Critical Mass 2016-2017

  • 'Game of the Futures 2', board game by Avenir Institute in collaboration with young people from youth center 'Sreda', October, 2016
    1/6 | 'Game of the Futures 2', board game by Avenir Institute in collaboration with young people from youth center 'Sreda', October, 2016
  • 'Very special person', fashion show, exhibition and vidoe by Anne Siirtola in collaboration with children from club 'Meteor', October, 2016
    2/6 | 'Very special person', fashion show, exhibition and vidoe by Anne Siirtola in collaboration with children from club 'Meteor', October, 2016
  • 'Farenheit 451' performance directed by Theatr Livsmedlet (Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgrend) in collaboration with young performers and youth club 'Art Raduga', November, 2016
    3/6 | 'Farenheit 451' performance directed by Theatr Livsmedlet (Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgrend) in collaboration with young performers and youth club 'Art Raduga', November, 2016
  • 'Dream cartographers', developed personal routs of dreams by Alevtina Kakhidze in collaboration with young people from youth club 'Energia, February, 2017
    4/6 | 'Dream cartographers', developed personal routs of dreams by Alevtina Kakhidze in collaboration with young people from youth club 'Energia, February, 2017
  • Multifunctional construction designed by Sam Boche in collaboration with young people from youth center 'Sreda', June, 2017
    5/6 | Multifunctional construction designed by Sam Boche in collaboration with young people from youth center 'Sreda', June, 2017
  • Spacial intervention by Ruben Pater and Roman Gornitskiy 'Too Young To Know Too Old To Understand', final conference 'Fast Forward to the Future'
    6/6 | Spacial intervention by Ruben Pater and Roman Gornitskiy 'Too Young To Know Too Old To Understand', final conference 'Fast Forward to the Future'
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348">About project
О проекте : 

Creative Association of Curators TOK presents fourth season of 'Critical Mass', i​nternational ​p​roject of ​c​ontemporary ​a​rt r​esearching ​p​ublic ​p​laces. The new season is held during 2016 and 2017 in the y​outh organizations of the Petrogradskiy district of St Petersburg.

Participating artists: Colectivo Warehouse (Portugal), Anne Siirtola (FInland), Avenir Institute/Denis Maksimov and Timo Tuominen (Russia/Finland), Livsmedlet/Ishmael Falke and Sandrina Lindgren (Finland/Sweden), Alevtina Kakhidze (Ukraine), Stefan Constantinescu (Sweden/Romania), Samuel Boche (France), Ruben Pater (The Netherlands) and Roman Gornitskiy (Russia).

Creative Association of Curators TOK is pleased to announce a new, already fourth, season of the project ‘Critical Mass​’ held in St Petersburg for the fourth time. The new season lasts for two years and focuses on ​an analysis of the history of youth movements in the 20th century and the contemporary context of youth initiatives and organizations. It showcases ​collaborative initiatives with teenagers and young people and​ facilitate​ their active engagement into contemporary creative processes, especially those taking place in the urban environment and public space. The main objective of​ the fourth season of​ ‘Critical Mass’ is ​the ​integration of new artistic, educational and social practices in​to​ government organizations working with young people and involved in youth​ oriented​ policy making.

This season of ‘Critical Mass’ is held in a new format and based on a series of residencies hosting international and Russian artists at the youth clubs in the Petrogradskiy district of St Petersburg​,​ and one former pionee​r camp ​on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. During the residencies​,​ artists, architects, designers and performers work closely with young people and create new projects reflecting upon​ the​ history of you​th​ movements in USSR, Russia and other countries​. They reflect upon ​everyday ​lives of teenagers and the role ​that young people ​play in current sociopolitical processes. 7 residencies took place from August 2016 till June 2017 and 7 new commissioned projects were realized and presented to audiences in 2016 and 2017.

