Collaborative design-research laboratory; installation (wallpaper, 2 graphic works, video with sound, flag, plants)
Sabotage is an unsettling environment exploiting the manipulative nature of media flows, hypertext aesthetics and artificially generated imagery to reflect on the incessant persistence of decentralised militarist propaganda. The installation brings together a number of elements, including a looped video piece, a wallpaper consisting of map-like glitched textures and metadata, a flag designed by a neural network, ink portraits of the dead bodies of Russian troops abandoned by the Russian military commanders in Ukraine, as well as the sounds of a grand piano in the process of tuning. The resulting setting reveals that distortion, fakes and mimicry constitute dominant features of aggressive media landscapes, which aim to suppress our awareness and shape our perceptions.
In the course of the intervention the space of the Pushkin House Bar is adorned with the flora typical of swamps and marshes.
Sabotage is a project of Office of Comparative Reality. Artists: Danya Orlovsky (motion design), Boris Shershenkov (sound), Katya Sivers (concept, project lead, creative direction) and those, who preferred to stay anonymous.
The work was displayed in the space of the Pushkin House Bar (London, 2023)
Office for Comparative Reality
Office for Comparative Reality (OCR) is a speculative collective organisation focusing on subversive political art. It was established by Katya Sivers shortly after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine with the aim of creating a safe platform for artists to amplify their voices against the war. OCR focuses on the question of manipulation of realities reflecting political upheavals and technological innovations connected to existing power structures. OCR operates as a design-research laboratory with a variety of formats, including exhibitions, publications and events based on radical collaborations.
Museum of One Painting. Three Bogatyrs
Collaborative design-research laboratory; installation, found objects, performance
We sought to answer how a visual code of the whole country could be found. Through our research of Russian-language online marketplaces we found out that Viktor Vasnetsov's The Bogatyrs (1881–1898) is the most replicated piece of Russian art through both industrial and craft production in Russia. The painting’s echo is found in a variety of everyday objects, each retelling it in their own way. We bought these objects, choosing the most popular ones in terms of material, purpose and method of production. We then transferred these objects back to the museum, thereby assigning a new status for them in a reverse gesture.
We presented a collection of exhibits dedicated to Russia’s most beloved painting. The project shows objects made using various techniques, each designed for different age and gender groups. They are a mix of professional and amateur, vintage and modern. The method of production and the author's style makes adjustments to the format, composition, as well as the landscape and portrait details of the figures.
We radically reassembled the roles of the 78 'bogatyrs' that were collected: sex coaching, modern lamentations, a beer bar, a history of Russian athleticism, and lessons in Russian history are some of responses in a form of performative excursions to the patriarchal and imperious image of Russia's most popular painting.
Project Idea / Curated by: Katya Sivers, Maria Cheloyants
Elizaveta Abyants, Maria Avdanina, Kirill Vasiliev, Pavel Vasiliev, Nigina Vakhidova, Anastasia Elizarieva, Renata Kafiatulina, Milena Malova, Ekaterina Mikhailova, Ekaterina Rubtsova, Lyubov Khimich, Anna Shitova
The laboratory was part of HSE Art and Design School Course on Design and Contemporary Art; the project was part of Hauntology of Post-Soviet Spaces exhibition at HSE Art Gallery (Moscow, 20 April – 6 June 2021)
Banner, Instax mini photographs
A banner with a printed rasterized photo was located on the site of a recently demolished wall of the gallery. The photograph from the archive of one of the artists shows a class that have recently been accepted as young pioneers; they are standing near the Kremlin wall. During the exhibition, the installation was supplemented with snapshots of visitors. From a symbol of Soviet era and a material object, the wall in the work turns into a fake structure, mere decoration, and the image, readable only from afar, crumbles into printed raster dots as you get close. However, at a distance, people's faces are clearly seen in the snapshots.
