Remnants of the Future combines elements of documentary, sci-fi and electro-acoustics. It portrays the precarious existence in a post-Soviet ghost-town, an inverted ruin of the modern that is still waiting to fulfil its utopian ambition of communal living.
Remnants of the Future is set in Northern Armenia in a vast, unfinished housing project called Mush, named after the once flourishing Armenian town in Eastern Turkey and built on the orders of Mikhail Gorbachev to house the people displaced by the 1988 Spitak earthquake. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 abruptly halted the ambitious housing development and it has since remained in a ghostly state of incompletion and near desertion, inhabited only by migrating birds and isolated human scavengers who salvage scrap metal out of the hollow shells of concrete and live in parts of the big, skeletal housing blocks. As the day turns into night, the soundscape, composed by Mikhail Karikis, moves from the sounds of animals and everyday activities of the few inhabitants to modulations of radiowaves emitted by pulsars, or dying stars, which still reach us after the star has died. Out of this electro-acoustic cloud a woman’s voice announces: “I am an emissary from the future….”. The time traveling character from Mayakovski’s “The Bathhouse (1930)” invites those left behind by failed state capitalism and the neglect of free markets to join her in the commune of the future.