Odesa, Odessa Oblast, Ukraine, 65000
Ex-Communal Apartment StairwellYou see these collections of wires in stairwells everywhere in Odessa. They show how people understand their ex-soviet living spaces. As new technologies are developed and old ones improved, interiors cease to be a harmonious space, the soviet-imagined "machine for living," and become an increasingly hostile terrain to be conquered so that modern life might go on.
As I write out these notes, three men are drilling a hole in my exterior wall to run an internet connection through. The wiring will be totally unconcealed, like the plumbing, the water heater and the phone and cable lines. The housing mostly feels like it was built by an alien civilization, and in a way, it was. Nothing before or since resembles the brutally optimistic positivism of the soviet planner.