Asia Bazdyrieva is an art historian whose research spans visual culture, feminist epistemology, and environmental humanities at large. Her projects focus on a hybrid of European and Soviet modernities and its ideological and material implications in spaces, bodies, and lands. Asia co-authored ‘Geocinema’—a collaborative project exploring the possibilities of a planetary notion of cinema. She is currently associated with Critical Media Lab (Basel).
Asia Bazdyrieva is transmediale artist-in-residence for six months with the fellowship of Weltoffenes Berlin funded by the Berlin Senate.
Asia's recent research tests the hypothesis that with colonial expansionists projects of both Western European States and the Russian Empire (operating through cartography, texts, images, geological prospecting, etc.) the territories of present-day Ukraine were imaged and imagined as a territory of inexhaustible resources that can feed the entire world. In her latest text No Milk, No Love she argues that rendering the territories, their soils, mineral deposits, and populations as already included in processes of material transaction has contributed to the emergence of regimes of material power that through constant reinvention prevail today.
Within the transmediale residency, she will further work with the framework of resourcification by looking at sociotechnical imaginaries that contribute to the making of a resource through arranging substances, technologies, discourses and practices deployed by different kinds of actors (Richardson 2014). This framework is productive in order to see how Ukraine’s territory and its people are imagined as a component of material exchange, as well as to see how the notion of the territory as a resource justifies a spatial organization that enables slow violence and environmental damage while equating the human population and life at large to geological, agricultural, and other forms of matter with usable material capacities.
In this research, she questions: How territories are rendered as resourceful/useful or wasted/suitable for repurposing. How the ‘use’ as a technique that organizes spatiotemporal relations (Ahmed 2019) operates through cartographic techniques, scientific observation, financial, legal, and political technologies (“operational media”)? If categories of ‘useful’ or ‘wasted’ are enabling particular infrastructures, the question is for whom? Who is the subject of the use, and who is excommunicated? What categories of the inhuman are being rendered at the moment of material transaction? As practice-based research, it further engages with questions, such as: How to engage with infrastructures and operational media methodologically, while addressing questions of documentation, representation, and intervention? Can media employed for the isolation of geologic matter, the registration of renewable energy sources, the calculation of risk, and the transformation of financial culture become anchors for artistic strategies and alternative media?