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Tag: Museum

What is the relationship between the October Revolution of 1917 and concepts such as “cosmos” and “immortality”? No one formulated this as clearly as Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903): In his “The Philosophy of the Common Task” (1906) he called for the abolition of death, the physical reconstruction of all the dead and – as a logical consequence – the expansion of mankind into the cosmos. Is it even possible to describe the entire soviet experiment as a form of applied Cosmism? With his exhibition at the HKW the media theorist and philosopher Boris Groys takes a look at one of this epoch’s rather neglected movements. A debate on the overcoming of death, revolutionary new beginnings, and the limitations of current body technologies. To article in German...

From the second half of the 19th century Russian Cosmism pursued the goal of physical immortality and resurrection through technological means. The Cosmists were pioneers of space travel and were committed to the human colonization of the universe. In the Journal the artist Anton Vidokle, and the artist and museologist Arseny Zhilyaev, speak about Bio-Cosmism, an art without death, and the museum as a potential site for a curated, transhistorical resurrection. To article...

The Ethnological Museum’s time in Dahlem is coming to an end, its move into the Humboldt Forum is imminent. A theme evening organized by HKW with lectures and a concluding discussion in the museum addressed one of the core questions of museology: The complexity of the term thing. Museal things are removed from their original context, their “migration history” takes them to different locations, establishing new relationships. The media theorist Arjun Appadurai, the cultural theorist Tony Bennett, and the museologist Sharon MacDonald went in search of alternative ideas of things. They explored the protagonists and circumstances of migration, placing migrating objects in relation to migrating people, juxtaposing the immutability of objects with the mutability of their meaning. Ana Teixeira Pinto listened in and has drawn her own conclusions. To article...

What happens to objects, to things, in a museum? In his essay “Civic Laboratories”, published in 2005, the English cultural and social theorist Tony Bennett examined the simultaneous mutability and immutability of objects in museum contexts. To this end he focused on questions of identity formation, taking his readers on a journey from European theory and Baldwin Spencer’s staging of Aborigines in Australian museums to Franz Boas’s life groups at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. How do objects change as a result of their embedding in different regimes of objecthood? What forms of interiority do they trigger in the observing subject? And what forms do they require? To article...