Curator: Katerina Chuchalina
The 'Grain' Pavilion, All-Russian Exhibition Center, Moscow 2014
Group show 'ik-00'
Collateral project of the XIV Venice Biennale of Architecture
Casa dei Tre Oci, Judecca 2014
Note. A scientist who recognizes the mundane and the obvious in natural phenomena often turns out to be a charlatan, a wrongheaded researcher. His mistakes become his contribution to science.
Note. The creators of “Star Road” look through the city walls. The pioneers, as they call themselves, have mapped a route across an Italian town Biella in a form of a five-pointed star.
Ist Bergen Assembly 'Monday Begins on Saturday'
Contributors: Anastasia Potemkina, Ekaterina Zavyalova, Alexey Buldakov
Permanenten (Kode 1), Bergen, Norway, 2013
On natural selection in Khoroshevo-Mnevniki district of Moscow. Text from the catalogue of the Ist Bergen Assembly 'Monday Begins on Saturday'.
on the exhibition 'Frontier'
Made by Anastasia Potemkina, Alexey Buldakov
Art&Science Lab, Moscow, 2013
Collective show 'The Way of Enthusiasts'
Collateral project of the XIII Venice Biennale of Architrecture
Contributors: Anastasia Potemkina,
Ekaterina Zavyalova, Alexey Buldakov
Palazzo dei Tre Oci, Judecca, Venice, 2012
Presidium of False Calculations
Contributors: Anastasia Potemkina, Dmitriy
Potemkin, Alexey Buldakov
Museum of Philanthropy and Entrepreneurship, Moscow 2012
The Park of Urban Fauna is dedicated to wild animals for which the city has become a natural habitat.
A sketch of an urban sculpture to be installed in places where pigeons are numerous.
Collateral program of the IV Moscow Biennale
Potemkina, Dmitriy Potemkin, Alexey Buldakov
Art Squat Forum, Mosow 2011
Video by Anastasia Potemkina
The "Park of Urban Fauna" is dedicated to the study of wild animals for which the city has become a natural habitat. It is a study of their biological, social and cultural status, as well as their place in human history. Park of Urban Fauna is an area in the urban environment, specifically adjusted to be inhabited by urban animals and providing conditions for their observation and scientific research. Such a park could be built in almost any city in the world. It will operate at the same time as the scientific, architectural and artistic laboratory.
Urban pigeons, rats, cats and crows do not fit in the "romantic" idea of wild animals. They are both part of nature and part of the urban landscape. Despite the closeness to humans, they do not perform any useful function and live in antagonistic relations with the urban system, that is, are parasitic existence. "Park of Urban Fauna" is a model based for multi-disciplinary study of the forms of urban parasitism and associated mutual adaptations of parasites and city infrastructure, including parasitism as a form of symbiotic relationships. We have chosen urban animals as an object of study intentionally. Unlike protozoan parasites, viruses etc., urban animals are usually faced in everyday life, they can be directly observed in familiar circumstances. At the same time they don’t attract much attention, they occupy territory remaining an unaccounted element of urban system. The study of these animals in the future can create a good basis for cultural exchange between scientists, architects and artists.
Parasitism as a behavioral strategy has a special status in culture, since the presence of parasites is the degree of development of the system. The fact that the pigeons and cats can survive in a post-industrial city, says that it is more complex and developed than any pre-industrial settlement, in which, perhaps, these pigeons would be domesticated and eaten. Complexity of urban system provides the conditions for the survival of strangers, and sometimes even hostile elements - idle compensators of surplus product. That means that parasites do not harm culture, but rather indicate the degree of cultural development, and are themselves play a part in it.
They are rather like jewelry. For example, in the cultural space the most uncomfortable, awkward and expensive clothes are evidence of high status, as well as these small ugly dogs that are specifically designed to consume spare time and money of their owners. In biology, this process known as "handicap principle", a paradoxical hypothesis by A. Zahavi, who claimed that males are showing their greater biological fitness through handicapping behavior or morphology that effectively lowers their survival possibilities. Bright colorings, heavy tails and other non-functional "jewelry" are being used as signals of superiority.
The problem of social and cultural status of urban species should be studied in detail on the historical material. Every society has its own history of relationships with the urban animals. Somewhere they are being exterminated, like sparrows in China, somewhere they are a part of a sightseeing program like ducks in the Netherlands. In most of modern European cities ecological conditions allows such wild animals as foxes and wild pigs to occupy city parks. They are being welcomed like desirable guests or like a natural jewelry and a monument in honor of European postindustrial ecology. In the cities like Moscow with a pitiable ecological situation, animals like cats and pigeons have to adapt to the hostile environment and evolve with the city to survive.
Investigation of parasitism is very important in terms of artistic production. In today’s adverse conditions artistic expression can maintain its critical potential only in the form of parasitic practice. Urban Fauna is a model which can be used to research parasitic strategies and parasitic/symbiotic relationships. For a long time artists have been learning to survive in spite of their social uselessness, applying their ability to mimic their environment. They make up for the lack of personal identity by accepting the imposed identities of a painter, minister of religion, decorator, revolutionary, worker, scientist, etc., transforming it from within. The emancipative potential of art lies in its ability of eluding unambiguous identification.
Park of Urban Fauna is an open project. Currently three persons are working on it: architects Michail Orlov and Anastasia Potemkina and artist Alexey Buldakov. Our main task now is architectural design of the park. The planning process of the park itself is a field of interaction for members of different disciplines - science, art, architecture and philosophy. The park can be created in any large city in the world, but since we live in Moscow, we’ve chosen one of the city districts as a basic space. We have developed a number of architectural decisions that reflect the perspective of the project.