Avant-garde and Experiment

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

  • To provide an overview of the experimental practices of the historical avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes of the 20th century;
  • To show the relationships and interactions between social change and artistic or literary creativity;
  • To show how key philosophical and theoretical insights of the 20th century relate to artistic practice;
  • to stimulate the student's innovativeness and creativity on the basis of historical and theoretical insight.




he course departs from an introductory overview of the cultural and historical context at the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries and explains the main features of the literature and art of the European historical avant-garde and of progressive modernist movements (cubo-futurism, suprematism, constructivism, dada, zenitism). Particular attention is paid to the most significant literary and visual experiments that demonstrate the intermediality of artistic language and other forms of expression in the period. Through the examination of examples pertaining to the history of avant-garde literature and art, students are introduced to experimental practices that offer alternative ways of representing reality. In doing so, they learn the theoretical and philosophical foundations of innovation in matters of expression, in particular, formalism and structuralism, phenomenology and psychoanalysis. Students also learn prominent examples of neo-avant-garde and contemporary literary and artistic practices from the second half of the 20th century that experiment with the possibilities of new media formats and technologies. In the last part of the course, students are challenged to form an independent conception and, at least partly, to execute their own experimental work.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

(Students ...)
- Acquire knowledge of the main authors, works and movements of the historical avant-garde and neo-avant-garde of the 20th century;
- understand the importance of experimental practice for human cultural, social and other development;
- are aware of the importance of a theoretical, philosophical and social frameworks for creativity.


(Students ...)
- Develop skills of experimentation with linguistic, visual and other expressive repertoires;
- develop an innovative and divergent approach to media technologies and to their means of expression


  • Bajt, Drago: Daniil Harms, Aleksander Vvedenski: Pomen morja. Ljubljana: LUD Šerpa, 2011.
  • Manifesti in pesmi ruskih futuristov. Problemi 118–119–120/X, 1972. 125–142. Catalogue
  • Ruski literarni avantgardizem: Futurizem, konstruktivizem, absurdizem. Ljubljana: DZS, 1985. Catalogue
  • Benson, Timothy O. (ur./ed): Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation, 1910-1930. Los Angeles/Cambridge, 2002.
  • Djurić, Dubravka, Miško Šuvaković (ur./eds): Impossible Histories: Historical Avant-gardes, Neo-avant-gardes, and Post-avant-gardes in Yugoslavia, 1918-1991, Cambridge, 2003. E-version
  • Hage, Emily: Dada Magazines: The Making of a Movement. London, 2021.Catalogue
  • Léger, Marc James (ur./ed): The Idea of the Avant Garde and What It Means Today, Vol. 1 & 2. Manchester/Chicago, 2014/2019. E-version
  • Janecek, Gerald: The Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism. San Diego: Sand Diego State University Press, 1996.
  • The Look of Russian Literature: avant-garde visual experiments. 1900 – 1930. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.
  • Pranjić, Kristina (ur./ed.): Kozmični Anarhizem. Borec, 793–795, 2021. E-version
  • Sirotkina, Irina, Roger Smith: The Sixth Sense of the Avant-Garde: Dance, Kinaesthesia and the Arts in Revolutionary Russia. London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, 2017.
  • Šklovski, Viktor: Umetnost kot postopek. Ruski formalisti. Izbor teoretičnih besedil. Ur. A. Skaza. Ljubljana: MK, 1984. 11–17.
  • Richter, Hans, Dada: Art and Anti-Art. Dada Centenary Edition. London, 2016. E-version
  • Zabala, Santiago: Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency. New York, 2017.
  • Ziarek, Krzystof: The Force of Art. Stanford, 2004.


Oral exam
Project work

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Prof. Kristina Pranjić, PhD graduated in comparative literature, and Russian language and literature at the University of Ljubljana. She defended her doctoral thesis entitled Non-objective Sound and Image: Bely, Kruchenykh, Malevich at the same institution in 2018. She led the research project Yugoslav Avantgardes and Metropolitan Dada (1916–1927): A Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy, financed by the Slovenian Research Agency (2019–2021). Currently she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, where she leads the modules Theory and History of Art and Media, and Discourses in Practice. At the Faculty of Media in Ljubljana she lectures on Media Art and Graphic Design, and the semiotics of media and communications. In her theoretical and research work, she focuses mainly on the historical avant-garde of the 20th century and the re-actualization of the avant-garde today. She has conducted research in the field of art and literature of historical avant-garde and new media art and aesthetics at the University of Konstanz, the University of Belgrade and the University of Paris 8.

