BIOMECHANICS

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Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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BIOMECHANICS

T5

PROLETKULT

The proletarian culture movement
-

Proletkult

was founded in 1917 by economist and philosopher
Alexander Bogdanov (1873
-
1928) (
penname of Malinovsky
)


the ‘father’ of cybernetics. Bogdanov's grand
project was a
Tectology
. It wa
s a proposal to develop a universal science of organization and analysis, through a
search for structural similarities in all spheres of knowledge. He advocated the reexamination of works of art to
reveal their structure and underlying premises, as a step
to the development of a new art. Alexei Gastev was
considered as the main ideologist of the Proletkult.

Proletkul't sponsored schools and workshops throughout the country that taught workers to read, write,
make art, and to think about science, principally

from Bogdanov's organizational point of view. Their proclaimed
goal was to strive for the universal development of a ‘creativity of new proletarian culture,’ to encourage and to
focus the creative power of the proletariat in the fields of science and the
arts.
The plastic arts were influenced
initially by constructivism, literature and music by futurism.

Proletkult was founded on the idea of independence from the State.
From the start it was an independent,
non
-
governmental association that subsumed more t
han 200 organizations in various areas of arts and sciences.
In 1918 the Proletarian Federation of Futurists demanded the separation of the arts and State, opposing any
political control over the arts, official posts and grades.

By 1920 Proletkult compris
ed around 400,000 members across Soviet Russia.
Avant
-
garde artists, writers,
actors often were involved in the Proletkul't workshops
including the painter Olga Rozanova, Anatoli
Lunacharsky, Aleksei Gastev, Platon Kerzhentsev, Arseny Avraamov, Nikolai Ros
lavets and many others.

Proletkult’ demands for autonomy put it on a collision course with the Communist Party. In December 1920,
Lenin issued a devastating critique of the organization, attacking not only its independence but also the very idea
of a uniq
ue proletarian culture. In short order, the Proletkult was made into a subsection of the governmental
cultural agency, the Commissariat of Enlightenment. During the First Five
-
Year Plan (1928
-

1932), it saw a brief
period of growth. However, in April 1932
, the Communist Party summarily closed down the Proletkult along with
all other cultural associations that assumed special ties to workers.


Alexander Bogdanov. Circa 1910.

A4


T3

Alexei GASTEV

The writer, politician
and polymath Alexei Gastev (1882
-
193
9)
was one of the most popular and
outstan
d
ing proletarian poets of the early post
-
revolutionary Russia.
Born to a family of a teacher and a
seamstress in Suzdal, Russia, Gastev enrolled into the Moscow Pedagogical Institute, but was expelled after
partici
pation in a revolutionary meeting. Shortly after that Gastev was arrested and exiled to the Northern
Russia. As a result of his exiles, followed by an emigration, Gastev has spent three years working in the
industrial factories of Paris, France in 1910
-
191
3.

From its inception he was the main ideologist of the proletarian culture movement


Proletkult.
After
October revolution Gastev became one of leading theorists and practitioners of the
Scientific Management in
Soviet Russia.
In 1918 Gastev established
a network of trade unions according to the model of the French
syndicalists. He insisted:
"Each turner is a director of the machine tool,
-

he constantly emphasized.
-

We put the
resolute end to division into the so
-
called executive personnel and the perso
nnel of management".

Gastev is said to be in a personal acquaintance and correspondence with Henry Ford.
Fa
s
cinated by
Taylorism and Fordism, he has
led a popular movement for the “scientific organization of labor” (NOT).
He was
convinced that his main ar
tistic creation was CIT


the Central Institute of Labour which was founded in 1920
and supported by Lenin. In 1928 after a survey of CIT laboratories the famous proletarian poet Maxim Gorki
embraced Gastev and, referring to his departure from poetry, comm
ented: “now I understand why you have
discarded fiction: the one is at the expensive of the other”.

Because of its emphasis on the cognitive components of labor, some scholars consider Gastev’s NOT to
represent a Marxian variant of cybernetics.
As with th
e concept of 'Organoprojection' (1919) by Pavel Florensky,
underlying Bernstein and Gastev's approach, lay a powerful man
-
machine metaphor.

In 1938 Alexei Gastev was arrested
on false charges of "counter
-
revolutionary terrorist activity" and
sentenced to d
eath by a speedy trial,
his institute was closed.
On April 15, 1939
Gastev
was shot to death in the
suburbs of Moscow.


Portrait of Alexei Gastev by Z.Tolkachev.

