Conversations about ID.

Project by Vlad Strucov

November 14–15


16 November 2019
St. Petersburg Stieglitz State Academy of Art and Design
13-15 Solyanoy Lane

Terms ID and identity are pretty new to the Russian language. They are used alongside the words passport and personality. What is the difference? What kind of new opportunities and challenges do these notions carry? Why is it important to talk about identity in the 21 st century? How are new technologies used to identify people? What role does contemporary art play in advancing new meanings of identity? We have invited experts from different fields to discuss issues concerning identity and identification. They include an artist, curator, doctor, lawyer, musicologist and sociologist who are well-known in St. Petersburg and internationally. Will they agree to disagree? The discussions will be moderated by Vlad Strukov who is an Associate Professor in Film and Digital Culture at the University of Leeds (the UK) and a researcher at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow).

Conversations will take on Russian and English, without translation.

Vlad Strukov is an Associate Professor in film and digital culture at the University of Leeds. He is also a researcher at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. He works on theories of visual culture, global journalism, and ideologies of neoliberalism in the context of the Russian Federation and Russophone culture. In the last two years he published a number of books on contemporary visual culture, including a monograph on Russian cinema. In these publications, he explores visual and digital culture in different context, paying special attention to the problem of transnational cultural discourse. Strukov is also an independent art and film curator. He makes regular appearances on Al Jazeera, American Public Radio, the BBC, RBK and in other media.

14 November

A. 13:00–14:00
Sergei Anoufriev (Russia) & Natalia Lyakh (France)

Sergey Anoufriev (Ph.D.) is a medical psychologist. He was one of the first doctors in Russia to specialise in health care management. He has participated in the creation of new clinics and national and municipal health programmes. He is the founding director of the St. Petersburg Medical Forum, which brings together healthcare practitioners. He provides consulting and educational services. He is interested in projects which are at the intersection of art, media, medicine and psychology ( and He believes that as public institutions, culture and healthcare have a lot in common. Museums and hospitals can be structured around participation, whereby the role of the chief physician is similar to that of an art curator. He has overseen Medical Design and Thank you, Doctor international projects, including interviews and photos with famous cultural figures, writers and actors.

Natalia Lyakh is a multimedia artist born in St. Petersburg. She was in art from childhood, then several years of experimental research in neurolingustics & PhD at St. Petersburg University. Since 2000, Nataliya is fully devoted to photography, video-art, short films & video installations. She took part in many arts hows and festivals all over the world. Her works can be found in private and public collections, including Russian Museum. As a Former scientist, she invites us to discover the magic dimensions & abstractions in the simple objects with a use of plexiglass, aluminium, video or video installation & propose an aesthetic, innovative and perplexing treatment.

B. 14:00–15:00
Dmitri Bartenev (Russia) & Lance Putham (UK)

Dmitri Bartenev is an attorney who works on strategic cases on anti-discrimination, mental disability, LGBT rights and freedom of speech. He is also an associate professor of international law at St Petersburg State University, Russia. He has published on mental disability law, sexual orientation and medical law. His publications include Fundamentals of Constitutional Law of Finland (2004), Justice or Complicity (2016), LGBT Rights in Russia and European Human Rights Standards (Cambridge, 2017), Chapter on Russia in: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Practice: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of Courts (Oxford, 2018).

Lance Putnam is a composer with interest in generative art, virtual reality and geometric foundations that unify sound and graphics generation and animation. He holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and both an M.A. in Electronic Music and Sound Design and Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology from the Media Arts and Technology program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation The Harmonic Pattern Function: A Mathematical Model Integrating Synthesis of Sound Graphical Patterns was selected for the Leonardo journal LABS 2016 top abstracts. He currently explores new approaches to generative art as a research associate in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London under the Digital Creativity Labs. Here he is developing the virtual reality experience Mutator VR that has held numerous exhibitions around the world.

15 November

Eduard Khaiman & Vladimir Abikh (Russia)

Eduard Khaiman is a designer, architect, urban researcher and digital artist, curator of the DA master's program. Digital Art at the FEFU School of Digital Economics in Vladivostok, curator and teacher of PRO courses at the MARCH School of Architecture.

Vladimir Abikh works at the intersection of different media and styles: street art, intervention, installation, video, photography. He often involves the viewers into active engagement with the art work. In his works, the artist speaks on the topic of urbanism, social injustice, man’s place in the information space, and also explores the impact of virtual on the reality. The artist’s creative method is based on the reinterpretation of the street art’s heritage, on working with text and language phenomena. Special attention in works is paid to the symbiosis of semantic content and  3 method of submission. The artist analyzes and reveals the inner mechanisms of functioning of socio-cultural phenomena in concise and ironic forms.

D. 14:00–15:00
Margarita Kuleva (Russia) & Ellen K Levy (USA)

Margarita Kuleva (PhD in Sociology) works as a senior lecturer at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, where she holds the position of chair of the Department of Design and Contemporary. She also is an affiliated researcher of the Centre for German and European Studies at St. Petersburg State University–University of Bielefeld and a fellow of Centre for Arts, Design and Social Research (Boston). Kuleva has collaborated as a researcher and curator with a number of Russian and international cultural institutions, including Manifesta Biennale, Garage MoCA, Goethe Institute, Street Art Museum, Ural Industrial Biennale and New Holland St. Petersburg.

Ellen K. Levy, a NY-based artist and writer, was Past President of the College Art Association before earning her doctorate in 2012 from the University of Plymouth (UK) on art and neuroscience. She then served as Special Advisor on the Arts and Sciences at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Her diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston followed a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College in Zoology. Levy’s solo exhibitions include the New York and the National Academy of Sciences, and she was represented by Associated American Artists and Michael Steinberg Fine Arts (NYC). Her honors include an arts commission from NASA, an AICA award, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at Skidmore College. She has lectured, taught, and published widely. With Patricia Olynyk she co-directs the NY LASER.

Mario Klingemann (Germany), Uncanny Mirror, interactive digital media installation, 2018 © Mario Klingemann, courtesy Alberto Triano/ONKAOS