Anna Engelhardt & Mark Cinkevich
CGI film, 30', 2023
P5175p5394 ONSET

A demon roams through an ominous synthetic environment, reconstructed from satellite images of Russian air bases: Khmeimim in Syria, Baranovichi in Belarus, and Belbek in Ukraine. Passing through their deserted corridors, interrogation rooms, and electricity substations, this parasitic force sprawls out from the military structures. Devastation follows in its wake.

In Onset, Engelhardt and Cinkevich craft an unholy alliance between mediaeval demonology, open-source intelligence, and CGI animation to uncover the hidden life of these military outposts. Over the course of the film, the true horror of Russian colonialism becomes manifest in the process of possession – the imposition of external control that gradually destroys an organism from within.

Anna Engelhardt is a Russian research-based media artist and writer whose practice examines infrastructures of post-Soviet cyberspace through a decolonial lens, with the overarching aim of dismantling Russian imperialism. Engelhardt is based in London.
Mark Cinkevich is a postcolonial researcher and artist based in Warsaw. Cinkevich’s scholarly focus is on tracking emergent trends in the post-Soviet infrastructural and social landscape, with particular attention to exploring the concepts of nuclear colonialism, infrastructural colonialism, extractivism, and monstrosity.