Vladislav Efimov

efimovBorn in 1964 in Moscow, graduated from Moscow Automotive Institute in 1985. Scholarship at the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1995–96. Over 30 solo and group exhibitions in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Berlin. Winner of State Innovation Prize in Moscow in the “Work of Visual Art” nomination (2008). His works are held by the State Russian Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and other institutions.

The Order Machine

Vladislav Efimov’s project was ably described by Valentin Dyakonov in his review in the Kommersant newspaper: “… fives rows of inexpensive radios sit on a podium. They are wired to a device in another room — the ‘Organization Engine,’ a four-legged rectangular box with sockets, switches and a huge wooden barrel. Pins in the barrel switch the sound from one radio to another. The sound comes from a bunch of randomly placed speakers. Musicians, singers, newsreaders, chipper DJs and other seekers of public attention rarely get to finish their sentences. ‘The Engine’ doles out small portions of airtime according to the simple mechanics of rotation.” Dyakonov says that Efimov’s experiment with deconstructing public broadcasting reminded him of Tristan Tzara’s act of filling his hat with shreds of paper bearing different words to be pulled out randomly and read aloud. There’s an important difference with Efimov’s project, however: The sequence in which the fragments are played is clearly linked to the barrel’s rotation and not driven by chance. The observing mind is thwarted because the precise rules remain undecipherable. Not being able to determine how exactly things happen, the mind has to content itself with mere observation of events that don’t lend themselves to interpretation, and don’t require it.