Scanned book illustration: A. Gastev. «Revolt of Culture»,
Harkov, 1923

50
x70



CIT poster
.
“Let’s take the snow
-
storm of the revolution in the
USSR, let’s put in the rhythm of American life and perform the
well
-
adjusted work as a chronometer”.
From the book by A.
Gastev “Youth, go!”, VCSPS, Moscow, 1923
.

50x70


TV1


GASTEV
. Silent video.

TV




The book cover

“Poezia rabochego udara” (The Poetry of
Worker’s Impact).
Alexei Gastev.

VCSPS, Moscow, 1923.

A4



The book cover “Ford vs Marx”.

Profintern, Moscow, 1925.
In the book by V.Krichevsky
“Oblozhka, graficheskoe litso epohi revolucionnog
o natiska 1917
-
1937”, design
-
studio “Samolet”, Moscow, 2002.

A4



The cover of the book “America/Germany. Teilor, Gilbert,
Ford”.

CIT
-
VCSPS, Moscow, 1926.
In the book by V.Krichevsky
“Oblozhka, graficheskoe litso epohi revolucionnogo natiska 1917
-
1937”,
design
-
studio “Samolet”, Moscow, 2002.

A4



The book cover “Ford”. “Mezhrabpom”, Moscow, 1924
.

In the book by V.Krichevsky “Oblozhka, graficheskoe litso epohi
revolucionnogo natiska 1917
-
1937”, design
-
studio “Samolet”,
Moscow, 2002.

A4



Physical traje
ctories of the corporeal joints of wired pianist.

Stereo images, CIT & GIMN, Moscow, 1925.
(N. Bernshtein and T. Popova).
Andrei Smirnov archive
.



Panel
100
x4
5



T6


THE CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF LABOUR

The Central Institute of Labour CIT (
or TsIT (Tsentral
’nyi Institut Truda
) in Russian transcription)
was
founded
by Alexey Gastev in Moscow in 1920
and supported by Lenin
.

In his institute Gastev investigated the functions of certain “operational complexes” that encompass both
worker and machine in a single
unbroken chain: “These machine
-
human complexes also produce the synthesis
between biology and engineering that we are constantly cultivating. And the integrated, calculated incorporation
of determinate human masses into a system of mechanisms will be nothi
ng other than social engineering.”

A
ccording to CIT methodology every physical motion of ca
dets was precisely planned and assessed so that
by the end of training, full automatism could be achieved. The human body was to become a machine. Gastev
has declar
ed:

We start from the most primitive, the most elementary movements and produce
the
machinization of man himself <…>

The perfect mastery of a given movement implies
the maximum degree of
automaticity
. If this maximum increases <…> nervous energy would be
freed for new initiating stimuli, and the
power of an individual would grow indefinitely.”
1

CIT was an unusual institution that was frequented by fa
natical old inventors and fascinated teenagers alike.
Alongside the physiological laboratory there were la
bs for ‘sensorics’, ‘psy
chotechnics’ and education. A variety of
‘multimedia’ tools and ‘interactive’ gadgets were devised including instruments for photography and film,
systems for monitoring musical perfor
mances and instructorless simulation a
p
paratus

for cars and planes.
It was
scientific research with an in
terdisciplinary and broad
-
ranging agenda.




1

Quoted in
Slava Gerovitch.
Love
-
Hate for Man
-
Machine Metaphors in Soviet Physiology: From Pavlov to «Physiological
Cybernetics» // Science in Context. Vol
. 15. 2002.
p
.344.

In the middle 1920
-
s one of CIT departments was Solomon Nikritin’s Projection Theatre as a proving ground
for the development of the ideal Man of the Fut
ure.
In 1928 Gastev organized the Ustanovka ("Setup") joint
-
stock company which audited the work of industrial enterprises and provided recommendations on efficient
organization of their work processes on a commercial basis, which leaded to complete financ
ial independence of
CIT from the state.


Although by late 1930
-
s CIT had produced over 500,000 qualified workers in 200 professions and 20,000
industrial trainers in 1700 educational centers, the totalitarian State was not interested in the creation of a
n
etwork of socially engineered Cyborgs with liberated minds. In 1938 the institute was finally closed.


The building of the Central Institute of Labour (CIT),
Moscow, Petrovka 24, 1923.

Courtesy of Jon Appleton.

René
Fülöp
-
Miller "Geist Und Gesicht Des Bol
schewismus". Amalthea
-
Verlag, Wien 1926

A4



The process of movement research in the CIT laboratory,
1923.

From the book by
René Fülöp
-
Miller "Geist Und Gesicht
Des Bolschewismus". Amalthea
-
Verlag, Wien 1926.
Courtesy of
Jon Appleton.

A4



Chrono
-
cyclo
graphicy photography in the Biomechanical
Laboratory of CIT, 1923.

