Trans-Siberian Artist Residency: Anthropological Research

Hey Irishka! Found a minute to write you a letter. My life here is perfect, I don’t even want to leave.*

*(an unsigned letter found in the house on the hill)

The project takes the theme of the 6th Moscow Biennial, Eurasia, to a new, almost physical level: artists will cross this continent with the help of self-proclaimed migrating Trans-Siberian residency. The starting point of the research trip is a knowledge sharing platform (house in the forest – the school in between) created at a wooden house in Kenozero National Park in Arkhangelsk region, restored and re-thought by r a k e t a, and it is followed by a week on a train reaching Vladivostok. Artists from Sweden and Russia, among them sound and visual artists, collect and exchange stories, soundscapes and images, taken with the direction as hearing, touching, smelling rather than seeing. The number of participants, in accordance with the site, does not stay defined, as the members of r a k e t a group virtually connect and give tasks to those on the train. During the residency artists keep textual, audio and video logbooks, similar to those of anthropologists. All the material will be presented in a migrating exhibition at several sites in Vladivostok, Moscow and Stockholm.

Unlike traditional residencies, which offer artists accommodation at a stationary site for a defined period, this research trip happens between both west and east, crossing the whole country and constantly shifting the site while artists stay together 24 hours a day 7 days a week, in a perpetual contact with an audience. This situation can be observed as testing grounds for a concept of kinship, one of the most important but also heavily debated principles in Darwinian anthropology. Those webs of social relations or rather organizing principles are common to both humans and animals with its fictiveness, codes of ethics, empathy, coefficient and degrees of relationships different in divergent cultures.

Read a travelogue from the train at
As part of the residency the work Siberian Trance was produced, read more about it here.

[nslider sid=353]

Residents on the train:

Ilya Grishaev, artist, Saint Petersburg
Maria Kotlyachkova, curator, Stockholm/Moscow
Nadya Gorokhova, sound artist, Saint Petersburg
Susanne Skog, sound artist, Stockholm
Timo Menke, artist, Stockholm

October 3 – November 8, 2015
Venue: Moscow State Darwin Museum
Curators: Maria Kotlyachkova & Raketa


Allyn Hughes, artist, New Haven
Cornelius Stiefenhofer, curator, Munich/Arkhangelsk/Tromsö
Ilya Grishaev, artist, Saint Petersburg
Irina Peshnova, Arkhangelsk
Jens Comén, musician, composer, Östersund
Oleg Samoilov, artist, Arkhangelsk
Maria Kotlyachkova, curator, Stockholm/Moscow
Nadya Gorokhova, sound artist, Saint Petersburg
Sam Perry, curator, artist, Cardiff
Sindri Runudde, dancer, acrobat, choreographer, Stockholm
Stig Nilsson, carpenter & restorer, Kälom
Viktor Fedoseev, researcher, Arkhangelsk
Yulia Medvedeva, Artist Union, Arkhangelsk
& friends

/ r a k e t a / RAKETA _ PRESS

Camilla Schlyter Gezelius, architect
Cecilia Enberg, artist
Jann Lipka, photographer
Johanna Bratel, landscape architect
Magda Lipka Falck, graphic designer
Susanne Skog, sound artist
Timo Menke, artist
Veronica Wiman, curator, professor at Tromsö Art Academy
Åsa Lipka Falck, artist


State Darwin Museum, r a k e t a, Maria Kotlyachkova
R a k e t a is running interdisciplinary and collaborative projects and experiments within art, design, architecture and digital media, ongoing since 2000. RAKETA _ PRESS is an independent publishing house founded 2004. /