Studio report

An X-ray of past predictions about the present, and how they can be made productive in present day Russia.
Throughout history, mankind has exhibited a desire to ‘know’ the future: from biblical prophecies to Marx’s dialectic course of history; from Kennedy’s man on the moon to Kubrick’s Space Odyssey; from speculative assumptions about the effects of climate change to assessments about the future of the global economy… predictions manifest in many forms.
The advance of science has been an interesting catalyst: with its ability to endlessly simulate the future consequences of present decisions, cyberspace has given the future a whole new dimension. However, despite the benefits of scientific progress, history’s most radical changes are rarely the result of scientific calculation; instead, more often than not, they are the product of a leap of faith. Maybe therein lies the real essence and value of predictions: as the ultimately mythical drivers of the supposedly rational process of modernization. Perhaps modernization is nothing other than man’s ability to believe his own predictions, even when the validity of these predictions remains questionable…
Russia is no exception: five year plans ‘shaped’ the future of the nation for over 70 years. Much of Russia as we know it today can be interpreted as a ‘lived prediction’ – the result of a past intention to set the country on an inevitable course – which, true or false, continues to affect it until today. The studio conducted an X-ray of past predictions about the present, with a particular focus on how such an X-ray can be made productive in defining an agenda for present day Russia.