This is exactly why I am saying that we are determined by multiple exterior factors: the position within the relations of production [what Marx and Engels termed Produktionsverhältnisse], power regulations, environmental conditions and climate. Subjectivity constantly changes its shape, metamorphoses depending on how these factors affect the subject. However, besides the influence of these factors there is also resistance to them that we need to keep in mind. If it was not for this resistance we would have been slaves to external forces, the machines of perception, adaptation mechanisms to our habitat, but that is a different matter. Indeed, the unexpected changes in the structure of production, especially in the time of crisis, as well as the millisecond intervals between financial transactions go beyond the existential framework of human time, but that does not mean that we necessarily have to accommodate these non-human temporalities. Even a machine cannot do that sometimes, so it has to be updated and improved all the time. What Vygotsky really meant by that definition of his, the one that speaks of the "ensemble" of the social relations that "grow inward", was that an individual does not merely passively reflect the external factors, but also actively "reflects that reflection." In other words, human consciousness is a set of responses's reactions to the environmental stimulation: a person understands what exactly it was that has got imprinted onto his or her consciousness and starts pondering how to reflect back that imprint. We gain some modicum of control over the external factors through our very awareness of them. For Vygotsky, awareness manifests itself through our ability to act. But this has to be a very specific form of awareness. There are different ways to process information and to become aware of something, and some are not as efficacious as we would have liked them to be. This, of course, is an utterly Spinozian thesis.
You were saying that it is important to enhance the flexibility and adaptableness of our responses, to come up with specific hybrid models of responses to external factors. I believe that this hybrid model is better suited to the neoliberal demand for creativity, spontaneity, resourcefulness, entrepreneurial spirit and "financial self-reliance." Why is this so? I think it is because in this case we have no control over the external factors, we only synthesize them into some sorts of clusters of responses. Hence, a particular kind of empiricism takes shape: we collect different experiences and facts, synthesize them and then present them in this or that form. We try to adapt to the system. Such a synthesis does not really change anything radically or fundamentally. This modus operandi was understandable in the early Soviet period when the artists were trying to keep pace with the rapidly changing reality around them, because the very scale of the unfolding transformations was mindboggling in terms of their radical historical novelty. But do we see anything new around us today? And if we do, do we really need to keep up with these changes or react to them at all? Instead, I suggest we follow in the steps of Vygotsky and Spinoza and consider whether it is possible to produce a certain kind of autonomy, by which I do not mean complete indifference to the social reality around, but the ability to control the situation that we have mentioned earlier, which enhances our agency, our capacity to act. Such an approach implies a totally different conception of art and museums. What do I mean by that? Suppose, I am fully aware of my current financial situation and social position. I understand, that the means and resources that I have at my disposal make it impossible for me to construct any new model of sociality, however, having analyzed my situation I can offer a new production model and a new model of aesthetics. Say, if I decide to make a movie, I will use the ordinary gadgets at hand: a mobile phone and a cheap video camera. If I ponder realism, then I ponder the manipulative function of montage, consider the strategies that might help me to defy this manipulativeness and wonder what should be included into the frame. Finally, I speculate how all of this together might affect what I want to say and my intended audience. I was very impressed by the Lav Diaz and his ability to form a positive aesthetical program based on the aforementioned deliberations, that is to say, based on deliberations about the film-making and the critique of film industry.
Now, let us talk about museums. What is this new program that today's museums can prescribe? It is the government that usually imposes its programs on museums, while the museum staff are obliged to put it into effect. Just think of the trouble that you recently ran into with the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics. That is why Vygotsky readily comes to mind again: how shall we control that kind of thing? Or, rather, in a context like this, we can refer to Lenin: what is needed is a specific analysis of a specific situation and then action. It has just occurred to me that this kind of specific analysis of a specific situation has prompted me to contemplate the idea of a global museum of capitalism. I guess you were trying to do something similar in your latest project in Venice, were you not? Add to that issues pertaining to the use of technology and the nature, migration and emigration and try to ponder the totality of today's capitalism by aesthetic means.