A cultural exchange initiative engaging a broad network of civic institutions in the former Eastern Bloc and beyond


Field Reports

Informal conversations on contemporary aesthetics and democracy during the pandemic

Organizing Institutions


Contributing Institutions

University of Pennsylvania, Tyler School of Art and Architecture


Ksenia Nouril, James Merle Thomas, Aaron Levy

Opens to public




On the web

Register via Eventbrite

Slought is pleased to present "Field Reports," a series of conversations throughout October and November 2020 with contemporary artists, theorists, and curators whose work engages the politics and aesthetics of Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Intended as a series of casual talks for local students and Slought's expanded network, these intimate, midday sessions will provide an informal platform for thinkers to share and discuss their practices, reflect on how their work has been impacted by the pandemic, what is transpiring in their communities and institutions; and how these factors intersect with democracy and democratic processes as they unfold throughout the broader Central and Eastern European region.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, cultural actors and institutions throughout Central and Eastern Europe face myriad challenges, ranging from increasingly conservative governments and the politics of illiberalism, to a second pandemic wave that threatens to further destabilize the region's socio-economic and political infrastructure. As economic austerity and barriers to mobility are fraying progressive networks of people, cultural production, and institutions, many are attempting to forge new ties and devise new strategies of resilience.

Field Reports is presented as part of an ongoing Slought program, On the Other Side of Elsewhere, which aims to map, engage, and share knowledge across a broad international network of civic institutions in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond, and who are reinvigorating civil society and the promise of democracy. The project investigates the informal economies, networks of interdependence, and modes of survival developed among nonprofits and small-scale institutions whose missions directly engage artistic, political, and social engagement.

The programs are free and open to the public, and will be held from 1:30–2:15pm EST on Zoom (register via Eventbrite). Programs include:

• Thur, Oct 22, 2020: artist and educator Dmitry Vilensky (St. Petersburg, Russia)
• Wed, Nov 11, 2020: curator Viktoria Draganova/Swimming Pool (Sofia, Bulgaria)
• Tue, Nov 17, 2020: artist Dan Perjovschi (Bucharest, Romania)

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About the Speakers

Dmitry Vilensky is an artist and educator based in St. Petersburg, Russia. Не is a founding member of Chto Delat (What is to be done?), a platform initiated in 2003 by a collective of artists, critics, philosophers, and writers with the goal of merging political theory, art, and activism. Vilensky is also an editor of the Chto Delat newspaper and Chairman of a School of Engaged Art in St. Petersburg.

Dan Perjovschi is an artist based in Bucharest, Romania. Perjovschi began his career as a political cartoonist for the Romanian magazine Revista 22 in the early 1990s and has since developed an ongoing project of large-scale wall drawings for both the public and private space. Perjovschi has been the subject of solo exhibitions at notable institutions around the world including the Reykjavik Museum of Art, Ludwigsburg Kunsthalle, Royal Ontario Museum, San Francisco Institute of the Arts, Espai d'Art Contemporani in Castellon, Tate Modern, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Founded in 2015 by curator and educator Viktoria Draganova, Swimming Pool is a non-profit exhibition space in Bulgaria focused on art, curatorial practice, education, and politics. The institution derives its name from its location atop a rooftop in central Sofia—a site that features an empty pool built in the 1930s—and which functions as a venue for public programming. Swimming Pool has presented exhibitions, performances, public programming, and an annual curatorial school in Sofia and elsewhere, while partnering with Art In General, New York; Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam; Staedelschule, Frankfurt; and Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart.

Register via Eventbrite

The Field Reports series is presented in partnership with the Russian and East European Studies department at the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Art History, Tyler School of Art and Architecture, with support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.