Artists: Katya Sivers, Maria Cheloyants
The work was displayed at the exhibition Lab 01. The Most Beautiful (Na Peschanoy Gallery, Moscow, 2019)
Lab 01. The Most Beautiful
Collaborative design-research laboratory, exhibition
Professional and institutional frameworks can sometimes be regarded as continuation of broader social and disciplinary divisions. The laboratory became an experimental field, where the invited practicing designers (all of them graduates and tutors of the same academy) entered the field of contemporary art for the first time.
'The Most Beautiful Books of Germany' collection of 2017–2018 became the starting point for research and discussion; the book was regarded as a complex hierarchical structure of meaning and visual solution.
The project consisted of a two-month research laboratory and a month-long exhibition presenting 18 works. The search for alternative communicative and social patterns became a search for new opportunities for coexistence in professional and personal fields.
Project Idea / Curated by: Katya Sivers, Maria Cheloyants
Katya Antonova, Vlada Vishnevskaya, Nastya Grigiriadi, Mitya Devishvili, Masha Dobrolubova, Dasha Kazakova, Ksenia Kotlyarovskaya, Zhenya Kuznetsova, Mariam Nabieva, Yana Nasibullina, Katya Nikolaeva, Danya Orlovskiy, Anya Risukhina, Luba Sokolova, Anton Strunge, Lera Sushkova, Grisha Terno, Sasha Fedorina, Sveta Frolova, Yana Sharipova, Nastya Shentseva, Lisa Shipkova, Dasha Yurkina
In partnership with:
Center for German Books in Moscow / Representative Office of Frankfurt Book Fair in Russia
The laboratory took place at NONSNS residence (Moscow, September – October 2019); the exhibition was opened to public at Na Peschanoy Gallery (Moscow, 9 November – 15 December 2019)
Speculative film, graphic essay, interactive installation, website, research publication
Overlapping jurisdictions and supranational infrastructures generate an increasingly complex network topology. Seiche is a speculative proposal for a visual programming platform enabling the definition and management of techno-legal procedures of information exchange between the institutions that regulate such systems. The first iteration of the project was produced in a form of a documentary that defines the problems of the cross-border condition from logistical, governmental and identity perspectives. The proposal was applied and tested in the form of a narrative set in Khorgos, Kazakhstan, the cornerstone of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
The following graphic essay develops the structural model while putting special emphasis on defining a language and theoretical framework, while a design-research project All Under Heaven: Sоvereignty and Infrastructure After Globalization explores how waves of globalization have shaped and reshaped political, social, and economic paradigms over the past century, stretching and bending the meaning of sovereignty.
Seiche project was initially conceived during the 2018 ‘The New Normal‘ program
at Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design in Moscow
Program Director: Benjamin H. Bratton
The project was presented as an interactive installation at Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2019)
iPhone app with 9 urban narratives, website
ShadowMemory is a collaborative project in a form of a digital platform. It allows artists to develop new urban routes accessible via a specially designed app. Interactive location-based experience is augmented through a curated digital tour urging users to uncover hidden urban structures and connect spaces into experimental linear narratives. ShadowMemory relies on user participation and encourages them to steer away from preconditioned patterns. Instead, they are invited to follow artist guidance and to interact with the tangible reality of the city through subjective impressions, raw data and infrastructural systems of production, consumption and control.
Project Idea: Katya Sivers
Production: Grad, London
App Development: Red C, London
Curated by: Alisa Oleva, Katya Sivers, Elena Sudakova
London routes, 2018:
Animality by ZIP group (Krasnodar)
Atlas by Katia Reshetnikova (Moscow)
Backbone by Paul Coombs and Gabriel Mulvey (London, Geneva)
Fish-Finger Sandwich by Sarah Staton (London)
From Where I Stand by Rotem Volk (Tel Aviv)
Prepare to Synchronize by eeefff (Moscow, Minsk)
The Urban Howl by Timothy Maxymenko (Kyiv)
Yekaterinburg routes, 2017:
Blueprint by Demolition Project (Alisa Oleva and Debbie Kent, London)
Phantasmarium of Victor M. by Sergey Kasich and Victor Murzikov (Moscow, Yekaterinburg)
The project was presented at Art Night London (2018) and the 4th Industrial Ural Biennial (Yekaterinburg, 2017)
State Tretyakov Gallery.
