Boris Groys: Contemporaneity vs. Modernity: Digital vs. Mechanical Reproduction

Department of Art Fall 2011 Lecture Series

Boris Groys is the Global Distinguished Professor of Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University. He is a philosopher, essayist, art critic, media theorist, and an internationally acclaimed expert on late-Soviet postmodern art and literature, as well as on the Russian avant-garde. In the 1970s, Groys, who had studied philosophy and mathematics at Leningrad State University, immersed himself in the unofficial cultural scene in Russia’s capitals, coining the term “Moscow conceptualism.” From 1976 to 1981, he held a position as a research fellow in the Department of Structural and Applied Linguistics at Moscow State University. In 1981, Groys emigrated to West Germany, where he earned his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Müenster. In the U.S., he is best known as the author of The Total Art of Stalin. This work is credited for introducing Western readers to Russian postmodernist writers. His philosophical writing includes A Philosopher’s Diary, On the New: A Study of Cultural Economics, and The Invention of Russia, while his contributions to art theory and criticism can be found in Vanishing Point Moscow and The Art of Installation. Recent books include Art Power (MIT Press 2008) and History Becomes Form: Moscow Conceptualism (MIT Press 2010). Groys has also edited collections of articles in Russian and German and has published more than 100 articles. Since 1994, in addition to serving as the curator and organizer of numerous international art exhibitions and conferences, Groys has been a professor of aesthetics, art history, and media theory at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe.