Babble. Graffiti. Moscow, 2016

Conceptual explanation of artistic work may be nothing more than a long and tedious way to avoid the substance. Plants have a similar survival strategy: a fruit consists of a hard seed — a core that must transfer as far as possible, and a soft, sweet pulp.

So let us get down to business right away: recall the babble from a comic book. As a graphic representation of a speech act, usually, it is not empty: its very appearance outlines the unity of some message or replica.

March 26th, 2019, Seoul, Photo, 2019

What if we remove the message and leave the babble blank? We will get a demonstrative embodiment of a medium without content: a paradoxical situation in which what is usually hidden becomes visible. Its conditional ontology matches with its representation: it is drawn to provide its emptiness to whatever. Moreover, the very emptiness of the babble should be understood as a message. Expanding on this idea, we may say that the empty babble communicates the potential, the readiness to contain any object, event, or thought.

The empty babble is a unique case of visibility of medium without content. Usually, content actualizes a medium, wherein disguising it. Trying to catch the media's actuality while resisting the logic of the spectacle and discursive colonization, artists often have to apply special procedures: to make the medium of cinema visible Guy Debord appeals to techniques of repetitions and arbitrary cuts. Thus a viewer falling into montage gaps becomes a witness to media self-disclosure.

Meeting Place for Aliens, April 2022

It’s about how we were born, get accustomed to our bodies, change constantly, and finally, something happens with everything. And in the course of time, we will always lose everything we adapted to. Everything turns out to be alien, and this alienation not only manifests itself in the form of loss, in the fact that we rely upon absence, but it also has another side. Nothing, in particular, belongs to us — we have only the world in complete. This nothing is a meeting place for aliens.
However, why do we need an empty babble? Well, perhaps, to outline the idea of ​​“containing the whatever” vacuity, which we propose to call Nonknowledge, and to draw attention to the link of the Nonknowledge idea as a blank potentiality with the nature of the medium and the “ontology” of the artistic object. Further: understanding an empty babble as a graphic actualization of a speech act, one can note the special significance of the idea of Nonknowledge as a political phenomenon (“Whatever can become political if it serves as a meeting place...” Jacques Rancière. The Disagreement). Nonknowledge marks the zone where the way out of concealment and political subjectification occurs, for those who are deprived of a voice in general discursive systems.

Penetration, Performative Installation, A3, Moscow, 2019

In February 2020, at the Serlachius Museum in the Finnish city of Mänttä, Marika Krasina and Anton Kyvulia presented a work entitled “Whatever.” It was ordinary shoes on a podium in an empty hall with the accompanying text: “We are installing a blank space. Now this place is occupied by Anton’s boots; next time it will be something else, it could be whatever”.

In Russian, the word Whatever usually means “no matter what,” but at the same time, it refers to the form of the verb to love: beloved, which is paradoxically opposite to the everyday meaning of the word whatever. Giorgio Agamben in The Coming Community brought up the same contradiction in Latin Quodlibet.
Whatever, Installation, Serlachius Museums, FI, 2020
A work of art is an object that, through its perceptive configuration, ensures the preservation of its idea for comprehension. The sense of an artwork is determined by its significance in the continuum of historical development. Through this significance, provided by the work’s material side, different kinds of values ​​may be applied to the art object exteriorly.
The main thing that a work of art does is that it takes place in the world. As the caretaker of this place, the work of art ensures the reliability of the human world.

What distinguishes artwork from an ordinary thing? In this work, all applied qualities (such as craft, plot, and image) were purposely removed from the art object to make this difference easier to experience.

Art can be created anywhere, from whatever, and anytime: only an artist is required. By making the Ready Made, Marcel Duchamp pointed out an artistic act’s essence as a mechanism endowing any object with a special ontological status. By this act, an artist constitutes a general blank space (place for being) that can be occupied by Whatever. The universal idea of ​​any artwork is the integrality of the artistic act that establishes the space and time of the work of art. In addition to the fact that an object becomes a simple manifestation of blank space, its qualities are not erased but become universal signs — the content of an empty medium, which is an art object essentially.

The Seam, Video, 2019

For that space not to get lost, not fall out of memory, and not merge with Nonknowledge’s totality, it must be occupied by something. Artistic practices allow fixing this place’s presence in space and time to ensure its cultural transmission and representation. This work can always actualize by putting anything in this empty place — the whatever. The thing that actualizes the work acquires the sense of an ersatz art object, the only task of which is to point to the empty place, to create material circumstances for its storage and representation. All other qualities such as plot, medium, and materiality are accidental; they are descended genetically from artists, from those who performed this work in material.

— Yesterday, 10-15 people came together, cut the armature, bounded it with the wire, stuck a frame, dug the pits quickly, dragged the casing, and now they are mashing the concrete right in the garden by shovels. They build with perfect quality and very fast. Now they are tearing off the fruit with a stick.
— The dude is climbing on the breadfruit tree for ripping off the breadfruit. It is such rubbish!
— It's like potato-fruit for smearing it on the sandwich.
— Look, something falling from the tree.​​​​​​​