Distributed Cognition Cooperative
Beginnings and Ends of Colonialism: Undoing Imperial Temporalities
Like a thread, colonialism twists and coils in multiple directions rather than moving forwards in time. Untangling the colonial temporality of post-Soviet space through notions of linearity, latency, recursion, and duration, Anna Engelhardt and Sasha Shestakova look beyond clichéd representations of ruins in which time has seemingly stopped.
In this performative lecture, they explore how futurist imaginaries of Soviet space exploration and industrialisation inflict Russian colonial violence on sovereign nations. Exercised through monstrous logistical infrastructures, occasionally malfunctioning weapons, proxy militaries, and cyberwar tactics, Russian colonial wars span generations and subject their targets to repeated cycles of fear and violence.
As the dead of one war haunt the dead of another, Anna Engelhardt and Sasha Shestakova think about how to welcome the finitude and amplify the obsolescence of colonial regimes.
Founded by artists and researchers Anna Engelhardt and Sasha Shestakova, Distributed Cognition Cooperative (DCC) is а research unit with a focus on post-soviet (de)coloniality. Through practice-based research in infrastructure and logistics, DCC aims to disentangle post-soviet space as heterogeneous with specific attention to the materiality of bodies in the work of seemingly abstract machines.
Their projects include Intermodal Terminal, a collaborative web platform investigating the colonial logistics of post-Soviet space through the intermodal terminal in Nakhodka, a port city on the Pacific coast of Russia; Caring for the Shaky Ground, a diagrammatic essay that explores the cognitive mapping of (de)colonial irrigation infrastructures in Crimea.
Anna Engelhardt is an alias of an anonymous Russian media artist and writer who develops unconventional decolonial approaches to cyberspace such as Russian cyber warfare as a colonial enterprise.
Sasha Shestakova is a Russian researcher on technology and colonialism and co-founder of Distributed Cognition Cooperative.
► On 18 March 2022 - See full programme here