Presented by Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow
From 2017–2019, The New Normal “speculative urbanism” think-tank at Strelka Institute investigated a renewed contemporary condition marked by dramatic shifts in geopolitics, media, cultural norms and truth parameters. Weird patterns emerging from layered contradictions turned into unexpected site conditions and reinvigorating design constraints; opportunities for the reinvention and rearticulation of a new discourse in the face of the emerging technologies and processes at hand. The New Normal was a platform for the articulation of these new voices.
With The New Normal Symposium, we invite a conversation around the City as Synthetic Cinema. Cinema is not just a medium with which to make films about cities; it is rather a material substance out which very cities are made. As the relationship between the moving image and our environments is always changing, cinema as continuous as the city itself, digested within the same synthetic current both synthesizing various media types within a single frame and artificially composing a seemingly coherent whole. This calls for a new urban design literacy, but also for the poetic exploration of new genres of discontinuous cinema and narrative genres; opening new worlds to new inhabitants.
The symposium brings together various voices from adjacent backgrounds whose entry points both into the “synthetic” and “cinema” challenge conventional assumptions and explore radical new potentials.
Metahaven and its work consists of filmmaking, writing, and design, and is united conceptually by interests in poetry, storytelling, propaganda, and digital superstructures. Films by Metahaven include The Sprawl (Propaganda about Propaganda) (2015), Information Skies (2016), Hometown (2018), Eurasia (Questions on Happiness) (2018), and Elektra (2019). Recent solo exhibitions include Version History at the ICA London (2018), and Earth at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Ghost:2651 in Bangkok (2018), the Sharjah Biennial (2017), and the Gwangju Biennale (2016). Recent publications by Metahaven include PSYOP (2018), and Digital Tarkovsky (2018).
Metahaven’s debut Australian lecture will coincide with their exhibition Metahaven: Field Report presented by the Melbourne Art Book Fair and RMIT Design Hub Gallery.
Liam Young a speculative architect and director who operates in the spaces between design, fiction and futures. He is cofounder of Tomorrows Thoughts Today, an urban futures think tank, exploring the local and global implications of new technologies and Unknown Fields, a nomadic research studio that travels on expeditions to chronicle these emerging conditions as they occur on the ground. His worldbuilding for the film and television industries has been acclaimed in both mainstream and architectural media, including the BBC, NBC, Wired, Guardian, Time Magazine and New Scientist, he is a BAFTA nominated producer and his work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and MAAS in Sydney. He has published several books including the recent Machine Landscapes: Architectures of the Post Anthropocene and has taught internationally at the Architectural Association, Princeton University and now runs Masters in Fiction and Entertainment at Sci Arc in Los Angeles.
Nicolay Boyadjiev is a Design and Education Tutor at the Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design in Moscow. Nicolay is an architect and designer working between Montreal and Moscow. His professional work spans architecture, strategic design and platform urbanism, with recent projects focusing on the implications and potential of massive emerging infrastructures of digital addressability on the built environment. He lectures widely across Europe and North America and is a faculty at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (Masters in City & Technology) in Barcelona. Prior to Strelka he has worked at internationally renowned architecture offices ranging from experimental design practices to larger firms.
Varvara Melnikova holds several managing positions in one of the leading Russian urban and media companies. Varvara is a CEO of the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design and one of the founding partners of Strelka KB – Moscow consulting bureau in the fields of architecture, urban planning, cultural and spatial programming. Varvara is also the CEO of the Afisha media brand. She is also a member of the Commission on urban areas development in the Public Council under the Ministry of construction and housing utilities of the Russian Federation and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Cities & Urbanization.
Nashin Mahtani is an architectural researcher & designer thinking about humanitarian & knowledge infrastructures. Nashin is currently the director of PetaBencana.id, a non-profit Organisation and platform that enables community-led information sharing and supports response & planning for climate adaptation. She leads a multidisciplinary design research team in developing humanitarian infrastructures for climate adaptation. She also creates new representational forms and data visualization strategies to explain humanitarian information and communication technologies and systems and investigates knowledge infrastructures, and visual and spatial cultures.
Olga Tenisheva is the Executive Director for Education at Strelka Institute for Media Architecture and Design in Moscow, working on design and implementation of postgraduate programs and international collaborations and engagements. Olga has been specialising in project management of educational programmes since 2010 and has been actively participating in all stages of design, development and realisation of programmes. Prior to Strelka Olga was working at the Skolkovo Institute for Science and Technology focusing on development and assessment of MSc and PhD programs.