Whereas Russia's space race found its roots in mysticism -- Russia's godfather of rocketry, the cosmist
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, lived in a log cabin and dreamed of eternal life among the stars -- American astronauts were often shown as military men, death-defying test pilots, cowboys of the sky extending manifest destiny to the moon.
"The Husserlian, the Cosmist and the Pushkinian in Platonov." Essays in Poetics 27, no.
(1) Natal'ia Poltavtseva was among the first twenty-first--century scholars to return to this fruitful period of collaboration between the three thinkers: Natal'ia Poltavtseva, "The Husserlian, the Cosmist and the Pushkinian in Platonov," Essays in Poetics 27: 2 (2002): 97-113; Poltavtseva, "Platonov i Lukach: Iz istorii sovetskogo iskusstva 1930--kh godov," Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 107: 1 (2011): 253-70.
Also in 2015, e-flux Classics organized the translation and publication of a thick red volume, edited by Arseny Zhilyaev, of cosmist texts, titled, very simply, Avant-Garde Museology, which collects the cosmists' evolving ideas of what museums should do and be.
Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin picked up the relay this past September, when, as part of a four-yearlong project on historical Utopias, 100 Years of Now, Anselm Franke invited Anton Vidokle, Boris Groys, and Zhilyaev to assemble "Art Without Death: Russian Cosmism." For this occasion, Zhilyaev made a great library table in the shape of a star to symbolize the orders of wisdom emanating from Fedorov's recommendations; on it sat stacks of cosmist books in many languages, awaiting future readers.
Cosmist thought would be forced to gather in the back channels of the Soviet space program or to live in drawers dedicated to unpublished manuscripts.
This book examines the development and influence of the Russian Cosmist
His ideas were popular with the Russian Cosmist
movement, and influenced the 20th-century avant-garde.
Perhaps most eye-opening to historians of American modernism will be the chapters dealing with John Weichsel's anarchist-inspired cosmist
theory of 1913, Max Stirner's anarchist individualism, and Walter Pach's unanimist art criticism of 1918, all of which converged in cubism and other similar geometrically abstract styles in sculpture and in paint.
Young, The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Federov and his Followers (Oxford, 2012), p.
(6) This enthusiasm is explored in Young, The Russian Cosmists, Ch.
Proclaiming "the common task" of all mankind to be victory over death, Fedorov and his fellow cosmists
were convinced that advances in genetic engineering would eventually lead to the resurrection of everyone who has ever lived, thus necessitating the colonization of other planets.