From the book by
René Fülöp
-
Miller
"Geist Und Gesicht Des Bolschewismus". Amalthea
-
Verlag, Wien
1926.
Courtesy of Jon Appleton.

A4



Working process in the CIT courtyard
.


A. Gastev at th
e right. The second at the left


N. Bernshtein.
From the book by
René Fülöp
-
Miller "Geist Und Gesicht Des
Bolschewismus". Amalthea
-
Verlag, Wien 1926.
Courtesy of Jon
Appleton.

A4



Nikolai

BERNSHTEIN

(1896
-
1966)
. Circa 194
0
-
s.

In 1921
-
1923 Bernstein was

the leading physiologist at the
Central Institute of Labour.
Until 1947 Bernstein worked at
National Central Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow, where
he was the head of scientific department. At 1947 he won very
prestigious national prize (so called

Stalin prize) for his famous
book “O postroyenii dvizheniy” (On construction of movements),
in which he presented five
-
level system of movements’
construction. Regrettably, somewhat later he was accused of
being a cosmopolitan and deprived of job.

A4



Nikolai Bernshtein and Nikolai Tikhonov during
experiment on cyclography.


A4


V2

Nikolai
BERNSHTEIN


+
Biomechanics of Vsevolod Meyerhold

Video +
sound

No
headphones



Vsevolod MEYERHOLD

(1874


1940).
Circa 1920
-
s.

A great Russian and Soviet theatre d
irector, actor and theatrical
producer strongly opposed to socialist realism. In the beginning
of the 1930s, when Joseph Stalin clamped down on all avant
-
garde art and experimentation, his works were proclaimed
antagonistic and alien to the Soviet people.
His theatre was
closed down in January 1938. In 1939 Meyerhold was arrested
and executed on February 2, 1940.

A4



B
IOMECHANICS

The physio
logical research at CIT was based on a conceptual approaches and experimental methods of
the European science of bi
ome
chanics, in which the human body was represented by the mechanical system of
muscle forces and weights. CIT activities went much beyond the pure applied pragmatics. I
n 1921 Alexei Gastev,
Nikolai Bernshtein and Vsevolod Meyerhold brought the term ‘Biom
echanics’ into common use not only in the
psychology of labour, but also in theatrical practices, in particular, by Vsevolod Meyerhold and Solomon Nikrirtn.
Gaestev’s concepts
alongside with ideas of other outstanding representatives of his generation


th
e scientist
-
naturalist Alexander Bogdanov,
the Russian Orthodox theologian, philosopher, mathematician and inventor

Pavel
Florensky

etc. formed conceptual base for development of the most radical artistic concepts and experiments.

In Gastev's exhibitions o
f the 1920s entitled the
Art of Movement
, stereo images traced the physical
trajectories of tools, hammers, weapons, the corporeal joints of workers, pianists and sportsmen, tracking and
monitoring the three
-
dimensional characteristics of motion. Most of t
his documentary was produced by Nikolai
Bernstein (1896
-
1966)
-

the Central Institute of Labour's leading physiologist
-

who conducted experiments
measuring the tr
a
jectories and speed of human limbs while his subjects performed various labour tasks.

One o
f Gastev's hopes was to stage a labour championship in addition to sports events. As he put it in one
of his poems:
"...Do you want? I shall strike the anvil with a hammer striking the first quarter of a minute in a
tempo 120, the second quarter


90, the
third


60. And he started. A boiler from Dublin has been recognized as
a champion of rivet. It was? It will be!"


The
mannequin, dressed in a special costume
for the
Cyclography.

It is equipped
with lamps
located
on joints,
intended for
stereo filming
of

movements
by means of special
fast stereo movie camera.




Early cyclograms of movements, produced by
N.Bernshtein at CIT in 1921
-
1923.

In the book by
René
Fülöp
-
Miller "Geist Und Gesicht Des Bolschewismus". Amalthea
-
Verlag
,
Wien

1926

.A4



A4.





The phase of run.
The scheme of efforts in the centres of
gravity of foot parts.
Research on human movement, CNIIFK,
1934
-
39 in Nikolai Bernstein’ book “O postroenii dvizheniy”
(About the building of motion), Moscow, 1948

30x40



Consecutive positions
of an arm and hammer in motion.

One of the first images produced by Nikolai Bernstein at Gastev’s
Central Institute of Labour in 1923 in Nikolai Berstein, O
postroenii dvizheniy (About the building of motion), Moscow,
1948

30x40



Characteristic instant
during the moment of swing
before javelin throw.
N. Bernshtein, CNIIFK, 1940. N.Berstein,
O postroenii dvizheniy (About the building of motion), Moscow,
1948


A4


V3


Physical trajectories of the corporeal joints of wired
pianist.

