In her research-based practice that includes texts, videos, websites and other mediums, Anna Engelhardt investigates war as a technology. Looking into the hardware and software behind Russian invasions, Death Under Computation imagines how decolonial movements can resist lethal weapons developed in the age of algorithmic control.
The installation incorporates archival imagery and contemporary visualisations of a battlefield, starting with Soviet drone research from the 1950s. The artist follows their development as the first attempts to automate military command, breaking open the logic hardwired in this complex mechanism. She presents the colonial bias and prejudice at the heart of the Soviet military as an algorithm of the Soviet war machine, embedded into its sensory apparatus.
The textile diagram explores the relations of power and vision, opacity and visibility, evoking the notion of ‘hollow space’: a flawed representation of a landscape through machine vision that is empty of meaning. Engelhardt invites visitors to delve into hollow space through holograms floating over the textile diagram and reflect on the reproduction of Russian colonial violence in its invasions of Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine and other sovereign countries.
The project exists simultaneously as an installation and a website, available here.
Anna Engelhardt is an alias of a research-based media artist and writer. Her practice examines post-Soviet cyberspace through a decolonial lens, with an overarching aim of dismantling Russian imperialism. These investigations take on multiple forms of media, including video, software and hardware interfaces. In tandem, she pursues lecturing and publishing to situate digital conflicts within a broader colonial matrix. Her works and activities have been featured at transmediale festival, Venice Biennale Architettura, Ars Electronica, Digital War journal, Funambulist magazine, and Kyiv Biennial.