07 05 07

"Media-Activist Cookbook" wins "Innovazia"

Oleg Kireev's "Media-activist Cookbook" (Moscow-Yekaterinburg, Ultra.Culture, 2006) was awarded "Innovazia" prize at Moscow, April 28. "Innovazia" was established last year by the National Contemporary Center for Arts and is now given the second time. The previous winner in the nomination "Art theory & criticism" was Saint-Petersbourg-based critic Olesya Turkina. This year the prize in nomination "Visual arts" is given to Vadim Zakharov, in "Curatorial project" to Victor Misiano, in "New generation" to Yelena Kovylina.

The Media-activist Cookbook had been published by the radical publishing house Ultra.Culture (, founded by poet Ilya Kormiltsev 5 years ago. In times of perestroika Ilya Kormiltsev had been an author of songs sung by the whole country: he was a writer to the Yekaterinburg rock-band Nautilus Pompilius, a headliner of perestroika. Last year he made his last scandal, accusing former "Nautilus" leader Butusov of singing these very songs before the "putinist youth" movement "Nashi", renouncing him right to perform these pieces, written by "his sweat and blood", before "conformist goblins". He died in London of cancer on February, 4 this year.

A number of books published by Ultra.Culture were prohibited by courts for drugs propaganda and pornography, confiscated and burnt: history of marijuana, history of LSD, Adam Parfrey's "Apocalypse culture". Numerous other books were published, such as the first Russian Beat anthology, Subcomandante Marcos, compilations on cyberculture, hacking, political extremism, translations of Nick Cave, Pierre Bordage.

The Media-activist Cookbook had the honour to be one of the last publications of Ultra.Culture. It introduces to the Russian audience topics of tactical media and communicates experience of groups and movements, such as telestreet, Paper Tiger TV, Digital City, The Yesmen, Kein Mensch ist illegal, Critical Art Ensemble; experiences of flashmob, culture jamming, campaigning. It also digs into the history of pirate radios, videoactivism and free software movement. Specifically to Russia, it investigates topics of political technologies (as used in political campaigns and media), and traces the domestic history of free communication in samizdat.

Five translated articles appear in the appendix: David Garcia's and Geert Lovink's "ABC of tactical media", Matteo Pasquinelli's "Urban Television Manifesto", "On the use of tactical media in the orange revolution" (by the Ukrainian portal Zaraz. org), Geert Lovink's "Theory of mixing" and Konrad Becker's "Freedom of expression and new technologies".

To confirm its status of publication free of commercial and copyright claims and restrictions, the web-version of the book was created:

The Cookbook was nominated to "Innovazia" by the Yekaterinburg branch of National Contemporary Center for Arts, where its first presentation took place. It competed with four other nominees, which were Irina Alpatova's monography "Another art. Moscow 1956-1988", Irina Kulik's series of articles in the newspaper "Kommersant", Sergey Khachaturov's series of articles in the newspaper "Vremya novostei", and Milena Orlova's article on Victor Pivovarov in exhibition catalogue. Irina Alpatova's book was also given a prize established by the Andrey Sakharov Center and Museum: "For a socially important event on the field of contemporary art".