“City Code” project by OKSANA CHEPELYK in Almaty

During residency in Almaty I have been preparing my “City Code” project for ArtBatFest 8, organized by Eurasian Cultural Alliance.

The project, realized within Art Prospect residency, develops my “City Code” research.The city as a neural network, the new nervous system of the urban landscape, requires identification of its words, signs and images. A project consists of 2 parts: installation of Calabi-Yau manifold and “City Code” video-installation.


In this experiment the installations offer a dialogue between the concepts of spatial experience.

“City Code” is dedicated to the city of Almaty, to its spirit and to its citizens. I was interested in the city places with history, that are meaningful for the people. This visual research of specific geography of the City within the limits of wide row of interrelations. It raises the questions, concerning functioning of public space during paradigmatic changes.

In “CITY CODE” project the idea of collision crosses physics and its searches for understanding of universe, space-time, and social space with civilizational cataclysms, that are experienced by the world, appealing also to the scientific notion of the Event Horizon.


It works with space-time, science, public space, history and new technologies.


The project deals with events that took place in urban landscapes and influenced a subsequent historical development. It examines the iconic places of C20-21 political history.


Creation of structure referring to the Calabi-Yau manifold, which is an algebraic surface (idea incarnated in a spatial model) appeals to the concept of time, where linearness became out-of-date. The past did not come to an end, it is permanently re-arising. And a project invites to define the role of Almaty in this process.

If the latest theory of Tom Weiler and Chui Man Ho is right, the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest atom smasher – could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backwards in time. A time-space in the project is presented by projected video panorama that consists of 24-60 fragments of moving image, which is revolved with acceleration in an art collider, activating a mechanism of audio-visual jumps, where certain fragments can gradually be substituted by archival videos and followed by subsequent visual “transmutations” (term by Marie Curie).



In the project a paradoxically fragmented urban scape forms an immersive environment, in which the key directing ideas are translated through panoramic experience, as it is about a time and space that has existed historically.
The interplay between micro- and macrosystems, between physical and social worlds explores a variety of contemporary and historical phenomena.

Panoramic presentation of the most dramatical political events: Independence Square, Almaty, Kazakhstan, place of the December event of Jeltoqsan 1986. By brining Almatyevents into global vernacular, project deliberately resets the global understanding of Kazakhstan modern history, while at the same time resetting the understanding of local, as world-historic turning points.



Sense of media urban experience by means of mosaic panorama consists in a way a visitor could be wrapped with these visual experiments and could test every moment, dipped in incarnate reality among multidimensional spaces of collisions between past, present and future with their own sets of correspondences.


“City Code”, using character of touch-screen, presents the most perilous political flash-points, where human being is immersed into cosmogonic fluid environment. From one side, it is a playful moment and, from the other, a visitor is brought a little closer to that dramatic moment.


The elements of fragmentation and discontinuity in video make conscious reference to quantum theory. Mathematical object that in fact is a curving space and extends in unexpected ways – across multiple dimensions for complex manifold. According tosuperstring theory, at every point in our four-dimensional space, a 6-dimensional Calabi-Yau manifold is attached – it is a complex manifold, which represents the extra dimensions of space-time.



Nietzsche in his Gay Science famously proclaimed: “Long live physics!” – constantly reminding us that the physical world is all we have, that we need to say yes to contingency and ensure that our ethics are grounded in this world.

A project takes a keen sense of spatial structure to form this experience: the philosophy and the physics of critical mass and emergence, of the conditions that yield the new, the unimaginable, the unthinkable.

Whether the will of people has been transformed during this time in a decorative pattern?

The “City Code” project, appealing to the idea of collider in physics, raises the question: is a person a particle in the system of accelerators of global forces, or the energy of interaction investigating new values, new forms of thought and new ways of existence in the world – insisting that ‘another world is possible’?

Project is on view in Almaty Arena Art Centre until September 17, 2017.


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