Chto Delat, One Night in a Social Network: An Opera-Farce  

Chto Delat, One Night in a Social Network: An Opera-Farce


Chto Delat, One Night in a Social Network (still), 2019.

Bar Laika presents
Chto Delat, One Night in a Social Network: An Opera-Farce  
April 11, 2019, 9pm
Bar Laika by e-flux
224 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Bar Laika is very pleased to present Chto Delat’s new film—an opera-farce titled One Night in a Social Network.

It looks like we’re living in a time of emotional turn. “What is truth and what is not” no longer depends on the possibility of reasoning but on the heavy emotional impact of communication. We can observe this turn in the pervasiveness of the culture of emojis and gif-animations in our daily interactions, from social networks to personal communications.

In this film, we see a room with a table in the middle of it. On one side of the table, a lone user is deeply engrossed reading his social media feed and clicking links. On the other side, four emojis communicate with him and permanently construct and manipulate the content of the news. Under the table, a Russian troll makes comments, chooses this or that content.

The whole action starts when the user receives information about the killing of Arcady Babchenko—a notorious Russian journalist who lived in exile in the Ukraine. With the help of the troll and emojis, the user starts following the case, soon finding himself in the surreal world of post-truth.

One Night in a Social Network is co-commissioned by Para Site, Hong Kong and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai. With additional support from Foundation for Arts Initiatives.

Chto Delat (What is to be done?) was founded in early 2003 in Petersburg by a workgroup of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and Nizhny Novgorod with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. From its inception, the group has published an English-Russian newspaper on a variety of issues, with a special focus on the re-politicization of Russian intellectual culture. The group is named after the novel by Russian nineteenth-century writer Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and brings to mind the first socialist workers’ self-organizations in Russia, and inspired Lenin’s own publication What is to be done? (1902).
Chto Delat’s work spans a range of media from video and theater plays to radio programs and murals, and includes art projects, seminars, and public campaigns. Their work was recently shown at Para Site, Hong Kong; Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico; Tate Liverpool, Liverpool; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju; New Museum, New York (2011); Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London among other places.

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