated to spreading and producing alternative forms of knowledge that continue and further develop the emancipatory traditions of a variety of practices.

This workgroup as an editorial committee publishes English-Russian newspaper, with a special focus on the Russian artistic-intellectual situation. In our editorial approach we do not only want to engage in a confrontational re-reading of various theoretical and practical approaches from the Left, but also to focus on actualization of the potential of Soviet past repressed in the course of Soviet history and how it develops in current situation of neo-capitalism in post-Soviet time.
Each issue of the newspaper is a process that draws artists, critics, activists and philosophers into a heated editorial process, which results in theoretical essays, art projects, open-source translations, questionnaires, dialogues, and comic-strips.

This take away publication is usually made in connection with specific events and is distributed for free at congresses or exhibitions, social forums and rallies where it reaches a broader cultural public.

David Riff and Dmitry Vilensky, editors of the newspaper “Chto delat?”