Assistant Professor @ University of Western Australia
Revolutions Angels: On the Communist Aerial Imaginary
The funniest yet the most profound version of communist utopia is visions of life in the skies. Planes, makeshift wings, spaceships, trampolines were seen not only as technical devices but also as means of launching people into “outer space,” the non-place above and beyond everyday experience. Flight, from Icarus to Leonardo, has been a perennial symbol of hubris, aspiration and freedom from Earthly constraints. In the case of the communist aerial imaginary, it is the symbol of historical ambition, of an ethical and political impulse to reach a higher state of existence. Is this impulse still relevant although the prospect of reaching the celestial destination is now highly suspect?
Tijana Vujosevic is Assistant Professor of architecture at the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Visual Arts at UWA. She has earned a Master of Architecture degree from Yale University and a PhD in history and theory of architecture from MIT. Her work focuses on how the architecture of real and imaginary environments defines the protagonist of everyday life. Her articles on Russian architecture and art, the European avant-gardes, Frank Lloyd Wright, and sustainability as utopia have been published in journals such as Architectural Histories, Grey Room, Journal of Design History, and others. Last year she was the recipient of the UWA Distinguished Early Career Research Fellowship and has previously had grants from MIT, the American Association of University Women and the Gerda Henkel Foundation in Dusseldorf. Her first book, Modernism and the Making of the Soviet New Man is coming out early next year with Manchester University Press.