Critical Mass 2010-2011. Season 1

  • Kaarina Kaikkonen, "Is There A Better Future?", 2011
    1/2 | Kaarina Kaikkonen, "Is There A Better Future?", 2011
  • ТОК explores Frunzensky district
    2/2 | ТОК explores Frunzensky district
146">About project
О проекте : 

Critical Mass is an international public art project which explores urban life in a big city, using St. Petersburg as an example. The project brings together artists, curators and social scientists so they may envisage the most critical and relevant processes within the city public spaces.

The Critical Mass theme is based on the urgent necessity of finding ways to stimulate the attention of St. Petersburg dwellers on issues related to the development of the city. It would appear that the number of topics around the future of St. Petersburg have now reached a critical mass (hence the title of the project) as well as the need to discuss them on the city level. The format of the project Critical Mass presents an opportunity to stimulate such a discussion.

The format of a public art exhibition has been intentionally selected. By placing artworks outside of the known and accepted venues such as galleries or museums, the organizers want to expand the territory of contemporary art making it more accessible for a wider audience. Designed to be an interactive exhibition open to any citizen, the show allows the residents of the city to participate in it, thereby making Critical Mass an open invitation to everyone as an all-city art project.

We anticipate that using public art as a tool to encourage people to think about the aforementioned issues we make the Critical Mass project an interactive platform for open discussion and participation of artists, sociologists, architects, urban planners, city administration and all citizens of St. Petersburg. We hope that discussing the city problems will help us find ways for their solution.Critical Mass is an international biannual project  of public art which explores urban life in a big city, using St. Petersburg as an example. Organized and curated by TOK, Critical Mass is a platfrom for artists, curators, social scientists and citizens for discussing urban issues and creating beautiful and interactive public art works. 


The main element of the project is the exhibition of public art  Critical Mass, which takes place every two years in St. Petersburg during summer. The first exhibition was held in summer 2011 in various city public spaces and the second will take place in summer 2013 in Frunzensky district of St. Petersburg. 

Critical Mass is a unique project of public art for St. Petersburg because it is based on profound curatorial, artistic and sociological research conducted by the international team of the project participants.  Each artist participatingin the exhibition first comes to St. Petersburg for the research visit in order to learn about the history, culture, and evrydaylife of the space where exhibition takes place. Along  with the team ot TOK each artists also gets to know about the local community and their lifestyle. We tend to engage into the project as many local community members as possible and their reactions to all artworks is highly important to us. Therefore, we also conduct the audience feedback reseqctrh during and after every exhibition.  

All participating artists held artist talks and lectures about public art and their past and ongoing projects i the framework of Critical Mass. 

The results of each exhibition are presented in the exhibition catalogue, which can be downloaded from our website.