RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Eastern-Europe Histories" Participants


Media art as a tool to build a post-industrial society : an example from the Ural Biennale


Panel:Panel A


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, room 311

In 2010, Olga Kisseleva created “It’s Time” in conjunction with the Contemporary Art Biennale of Ekaterinburg, in the Ural region of Russia. The city is well known for its industrial past. The Uralmash factory, famous for building the T34 soviet tanks and later on the intercontinental missiles, is located there. Most of the town’s citizens work at the factory. While Ekaterinbourg is slowly moving towards a more diversified economy, it still shows the traces of its industrial past. The installation “It’s Time” is purposely located at the main entrance to the Uralmash factory. During the Soviet regime and especially in time of war, discipline there was merciless. Life at the factory was implacably ruled by the sound of the siren activated by the main clock. A workman who was late could be severely punished, by being deprived of his meal for instance. So the daily rhythm at the factory was regimented by this clock, feared as a “dictator of time” by the employees. “It’s Time” installation addresses this particular situation, and, more widely, speaks about our perception of time and our relationship with the passage of time in our contemporary society. In this work, we have given the workmen the ability and power to regulate the clock according to their own biological rhythm, thereby reversing the existing situation, where it is no longer the mechanical historic clock that dictates time. In order to make this happen, the historic clock – the very same one in use during the period of “time dictature” – had to be modified to receive the new data as transmitted by the bodily activated sensor.

Olga Kisseleva was born in 1965 in Saint Petersburg (Russia).
She is awarded the PhD in Fine Art from Saint Petersburg University in 1996.
Since 2000 Olga Kisseleva teaches contemporary art in the University Pantheon-Sorbonne of Paris 1 and she is
editor of Plastik Art&Science Magazine at Editions de la Sorbonne. Since 2007 she is Head of Art&Science
department and a member of the High Scientific Committee of Sorbonne

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