Interview with Michael Schindhelm

02.08.2011, 13:34
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Anticipating the start of Strelka’s new academic year, «Theories and Practices» publishes monologues of teachers and curators on new study topics. The series of materials is opened by Michael Schindhelm: biochemist, theater and film director, artist, cultural consultant of Hong Kong, and leader of the «Content» theme.

A year ago, at the very beginning of our work with Strelka, I said that I think the public space of modern Russia is a mirror of changes in Russian society. We — I and my students — confirmed this with last year’s research. I believe that the use of such spaces as social platforms, both in Moscow and in Russia as a whole, has huge potential. That conviction makes it possible to focus on studying the topic in more detail and to go a little deeper with the research work. Therefore I’d like to announce that the research that begun last year with the „Public Space“ theme, will continue in this one. This time, I propose to talk about communication in public space. This choice follows from the fact that I am not an architect, and for me, last year’s theme was not only connected with urban development; I was interested to understand what happens with the user’s position. Today, city dwellers feel that the vast areas of public space, created during the Soviet era, are as if forgotten. They are not used for a purpose. Accordingly, in the research of this academic year, I would like to emphasize the issue of the social content of these places, and how they would meet today’s needs. If you look at other countries, the quality and standard of living is judged by the condition of public spaces — it would be interesting to find ways to improve the existing situation in Russia.

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