The Institute of the Cosmos (IOTC)

The Institute of the Cosmos (IOTC)

Institute of the Cosmos.

The Institute of the Cosmos is an ongoing collective research project founded in 2019. Informed by the historical ideas of cosmism, the Institute is a space for a creative investigation of the materiality of the cosmos and its strange universalism, from the perspectives of philosophy, anthropology, history of science, and art.

Through a combination of art projects, films, texts, and discursive events, the Institute reflects on the current understanding of our biological and social conditions, and maps vectors of our future development inspired by the history of cosmist thinking and the speculative practices that sustain it. The Institute seeks to unlock the hidden potential of radical imaginaries across multiple fields and histories of knowledge.

We have many urgent questions: How can our understanding of time and space be expanded? How can our life-span be extended? What are the horizons of organic and inorganic life? How to control time? How to understand the unity of all that exists? How does our post-secular society challenge contemporary science, and vice versa? What kind of sociality will a cosmist future bring? How can life on Earth and beyond be elaborated? What could extra-terrestrial art and literature be? Are plants conscious and should we eat them? How to live without killing any form of life?

We welcome you to think these questions through with us.

The Institute of the Cosmos is initiated by Arseny Zhilyaev and Anton Vidokle. The Cosmic Bulletin has been edited by Marina Simakova and Hallie Ayres, in 2020 and 2021 respectively. The Timeline of Russian Cosmism is compiled by Anastasia Gacheva, Marina Simakova, Arseny Zhilyaev, and Anton Vidokle. The website of the institute is designed by Alan Woo.

The Institute of the Cosmos wishes to thank Hallie Ayres, Kaye Cain-Nielsen, Colin Beckett, Steven Zultanski, Brian Kuan Wood, Mariana Silva, Anna Gorskaya, Oleksiy Radynski, Hinda Weiss, Thomas Campbell, Tamara Khasanova, Anastasiya Osipova, Ulvi Kasimov, Diana Khamis, Thanh-Mai Phan, Greg Ponchak, Maya Tounta, and Mengyi Qian for helping to realize this project.

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