Derailed Research Lab is an interdisciplinary research project founded with the aim of using a series of very long distance journeys along with design and art methodologies and practices to explore and document the geopolitical forces, spaces and times which shape the contemporary world.
I participated as designer and researcher in the first expedition: The Trans Siberian Railway.
The train journey became the laboratory in which we recorded our thoughts through writing, drawing and filming. There were seminars, workshops, discussions and performances. The carriage was an ideal observation post from which to witness changes in landscapes, societies and selves. There were periods of intense working, compression and collectivization combined with expansive moments, long walks and new readings.
Our research traversed eight different time zones of a simultaneously modern and archaic landscape. From St. Petersburg to Vladivostok we reinvented the political-economical and socio-environmental relations of a vast spatial formation. Vladivostok that strange Pacific Ocean port and city which is today finding a new life as it becomes the Las Vegas of the east, following from Russia’s desire to conquer the Far East, this post soviet city emerges as a clash between future and past ideology, as a free economic area where western nations can play out their own identity crisis.
From Vladivostok we headed back to the Strelka Institute in Moscow to present and share our findings with a lecture, performance and publication.
Derailed Research Lab is founded by Jon Goodbun and Raluca Cirstoc