По-английски о себе
When they ask me "What is your profession?" or "What is your main occupation?" I get a feeling of perplexity. I earn my living by doing some research work in the general theory of industrial design: a wonderful job indeed, because it encompasses exclusively wide range of topics from handicrafts and engineering to aesthetics and socio-dynamics of culture. But one can hardly call it the profession because up to now there is neither recognized academic tradition of such researches nor any accomplished and accepted theory or methodology of design in the strict sense of this word. It'll be safe to say that I'm practicing some sort of interprofessional activity which might be better understood within the context of my own personal development rather than defined in terms relating to an established division of labor
I was taught music in my childhood, and painting in my adolescence; being a radio-amateur since 12, I decided to turn my passion into profession at the age of 17.
Educated as radio-electronics engineer I spent 15 odd years designing, constructing, and operating equipment for several quite important scientific and industrial research projects. I had the privilege to work under the guidance of some eminent scientists and managers, travelling some distant places located high in the mountains, on the sea level and deep below the earth-surface, and meeting quite unusual people, being at times involved in some exciting adventures.
There were many unexpected findings (and losses) on my way, among them was a discovery of the one palpable fact: that any of the techno-scientific problems are deeply rooted in and backed by some particular human situation with its characteristic individual aspiration, ambitions, desires and attitudes, personality collisions, emotional conflicts etc.. I have a bad habit to reflect and meditate on things happen around and with me. So I came little by little to the conclusion that the sources and reasons of those conflicting human situations are too often lying in our limited ability to communicate, perceive and evaluate the true sense and meaning of our own motivations and intentions, and in our unskillfulness to discover the truth about other people as well as about ourselves.
Thus I saw with startling clarity that science and technology alone could solve neither basic human problems nor basic problems of humanity. One might call it native and funny, saying that many outstanding poets, philosophers and religious teachers had been telling about similar topics for the last hundred years or even more, warning mankind of a danger of being too rational and too confident in the omnipotence of the so-called Progress.
I am ready to admit me complete ignorance in poetry, philosophy and theology. But I should like to repeat that I got appropriate knowledge not from the written texts or spoken words (these came later) but exclusively from my personal experience; an experience of being in and/or getting through some borderline situations where Freedom and Captivity as well as Life and Death were neither poetic symbols nor abstract notions but crude Reality; a challenge, demanding an immediate choice and actual response.
There were also some other personal facts of my biography which centered my interests around a simple question: is it possible for a man - an ordinary every man, not a Saint or a Hero - thrown into so perturbed and disintegrated world of ours, to survive without losing his identity and retaining his heart and soul open to The Truth, The Good and The Beauty. I have spent years contemplating on that question, discussing it with my friends - experts in various fields of arts, science and technology, and conducting some practical (at times encouraging, at times distressing) experiments within the framework of my own lifestyle.
When I started to read the authors describing "cultural split" (e.g. Two Cultures of C.P.Snow), alienation and mass-loneliness (Sartre, E.P.Fromm, D.Reisner), one-dimensionality of to-day's man (H.Markuse) and so on, I have found them astonishingly bright and precise in depicting the syndromes and stating diagnoses of some major schisms and diseases of both individual's soul and social body of contemporary Western World, but rather vague and reluctant in their proposals for appropriate cure and recovery measure.
I want to declare in advance that I am not going to go ahead with my own recipe for heeling and salvation of the World because I have none. But let me to emphasize one particular consideration which deserves, from my point of view, much more attention and practical efforts then it usually receives.
It seems doubtless to me that any solutions of such problems as sealing off or blocking up the cultural split, demolition of mutual alienation and estrangement and restoration of multi-dimensionality of human personality can not and will not be achieved by messianic attempt of sole individual whoever he might be - most brilliant poet, prophet or charismatic leader.
