Interview with Herito magazine

In May Herito published an interview with me on socmodernist architecture in Eastern Europe – you can read it here.

Staging for the End of History: Avant-garde Visions at the Beginning and the End of Communism in Eastern Europe

In 1967 Stanislav Kolibal, the Czech artist, was commissioned to design the August-September cover of Výtvarné Uměni (Fine Arts) (fig 1). This was to be a special issue of the periodical, commemorating – like many other magazines and newspapers published in the Eastern Bloc that autumn – the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. He … Continue reading

Echo Translation

In his book La voix au cinéma (The Voice in Cinema), Michel Chion coined the word ‘acousmêtre’ to describe a character that can be heard but not seen on screen. Rather than nail down his term with a comprehensive definition, Chion introduces his readers to various kinds of disembodied voices in the cinema. They include … Continue reading

Cieślewicz’s ‘Forefather’s Eve’ (occasional notes on posters)


This poster produced by Roman Cieślewicz in 1967 has become an iconic image in the history of the People’s Republic of Poland. Designed to promote a new performance of Adam Mickiewicz’s nineteenth century poetic drama, Forefather’s Eve (Dziady), Cieślewicz’s design captures the simmering frustration with Soviet control over Poland. The central motif seems to be a desiccated landscape or a figure with a hole … Continue reading

Sounding the Body Electric – art, cybernetics and electro-acoustic music in Eastern Europe in the 1960s


    Neo-Constructivist, light and kinetic art, cybernetic design, concrete and electro-acoustic music were fields of high creativity and experiment in Eastern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. Seizing the opportunities presented by the relaxation of political control of the arts after Stalinism and exploiting the new official encouragement given to cybernetics, electronics and computing, … Continue reading

Socialist recreation? Amateur film and photography in the People’s Republic of Poland and East Germany

Amator Film Competition poster, Poland, 1973

This piece was published in a book which is very difficult to find, so I have posted my contribution below.

Personal Search


Here is a discussion of an undeservedly obscure Polish film, Rewizja Osobista / Personal Search, 1972. It was commissioned by the Bureau of Loose Associations / Piktogram.


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