Agency of Singular Investigations (Stanislav Shuripa, Anna Titova)

The Agency of Singular Investigations / Stanislav Shuripa, Anna Titova / Russia


The 5th Ural Biennial Main Project features the work:
«Dream Life» (Installation, sculptures, texts, 2019)
Courtesy of the artists

Founded in 2014 by Anna Titova and Stanislav Shuripa, the Agency of Singular Investigations (ASI) employs various discursive procedures to appropriate and reinterpret images and concepts. Through critical reflections, the ASI engages its projects to answer specific challenges brought on by historical experience and its effects on the present. Combining elements of critiques of representation and reconstructions of social spaces, the ASI sees its activity as a means to the production of a democratic and liberating environment.

Dream Life describes a fictional research project, which aims at rejuvenation by means of sleep management. Reportedly, the research was initiated by a group of Soviet biologists and engineers in the 1920s. They made three innovative discoveries: people can immerse themselves in a state of ultrafast sleep at moments when their eyelids blink; during ultrafast sleep, aging processes stop; and the content of dreams can be controlled—images can be selected, adjusted, and reproduced as desired by the subject or the manager of the process. After the Soviet Union collapsed, research and experiments—both official and underground—continued on the basis of a large industrial corporation and an international distribution network.

Titova and Shuripa have reproduced the Dream Life procedure unit based on the documentation they allegedly found. In this space, visitors can go through preliminary stages of logging into the Dream Life network, and learning more about the corporation’s values and philosophy and the main events in its history, which is closely linked with the history of Soviet science and society. In this immersive setting, visitors are invited to recharge by sitting on basalt retransmitter stones loaded with social energy, connecting with values of shared harmony and personal happiness advocated by Dream Life through simple blinking exercises, as well as connecting with a growing community of Dream Life adepts.