Within the law



coding, pc with webcam and printer, small architectural form

Last century’s repressions reflected in the modern world by a number of consequences - tens of thousands people today are descendants of political prisoners, and there are numerous monuments of cruelty within the post-Soviet space - the former buildings of the NKVD. Each of them are similar - thousands of identical wards, punishment chambers and interrogation rooms. Today spaceless and pressing chambers are used as storerooms. The buildings themselves are turned into administration houses, schools, universities and hospitals. These disciplinary spaces are an integral part of the institution of fear. Fear of the system dehumanizing the person down to the numerical value denoting the number of a record.

In this work, I also apply to various frightening scenarios of development at the time of the digital revolution and the first contact of the state apparatus and the punitive-judicial structure with new technologies. An example of such is China, where new technologies are becoming a part of the authoritarian regime, aiming to suppression and control.

Inside this installation, the viewer finds himself in a dual state: he experiences physical discomfort inside the pressing room and he is left alone with an all-consuming machine that manufactures a physical proof of its power. In this space, the social "Self" of a person is reduced to a simple piece of paper/dossier/record/sentence.

The project consists of several main parts:

- soundproof closed interrogation room, which corresponds to the parameters of the psychologically pressing sidewalls in the buildings of the People's Commissariat;

- neural network trained on civil, administrative and criminal codes and constitutions of all non-free republics of the former Soviet Union;

- imitation committed by police officers external evaluation of gender and age, followed insinuated a note in the Protocol about hiding personal data;

- private record. ⠀


I want to thank the NU students Alina Park and Bekarys Nurtay for their help in the implementation of this project. This work was a part of “First Contact” exhibition curated by Anvar Musrepov during Astana Art Show 2019.