Painting of the Second Half of the 20th Century
Metal printing plate, spray paint, luminous lamp, melon, sticker
The metal typographic form used for printing the catalog of Paintings of the Second Half of the 20th Century from the Collection of the Tretyakov Gallery came to me through my graphic design practice. Here it replaces the traditional pictorial painting, while the light source and still life objects are represented by the found objects. A melon with a Mona Lisa sticker is nailed to the wall. The juice is running down the wall and filling the space with a fruit smell.
The work was displayed at the exhibition Taint (Grad, London, 2014)
Crispy Prawn Dim Sum Selection
Wax head cast, luminous lamp, plastic bag, metal hook
A self-portrait, looking like both a decorative lamp and a household bag with daily purchases. It consists of a turned down wax mold with a fluorescent light bulb inside. The sculpture is placed in a bag from Co-op, an affordable supermarket in Britain.
The work was displayed at the exhibition In Two Parts and Degree Show (both Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, 2013)
Towards Victoria or Sloane Square
Metal frame, lamps, paper, clothes, plastic hooks
The empty space of a London bus shelter advertising block becomes a point of contact, a shared boundary between public and private. The schematically repeated volume of the shelter is filled with fluorescent lamps and fragments of unprinted paper roll. Personal garments and underwear hang on plastic hooks attached to the glass.
The work was displayed at the exhibition Taint (Grad, London, 2014) and Degree Show (Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, 2013)
Atlas of Dreams
Photographs on transparent film, face-mounted to lightpaper, sound
Images: various dimensions; lightpaper: 400×600 mm
Music by Johan Landgren
Atlas of Dreams is a 'scholar's atlas' project in which a dream – usually unimaginable, vague and elusive – becomes an object of study, a script and an inspiration. Typewritten descriptions of dreams are provided by those wishing to participate in the project, first in Mariestad (Sweden), and then in Moscow (Russia). The texts serve as scripts for my videos and basis for music, created for the project. Particular video frames are printed on film and mounted on lightpaper together with the original texts.
The work was displayed at the exhibition From the Realm of Practical Knowledge (GMG Gallery, Moscow, 2011), a Special project of the Fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art
Luminous tubes, arduino
A randomly located pile of lamps and wires becomes a visual tool for identifying systems of control. 19 luminous lamps with open electronic ballast are connected to a motion sensor at the door of the space. The number of lighting up lamps relates directly to the number of viewers entering the room, thus a visual feedback of control mechanisms is created.
The work was displayed at Art and Technology Show (Random Gallery, Moscow, 2012)
(alphabetically) All Under Heaven: Sovereignty and Infrastructure after Globalization [https://seiche.strelkamag.com] (accessed 01 January 2022). Bratton, Benjamin H. The New Normal. Edited by Nicolay Boyadjiev and Nick Axel. Zürich: Park Books, 2021. Clavijo, Tomás, and Katya Sivers. Echo. In Matadero Estudios Críticos. Vol. 2. Freeport. Anatomías de una caja negra. Edited by Bani Brusadin, pp. 187–197. Madrid, 2021. Clavijo, Tomás, and Katya Sivers, Mikhail Anisimov, Andrei Zhileikin, Yulia Gromova. Seiche. Redefining Sovereignty through Systems’ Synchronisation. In Ardeth, vol. 4 (Spring). Edited by Carlo Olmo, pp. 151–171. Milan: Rosenberg & Sellier, 2019. Masters of Stroganov School: 1945–2015. 190 years of Stroganov Academy: 1825–2015. Anniversary edition. Vol. II. Moscow: Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry, 2015. Seiche. 2000 and 200. For Architecture as Measure, Pavilion of Turkey, 17th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Neyran Turan, 2021. XVI International Kansk Festival. Exhibition catalogue. Moscow, 2017.
