The article presents an analysis of the possibilities and limitations of the use of information and communication technologies, in particular the Internet of things as an effective tool for artistic and sociocultural practices in the context of transformations of cultural industries. It is revealed that such radical transformations lead to a change in the formats of cultural objects, their content and form. The prospects of technological development are analyzed and the framework of interdisciplinary research is set.
Considering two main trends in the field of culture - the fusion of art with science and the high demand for viewers’ participation in art-projects, we emphasize the role of technology in the development of media and focus on the prospects that can provide the Internet of things. In addition, analyzing the perspectives of contemporary technological tools as creative tools, we argue that the Internet of things and derivative technologies can have a strong influence on design, education and culture: today the society faces exponential innovative growth in all areas, but the most promising among them are those which provide the user with an active position, ability to provide feedback and an option to become co-author of the responsive, recipient-oriented projects that engage complex technical excellence in order to meet the expectations of a contemporary adaptive user, viewer or student.
The two most important processes influencing new cultural trends in today’s Russia are the state’s annexation of transgression and the transformation of social norms. In Russia’s public space, speakers representing different official or semi- official institutions make aggressive statements and defy accepted norms of public communication. They behave as if they perform the roles of “official holy fools”. Thus, the state “annexes” the right of mediatized public transgression characteristic of contemporary art. State actors are described in the article as “active conform- ists” embodying the expectations and desires of TV-watching “passive conformists”. Accordingly, strategies of heroic resistance in art and literature cease to be relevant for shaping the new wave of Russia’s aesthetic nonconformism. The article discusses alternative scenarios and discourses emerging in contemporary art and literature as formative for the new type of nonconformity.
This article presents a review of a conference Debt: 5000 Years and Counting that took place at the University of Birmingham (Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures) on June 8–9, 2018. The conference was based on the recent influential book Debt: The First Five Thousand Years by David Graeber. The conference gathered representatives from all social sciences to discuss the understudied topic of history and ideology of debt. The review contains references to several papers discussed at the conference to give an idea of the approaches used in one way or another in many of the papers. The papers discussed in the review were devoted to the boost of micro-credit in Latvia after the 2008 global financial crisis, the ideology of trapped equity that led to this crisis, the attempt to resolve confusion between the view that debts are to be repaid and the view that profiting from lending is evil, credit in the Islamic Caliphate in the 7th to 10th centuries, the long durée of public debt since the Middle Ages to Early Modern times, and the royal debts in England in the middle of the 16th century. The conference was interesting not only because of the importance of the subject but also because of the originality of the format which helped make the event less hierarchical and less dominated by the academic elite. In addition, one of the aims of the conference was to combine academic and activist approaches. Among the participants there were a few activists. This experience is also described in the review.
The paper explores how traditional storytelling adapts to the digital environment andadopts/assimilates it. This study is based on a corpus of fourteen semi-structured in-depth interviews of researchers and performers with an expertise in seven differentstorytelling traditions. Therefore, we present a new typology of traditional storytellers and depict their Internet/New Media usage specifics.
Claiming that that the history of the London-based Strand Magazine started with Russian literature would be understandably far-fetched but not extravagantly misleading: the episode with the notorious short novel The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy infamously led to the rift between the enfant terrible W.T. Stead and the future founder of the Strand George Newnes. The deal-breaking disapproval of Tolstoy’s scandalous opus did not, however, result in Newnes’ utter rejection of Russian literature. His new magazine, established shortly after the conflict, was neither straightforwardly Russophile nor openly or implicitly Russophobic unlike many of the periodicals enchafed by the turbulent “Tournament of Shadows”. At the early stages of its existence, the newly founded magazine demonstrated an explicit predilection towards translated rather than domestic fiction, with translations from Russian occupying an important niche among other national literatures. While favouring the renowned, canon-approved authors, such as Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov, the early Strand also displayed a tendency to select the works which could be read as adventure or “healthfully” sensational stories thus conforming to the magazine’s genre policies (predominantly gothic Queen of Spades, multigenred Belkin Tales, nocturne-flavoured Tamagne from A Hero of Our Time). The texts were prefaced by introductory notes, enticing yet unconcerned with factual accuracy (e.g., Lermontov was described as a “fair-haired” man with “large blue eyes”). The notes attempted to both “domesticate” the selected authors and retain the international couleur locale while finding suitable English counterparts for the writers of choice (“Russian Othello”, “Byron of North”). The paper will trace the ever-evolving role of Russian fiction in the magazine’s history, from the aforementioned early instances to the peculiar Edwardian and post-Edwardian cases when the translations became more eclectic in nature, ranging from Ivan Turgenev’s ghost story and Tolstoy’s moralistic pieces to the middlebrow stories by Vasily Nemirovich-Danchenko and a modernist oeuvre by Leonid(as) Andreev. The paper intends to outline the strategies of selecting the “Russian material” for the lower middle class readers not only in the context of the Strand’s editorial policies but also as a part of the “middlebrow” Anglo-Russian cultural transfer mechanisms.
To what extent does science in authoritarian societies initiate practices of democracy and freedom? This article provides an overview of the issue of academic rights and freedoms as an integral part of the academic ethos in the USSR and the Russian Federation and concludes that there has been a paradoxical shift in the relative extent of rights and freedoms in wider society vs. the academic world. In this author’s opinion, academic proto-freedom existed in the USSR as a component of the privileged position held by a segment of the academic community and that, therefore, the latter experienced a degree of freedom that was greater than that afforded by Soviet society in general. The situation evened out in the late 80's and early 90's and finally, with the attack of authoritarianism against the remaining academic autonomy of Russian universities in the 2000s, resulted in fewer freedoms within academia compared to society as a whole.
This is a study of the development of video culture in Russia in the late Soviet and early post-Soviet eras through in-depth interviewing. There has been a cult audience in Russia, although without the discursive framework which has shaped Western cult cinema (i.e. participants didn’t self-identify as cultists): a phenomenon this article terms ‘analytical cult’. Not all movies that achieved cult status outside Russia have become cult in this national context, and vice versa: there are movies treated as cult in Russia that have never been positioned as such outside the country. Some forms of cultism in Russia also have no direct analogues in their Western cult counterparts due to nationally specific means of access to cinematic distribution and production, namely video parlours and authored voiceovers. These have developed into cult forms in their own right. Therefore, although cult cinema can possess a transnational currency, it can also be reshaped in cross-cultural transitions. This kind of transnational cult demonstrates that its participatory practices may not be self-reflexively positioned as ‘cult’ by audiences/marketers/film-makers.
This article attempts to show that two Chinese tales composed in the ninth century belong to tale type ATU 410. They do not only share main plot elements of ATU 410, but some very specific motifs, too. The authors spent many years in Sichuan which is historically a border region of China. This provided them with the opportunity to come into contact with foreigners and to read texts influenced by Western culture. Later the story was more and more adapted to conform to local traditional texts about the revival of ghostly brides and therefore lost the characteristic features of the tale type.