​Since it began in 2010​,​ ‘Critical Mass’ has ​been operating as a discursive platform for​​ research, reflection and discussion of emerging issues in St Petersburg. The project has brought together curators, artists, designers, social scientists​ and ​members of various local communities and governments. Over the past years, we ​have ​touched upon a wide range of themes related to research, revitalization and recoding of public spaces in St Petersburg. We ​have ​explored the identity and potential of ​semi-derelict suburban districts​​ and studied the influence of boom construction on city life in the late Soviet era. Together with artists and locals we ​have ​discussed environmental issues, migration processes and freedom of speech in contemporary Russia. Learning about the history of Gromov’s Dacha, an architectural monument of the 19th century, we conducted multilayered analysis of the governmental policy aimed at ​the ​preservation of historical heritage and cultural memory​,​ as well as ​re​search​ing​ new cultural ​hubs on the map of St Petersburg. ​Every two years​,​ TOK ​arrives ​at​ a different venue or context, which we find ​curious and in need of public attention. Deploying research​ strategies​​ and ​creative social practices, we ​visualize potential scenarios for resolving local ​conflicts and create possibilities for a conversation between citizens, ​the local and international ​art community and local governments. Since the ​beginning​ of ‘Critical Mass’ we ​have ​collaborated with engaged young people interested in arts and activism​ ​who ​joined out project as volunteers, interns or event participants. This season, we expand our collaborations with young people and youth organizations​ ​and​ focus on ​the ​analysis of contemporary tendencies in ​youth policy in Russia​ at state level​.

​The network of youth clubs in St Petersburg ​is a heritage of the Soviet era and Soviet youth policy. Youth clubs used to ​exist in every neighborhood and offer​ed​ teenagers and young people a wide range of extracurricular activities​ being at the same time a product of the state ideological discourse. Today​,​ they mostly ​take the form of theme-based community centers for young people ​operating in diverse formats - from amateur theater studios to centers of social integration for students​ ​at​ ​risk of early dropout​,​ or so-called ‘troubled youth​.​’ Many of these clubs are eager to ​attract teenagers but they lack resources​ and expertise as well as new approach in work with young people​. During the fourth season of ‘Critical Mass​,​’ TOK challenges the clubs to update and broaden their vision of work​ing​ with young people and ​become more relevant by integrating contemporary artistic and social practices and inviting art professionals for collaboration. Invited artists, designers and architects through their projects propose new forms of inclusion of young people in youth club activities that can vary from creating collective performances and visual narratives to building new architectural projects in public space. For young people this is a new creative experience allowing them​ to​ gain new skills and test their talents and abilities​,​ while for the club​s, these experiences​ could lead to shaping new strategies of their educational polic​ies,​ and ​a transformation of their approach to education and arts.

The fourth season of the​ ‘Critical Mass’ project included a broad public program in different venues in the city. It consisted of lectures and talks, discussions and thematic dialogues with artists, researchers, historians, and designers and lasted from October 2016 to December 2017 with its final event being the international conference "Fast Forward to The Future' about the history of youth movements and today’s youth policies in Russia and internationally. ​The season’s results and conference thesis will be presented in a bilingual publication expected to be published in 2018. 

 

Residencies and projects 
July 2016
 
October - November 2016
 
October - November 2016
 
November - December 2016
Residency of Livsmedlet theater at Raduga youth club and performance ‘Fahrenheit 451’
 
February 2017
Residency of Stefan Constantincescu
 
January-February 2017
 
May - June 2017
Residency of Samuel Boche at Sreda Center and workshop ‘Improve your Environment’
 
December 2017
 
Public program 
October 4, 2016, Taiga Space
 
November 2, 2016, The Institute of Finland
 
November 5, 2016, Taiga Space
 
November 11, 2016
Seminar ‘Contemporary Youth Policy: Strategies, Development Trajectories and Creative Practices
 
November 23, 2016, Taiga Space
 
January 24, 2017, Taiga Space,
 
February 17, 2017, Taiga Space,
 
June, 2017, Taiga Space
 
December 5, 2017, School of  Creative Industries Mayak
 
December 8-9, 2017, Rosa House of Culture,
 
 
 
The project is supported by:
Sector for Y​outh ​P​olicy and ​C​ollaboration with ​P​ublic ​O​rganizations of the Administration of the Petrogradskiy ​D​istrict
Nordic Culture Fund
FRAME Finnish Visual Art Foundation
The Consulate of the Netherlands in St Petersburg
The European Cultural Foundation
IASPIS (Sweden)
Nordic Council of Ministers
Institute Francais in St Petersburg
 
Project partners:
Taiga Space
Institute of Finland in St Petersburg
Rosa House of Culture