This is not a claim to power, this is power, Photo, 2020

Theory and practice impenetrably separate from each other. Curious is not that these two are separated, but that they somehow interact.

Nonknowledge was reintroduced into the philosophical application by Georges Bataille somehow as the opposition to rationality. Such contraposition between rationality and Nonknowledge induces distrust of history and society, leads to conclusions about the repressiveness of knowledge, the importance of liberation from the shackles of reason, and proclaims rebellion against the order, transgression. Tracing the consequences of such a conclusion on the material that art affords, we should notice that that approach and deriving strategies lead the artistical poverty to increase. Сontrary to expectations, instead of the galore of liberated form, we get a narrowing perspective of equally shapeless, dull objects. Instead of freedom from rationality, we obtain a speculative irrational ideology leading through populism to tyranny.

Apocalypse Surfers, Generative Video, 2014-2021

Nonknowledge. Oneness, given to us in the form of its absence, we call Nonknowledge. In a situation of total mediatory, Nonknowledge is the general medium. Things are the content of Nonknowledge as a medium. Things actualize Nonknowledge just as words actualize silence.
Let us leave Georges Bataille frozen in a gesture of escape from dialectics towards Nonknowledge and set off for the 15th century to Nicholas of Cusa. In his book “De Docta Ignorantia” (1440), in the traditions of apophatic theology, he makes the same gesture but leads us to a completely different situation. Nicholas of Cusa draws different conclusions. He notices that Nonknowledge is the basis of wisdom, the “lining” of any knowledge, eliminating the knowledge/Nonknowledge opposition. This approach seems to us more promising for thinking, in which Nonknowledge provides the very possibility of thought.

Asia Drift Docs, Showcase, 2018-19

For the first time, Nonknowledge arose in artists' conversations as a factor related to the phenomenon of time. Marika and Anton noted Nonknowledge as something invading the present from the future and thereby shaping the past. They used to work on the Opera — a one-year-long procedural project, with Nonknowledge as an operator for the planning of performative events. One of these events, scheduled for the entire last half of the Opera, had to be a specific Zone of Nonknowledge, which artists, in principle, had not filled with concrete content according to the logic of the concept. Rabota intended to let whatever happen and not planned anything specific.

When the time of the Zone of Nonknowledge had come, Marika and Anton were in Turkey on the pathway from Antalya to Adrasan. This path ran through the forest, along the sea and lasted a month and a half with a break — artists had to go spontaneously for a couple of days to meet one crank in Moscow City Tower. This man was about to create the fancy All-Russian Masonic lodge and asked M&A to help him with that. They went back to the trail and continued to move forward without any plans for tomorrow and the future. Ahead were Rome, Sicily, the city of Vladimir, Athens, Naples, and Palermo.

January 24th, 2019, Bangkok, Photo, 2019

Having had the Zone of Nonknowledge planned for six months ended, M&A had to bury all belongings into the field near Moscow and fly away to Vietnam.

“At the Hanoi airport, we were greeted by a caustic tropical sunset and the unforgettable smell of burning plastic, just like in Kathmandu: it is weird, but such a nasty might also cause nostalgic feelings.” Concrete bridges guided the river’s movement. Under the spans, everyone rode endlessly as well. Plastic was burning, someone roasted chickens. M&A stood at the very top and looked at the lights.

Furthermore, here is what they noticed: the Zone of Nonknowledge had ended, but Nonknowledge itself remained, not as a factor of time, but as something related to being as such — it had become the backdrop of all events and things. Marika and Anton began to think and talk a lot about it. After a six-month slow drift down Indochina from the islands of north Vietnam through the boondocks of Laos, artists stuck in a remote province of Thailand in front of a vast empty beach: “there was nobody except dogs and us”. They had entirely run out of money, and Nonknowledge has become a fact of everyday life.

January 10th, 2019, Bankrut, Photo, 2019

M&A settled in the local healer’s shack, who fed them rice and fruits brought by patients. Marika was speaking with Anton about Nonknowledge and their condition day-and-night. Artist came up with the system of media mechanics, in which Nonknowledge served as the operator of the autonomy of any subject providing the objectification of things. Observing urbanization and pollution in southern Asia, artists began to notice the connections between the phenomena of garbage and Nonknowledge. The Aesthetics of Nonknowledge concept received the sense of Media Ecology.

The Tunnel, Video, 2020

After a month and a half of productive despair, the situation was unexpectedly untwisted by invitation for the SASG granted residence in Seoul, and this was the chance for M&A to get out. In Seoul, they got the opportunity to calmly perform theoretical studies on Nonknowledge, the quest for its traces in the history of thought and art. As this usually happens, it turned out that what reveals as an experience of revelations is an actual topic in the history of philosophy and a key topic in the philosophy of art. In Seoul, Anton and Marika have discovered the works of Nicholas of Cusa, Georges Bataille, Giorgio Agamben, Jacques Rancière, and others directly or indirectly referring to the topic of Nonknowledge. Artists’ practice had turned out to be inscribed into the theoretical framework retroactively. At this time, Marika and Anton began to apply the Aesthetics of Nonknowledge’s apparatus to the artistic pursuit.

W.A.R. in Seoul, Installation, SASG, Seoul, Korea, 2019

Maintaining the material and institutional autonomy provided by digital media and the principles of media asceticism, Marika Krasina, and Anton Kryvulia implemented a series of experiments and studies in spring 2019 in Seoul.  more
Can we accept Nonknowledge to be vague but a reliable basis of our cognitive enterprise? If we would take this point of truth, we will get a place for autonomous thought. From this spot, a genuinely excellent post-apocalyptic view unfolds: all catastrophes, quasi catastrophes, global and local warming, everything that you can imagine has already happened, and we are beginning to inhale something fresh, leaking from the well of Nonknowledge.

Museum

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