Moscow Drift

8 Jun–31 Jul 2018
Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA)

The Visible Committee group together with the V–A–C Foundation present Moscow Drift as part of the Carte Blanche project.

The project is devoted to the research of Moscow psychogeographical landscape. The idea of drift (dérive) was first proposed by the Situationists, notably by Guy Debord, back in the 1950s. It is based on directly immersing oneself in the urban environment, moving through it swiftly without any clear itinerary or strictly defined start and finish points. Reaching a state of emotional disorientation, the researcher begins to gain an independent sense of their surroundings, each time rediscovering the urban landscape.

In the mechanized, clearly structured utilitarian society of the mid-20th century, a citizen acted according to certain set patterns of behaviour, precisely because they used only a limited number of habitual and indispensable routes. There was an air of romantic rebellion against the existing state of affairs in roaming aimlessly and haphazardly through the city. In the contemporary conditions of a freer and more socially mobile society, we consider this to be somewhat outdated. The Visible Committee have therefore presented a new idea of contemporary drift.

The authors of the project now explore not merely the geographical but also the virtual landscape. Whereas, in the time of Debord, the phenomenon of drift has never been documented since it was believed that this would violate its naturally fluid nature, nowadays, thanks to social media, we are constantly generating online content about everything happening to us. This unconscious and reflexive documentation becomes an intrinsic aspect of the modern drift. Registering our awareness of the cityscape in this way, we form a new image of the city. We also reject an anthropocentric outlook: the human being is no longer at the centre of all events. We have changed the focus to look at space in terms of the objects and the phenomena that fill it, recognizing each of them as a bearer of self-sufficiency, agency and autonomy. The task of the researcher is to see and manifest relationships between objects, to witness communication between them.

Moscow Drift is a participant in the special projects programme of the 6th Moscow International Biennale of Young Art.

The Visible Committee is a group of Moscow high school and university students with a shared interest in contemporary art and exploring artistic practices. It was formed in the summer of 2017 during classes taking place in the Moscow Diaries V–A–C public programme. The group, comprising eight high school and university students aged 16-19, have, in the course of a year, were preparing the Moscow Drift project alongside V–A–C curators and artists.