TOK is a St Petersburg based curatorial collective founded in 2010 as a platform for conducting interdisciplinary projects in the fields of contemporary art and design and social sciences. TOK’s projects deal with current issues that are widely discussed both in Russia and internationally such as migration, public space and citizens, development of education, deprivation of social resources, forming collective memory, use of natural resources, growing role of the media in the global society, changing political climate and many others. TOK curators have also always been largely interested in exploring the concept of public space in post-Soviet Russia and the former Soviet Union, as well as perception, understanding and mechanisms of use of public spaces and open areas by residents of post-Soviet cities.
TOK was started as a grassroots initiative, a research-based art organisation by graduates of Smolny College (first liberal arts school in Russia) Anna Bitkina and Maria Veits. Working previously in different fields (visual arts and academia respectfully) the two decided to form a collective that would give them a possibility to create, curate and organise their own artistic and research projects. One of their initial motivations is to create a dialogue between Russian and international artists and curators and promote exchange of knowledge, concepts and approaches in order to generate and continuously develop a vibrant field of ideas that lead to joint projects engaging artists, curators, researchers, designers, architects, local governments and various urban communities.
First image by Yevgeniy Fiks.