Here we need a collective effort of individuals - true individuals, not just human atoms bound together by hunger, fear or lust, and led by Someone-Who-Knows-How. It is not my task to speculate about philosophy or ideology that must be developed in order to integrate various attitudes and strivings of all the activists concerned. The only thing I should like to put forward is that such co-operative undertaking will be doomed from the very beginning unless provided with some specific facilities. I am completely agree in this respect with the authors of an extraordinary challenging conceptions of The Universitas Project when they are saying as follows: "As the medieval view of a divine order of things gradually gave way, after the Renaissance, to the view of a world ruled by come to be replaced by the realization that the milieu we now inhabit is to a significant extent artificial, a man-made milieu. More and more it is this man-made milieu that provides the framework for contemporary man's thought and imagery.
Yet the profile being adopted by this newly emerging milieus escaping control... To a large extent man continues to act as though he could trust some external force to put things in order for him. There is no reason, therefore, to expect that the aimless actions of technology will eventually accommodate themselves to some pattern of order. The future will provide only a continuation of the present if facts of technological feasibility, rather than values of human existence, remain the accepted shaping forces... modes of thought may be developed which are better suited than the present ones for giving meaning and order to the man-made milieu, thus enabling man to design his future."
The problem I am working upon right now is the search and formulation of the general principles of that new mode of thought - a designer's mode - arising from the synthesis of scientific, technological and artistic approach to the man's role and destination in this world. I am going to concentrate here on one of those principles which ░ in as mach as our task demands essentially a group-work - constitutes conditio sine qua non, namely: a provision of channels for adequate communications between the members of the group.
By using the term "adequate communications" I imply not only the right and possibilities to speak and (or express oneself freely; these conditions, as very well known, are not enough for a true mutual understanding because there is always a room for misinterpretations. Exactly the same words, not speaking of phrases, may bear quite different meaning for different people who refer these words to different primary realities of they life-experience, class and group identifications, type of mentality, temperament, somatic peculiarities etc. Empirical evidences confirming this thesis are numerous. One can find them in the studies of word-association response (Jenkins and Russel, Rosenzweig, W.E. Lambert and Moor and many others), in the cross-cultural comparison of meaning systems (Ch. Osgood), in the classical essay on Heuristics by Jacques Adamar, in the encephalographic inquiry into the various modes of perceptive activity of the human brain by Gray Walter, and in recent reports on pattern-recognition problem.
In order to reach a true understanding of a message one must refer to all its hidden implications and the question is how to explicate these verbally inexpressible semantic (or even pre-semantic) elements and archetypal structures which play so important part in the mechanics of formation and interpretation of meaning.
ation and interpretation of meaning. The most efficient way, in my opinion, would be the building of a special kind of theatre - The Universal Theatre or Theatre-Universe, where spectators themselves will be the playwrights, stage-directors and actors of a polythematic play, revealing basic essential forces and laws that motivate and govern man's behavior and thinking, both individual and social, conscious and unconscious, rational and intuitive, techno-scientific and artistic. Equipped with special system of "communicability amplifiers", "image-synthesizers" and "creativity stimulators", including individually controlled positive and negative feedback from "audience" to "actors" this Univertheatre will give a possibility to imitate any form of interaction between man and his artificial milieu together with specific interrelations and interactions between people living in such milieu.
It also will give the participants a chance to externalize the real content of their dreams and expectations as well as their subconscious fears and desires in the form of controllable symbolic images which could be analyzed and evaluated on the spot, that in turn, will make apparent the corresponding emotional and socio-psychological problems in order to design efficient means for its solution.
To build such a Theatre-Universe would be quite difficult task, but it might have been a crucial test for a good will and skill of those artists, poets, philosophers, scientists and technologists who are ready to join their forces in breaking new roads to a better mutual understanding and creative collaboration in all fields and areas of human activity.
I will be glad to exchange the views, opinions and further considerations about above mentioned topics and connected issues with those who are concerned.
╘ Институт новых технологий