Chto Delat (What is to be done?) is a collective comprising artists, critics, philosophers, and writers from St. Petersburg and Moscow. Responding to a sense of urgency about the need to merge political theory, art, and activism, it was founded in St. Petersburg in 2003. Chto Delat produces art projects, theatrical plays, videos, radio programs, educational seminars, public murals, and political campaigns. It also publishes a newspaper called Chtodelat Printed in Russian and English, this covers culture and politics from around the world. In 2013, the collective founded The School of Engaged Art in St. Petersburg. Recent exhibitions include Time Capsule. Artistic Report on Catastrophes and Utopia, Secession Building, Vienna (2014); Excluded: In a Moment of Danger, São Paulo Biennale (2014); Really Useful Knowledge, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2014–15); and Art Turning Left: How Values Changed Making 1789–2013, Tate Liverpool (2013).
Chto Delat derived its idea for the stage design of both the Venice and New York iterations of the 2015 Creative Time Summit: The Curriculum at la Biennale di Venezia from the way the Soviet Houses of Culture (venues established to house all recreational activities) decorated community events such as trade union meetings, political rallies, or celebrations. Traditionally, their designs were intended to greet visitors and didactically encourage them to participate in the event’s agenda. Applying this method to the Summit, Nikolay Oleynikov and Dmitry Vilensky have created a series of banners that correspond with the Summit’s main themes. Each banner contains image and word games that approach the themes from various intellectual, political, and aesthetic perspectives.