Stereo images, CIT & GI
MN, Moscow, 1925.
(N.Bernshtein and T. Popova).
Andrei Smirnov archive
.


The spatial k
ymocyclograms of piano performance of the
7
-
th Waltz by Chopin.

Two lamps were mounted on
joints of
each hand.


50x70



Stereo tra
ces of pianist hand movements.

R
esearc
h work
at GIMN in collaboration with Gastev's
CIT
institute, Moscow,
1925. (N. Bernshtein and T. Popova).

Andrei Smirnov archive


Original

5 cardboard
plates

130x60

original





T4

АЛЕКСЕЙ ГАСТЕВ

Ордер 05

Панихида на кладбище планет.

Рев в катакомбах

миров.

Миллионы, в люки будущего.

Миллиарды, крепче орудия.

Каторга ума.

Кандалы сердца.

Инженерьте обывателей.

Загнать им геометрию в шею.

Логарифмы им в жесты.

Опакостить их романтику.

Тонны негодования.

Нормализация слова от полюса к полюсу.

Фразы по д
есятеричной системе.

Котельное предприятие речей.

Уничтожить словесность.

Огортанить туннели.

Заставить говорить их.

Небо


красное для возбуждения.

Шестерни


сверхскорость.

Мозгомашины


погрузка.

Киноглаза


установка.

Электронервы


работа.

Артерионасо
сы, качайте.


Гастев А. Пачка Ордеров. Сборник «Поэзия рабочего
удара», 3
-
е изд., 1921

Alexei GASTEV

Order 05

Funeral rites at the cemetery of planets.

A howl in the catacomb of worlds.

Millions, into the manhole of the future.

Billions, weapons stronger.

Labor camp of the mind.

Chains of the heart.

Engineer Everyman.

Drive geometry into their necks.

Logarithms into their gestures.

Defile their romanticism.

Tons of indignation.

Normalize the word from pole to pole.

Phrases on the decimal system.

A boiler c
ompany for speech.

Annihilate verbality.

Make the tunnels resound.

Turn the sky red for arousal.

Gears

at superspeed.

Brain machines

high load.

Cinema eyes

fix.

Electric nerves

to work.

Arterial pumps, activate.

1921


Alexei Gastev. The Pack of Orders.

Th
e Poetry of Worker

s Impact, Moscow, 1921.


ANDROID

Living in a famine, cold and poverty, creative people were dreaming about the future world, where the
human will become perfect with the body as a machine, with the
nervous energy freed for new initiatin
g stimuli,
with indefinitely grown power and liberated mind. They expected the World Revolution. Moreover they were
planning the further expansion in Space.

The Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory Konstantin Tsiolkovsky inspired
leading
Soviet rocket engineers and contributed to the early success of the Soviet space program. He influenced rocket
scientists throughout Europe.

One of the followers of Tsiolkovsky was
a forgotten space pioneer Ary Sternfeld (1905
-
1980), who was the
f
irst to calculate the best trajectories to reach the Moon and the Mars. He was the first to introduce the word
cosmonautics in the language of science in 1932. Sternfeld's unusual life journey took him from Poland to France
and finally to the Soviet Union.

He saw the recognition, he faced danger, and he suffered indignity. In 1931 he
patented
the instrument for registration of movements of the human body, which was the basis of the system,
called the ANDROID, patented somewhat later in 1938.
Ary Sternfeld e
nvisioned this system as an important
component of the future expedition to Mars.

ANDROID
represented the machine equipped with special
finitenesses and manipulators similar to human fingers, capable to reproduce the movements of the operator,
carrying out

complex operations during the space expedition on a surface of Mars or other planet.


USSR Copyright Certificate N 57746.
Applied 9.04.1931.

Ary Sternfeld. The

instrument for registration of the
human body

movements
.


Special
mechanical extremities

are i
ntended to register
all
movements which are carried out by the
operator
.

Each
movement of the transducer causes movement of contacts of
servomotors in one or other direction.

The control over
extremities can be automated.



USSR Copyright Certificate N 67162.
Applied 3.09.1938

C
onstruction of the ANDROID.

M
echanical extremity
is

made of parts, rotary in joints in relation
to each other
. It can be
set in motion from the central control
unit by means of servomotors
and a
mechan
ical transmission.
Based on
concentrically located hollow shafts
,

which are
connected in joints by means of conic gears.

Ary Sternfeld envisioned this system as an important component
of the future expedition to Mars.

Polytechnic Museum, Moscow.


50x70