(chronologically) Glass, Alexander, and Jack Mills. How to Map the Future. In Dazed and Confused, Summer 2019. Gromova, Yulia. Can Automation of Bureaucracy Redefine What It Means To Be a Citizen? In Strelka Mag, 23 October 2018 [https://strelkamag.com/en/article/seiche-citizenship-automation-bureaucracy] (accessed 01 January 2019). Khachaturov, Sergey. We Can! In Arterritory, 27 May 2015. Davies, Lorna. Modern Art in the Limelight. In Mayfair Times, May 2014. Editor's Choice: Taint. In Art Trade Journal, May 2014. Exhibition: Taint. In Bob Magazine, May 2014. Danilkina, Olgа. From the Realm of the Practical Knowledge. 19 September 2011. Guskov, Sergey. Stanislav Shuripa on Vicissitudes of Method. In Aroundart, 01 September 2011.
2020–2023 Philosophy of Contemporary Art Postgraduate Course, HSE Art and Design School at HSE University (National Research University), Moscow
2018 The New Normal Speculative Urbanism think-tank, Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow
2012–2013 MA Fine Art, University of the Arts London: Chelsea College of Arts, London
2010–2011 New Artistic Strategies, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Moscow
2002–2008 Graphic Design, Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry
Residencies and Summer Schools
2019 Art as Politics, BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands
2012 Summer School, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Vyshny Volochyok
2011 Shaping the City, HDK-Valand at the University of Gothenburg, Mariestad, Sweden
2021 Rodchenko Diploma 'For Research and Experiment as Development of Traditions of Russian Constructivism' from the Public Jury of the 14th Biennale of Graphic Design 'Golden Bee' (with Liubov Sokolova)
2020 Hong Kong Design Trust
2020–2022 Professor, HSE Art and Design School
2020 Head of the experimental digital poster workshop (with Lyubov Sokolova) of Bauhaus – VKhUTEMAS. From Twenties – To Twenties, State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
2013–2022 Tutor, Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Arts and Industry
2013–2017 Creative Director, Grad, London
2005–2012 Graphic Designer, Pinakotheke Publishing House, Moscow
Sabotage, Pushkin House, London
Hauntology of Post-Soviet Spaces, HSE Art Gallery, Moscow (with Maria Cheloyants)
Alterglobalism, Belyaevo Gallery, Moscow
Bauhaus – VKhUTEMAS. From Twenties – To Twenties, Final exhibition of Design workshops of 'International school for working and student youth', Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
Seiche, QiWu: Natural Footprint in Technological Exhibition, OCAT Research Institute, Beijing, China
Seiche, Bi-City Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, China
Lab #01. The Most Beautiful, Na Peschanoy Gallery, Moscow (co-curated with Maria Cheloyants)
ShadowMemory: London, Special Project of Art Night London
Books. Magazines. Strognovka, Ground Gallery, Moscow
(co-curated with Maria Cheloyants, Dmitry Devishvili)
ShadowMemory: Yekateringburg, Special Project of the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russia
Fantastika, Kansk International Architectural Festival; Kansk, Moscow, Satka, Russia
Be a Guest in My Possible Future, Bonus block programme of the 1st Worldwide Apartment and Studio Biennale, Moscow
UALAR Art Festival, Moscow
Ualarm, Powerhouse, Moscow
Can! Festival of contemporary art, Krasnodar, Russia
Taint, Grad, London
Degree Show, Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London
In Two Parts, Cookhouse, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London
Art and Technology Show, Random Gallery, Moscow
Ally/Foe. The collective Awareness of the Boundaries, Proekt_Fabrika, Special Project of the 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow
Landscape Painted by Gaze, Gallery 21, Moscow
No limits, Art and Reality Annual International Forum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
From the Realm of the Practical Knowledge, 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, GMG Gallery, Moscow
Points of View, Cityartlab, Mariestad, Sweden
Cartography of the Possible, Central House of Artists, Moscow
A Book Surrounded by Art, IV Krasnoyarsk Book Culture Fair, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
An Artist and A Book 009, Moscow House of Artists, Moscow