Selection of articles:
1. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Ljubomir Micić in Branko Ve Poljanski v reviji Maska : (1920/21). Borec : revija za zgodovino, literaturo in antropologijo. 2021, letn. 73, št. 793/795, str. 61-70.
2. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. The emergence and establishment of Yugoslav dada : from Prague to Zagreb : (1920-1922). Svět literatury. 2021, vol. 31, no. 64, str. 89-103.
3. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Značaj ljubljanskog časopisa Maska (1920/21) u kontekstu jugoslovenskih avangardi. Zbornik radova Akademije umetnosti. 2021, br. 9, str. 111-121, ilustr.
4. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Prispevek umetnosti in nedvojnosti k znanstvenemu raziskovanju prvoosebnega izkustva. Anthropos : časopis za psihologijo in filozofijo ter za sodelovanje humanističnih ved. 2020, letn. 52, št. 3/4, str. 131-143.
5. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Zenitistični koncept barbarogenija kot kritika zahodnoevropske kulture. Primerjalna književnost. 2020, letn. 43, št. 3, str. 139-157.
6. GERMEK, Magdalena, PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Constructing new signifiers with aesthetic intervention : using coal in design. Zonemoda journal. 2020, vol. 10, iss. 1s, str. 121-132, ilustr.
7. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Premagati silo gravitacije na presečišču umetnosti in tehnologije : primer ruskega konstruktivizma. Časopis za kritiko znanosti. 2019, letn. 47, št. 277, str. 102-116, ilustr.
8. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Brezpredmetnost in ekonomičnost v poeziji = Objectlessness and economy in poetry. Slavica Tergestina. 2019, 22, str. 50-68, ilustr.
9. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Formalne mistične prakse ruskega futurizma. Slavistična revija : časopis za jezikoslovje in literarne vede. 2019, letn. 67, št. 3, str. 479-486.
10. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Vek perehoda ot videnija k probelu. Kommentarii. 2018, no. 32, str. 147-153.
11. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Misliti v simbolih, ustvarjati avantgardno. Slavistična revija : časopis za jezikoslovje in literarne vede. 2018, letn. 66, št. 3, str. 299-314.
12. PRANJIĆ, Kristina. Zvočna destabilizacija jezika : zaum in glosolalija. Zbornik Matice srpske za slavistiku. 2018, 93, str. 231-247.

Assoc. Prof. Peter Purg, PhD currently leads the New Media module in the Digital//Media Arts and Practices graduate//postgraduate programme at the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, where he acts as Associate Professor, projects coordinator as well as expert across realms of digital culture and media. Since December 2021 he is Dean of the School of Humanities. Having obtained a PhD in media art, communication science and literary studies from the University of Erfurt (Germany), his scientific inquiries now include media arts pedagogy, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation, media art and media ecology. His artistic interests range from (lecture) performances and intermedia installations to public-space interventions as well as participatory creative processes. He is active in the field of cultural and higher education policymaking and quality assurance.

PURG, Peter, CACCIATORE, Silvia, ČUČEK GERBEC, Jernej. Establishing ecosystems for disruptive innovation by cross-fertilizing entrepreneurship and the arts. Creative industries journal. 2021, vol. , iss. , str. 1-31. ISSN 1751-0694. DOI: 10.1080/17510694.2021.1969804. [COBISS.SI-ID 74714371]
SERTIĆ, Irena, BUBAŠ, Josipa, STEINBOCK, Kristina, PURG, Peter, PARAMON, Ramon. PAIC framework: Participatory Art Scenario and Narrative". V: SERTIĆ, Irena (ur.). PAIC, participatory art for invisible communities. Zagreb: Omnimedia, 2018. Str. 98-109. ISBN 953-95119-1-7. http://paic-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/E-book_Paic.pdf. [COBISS.SI-ID 5398267]
PURG, Peter. Körper im elektronischen Raum : Modelle für Menschen und interaktive Systeme. Saarbrücken: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, cop. 2007. 411 str. ISBN 978-3-8364-3077-7. [COBISS.SI-ID 2458071]
BADURINA, Lara, PURG, Peter. New platforms of art education for urban reflection : the case of ADRIART site-specific workshops for European Capitals of Culture. Interartive, ISSN 2013-679X, 2014, vol. 65. http://cultureurbanspace.interartive.org/art-education/. [COBISS.SI-ID 3519227]
PURG, Peter. Novi Goriški Bauhaus: onstran družbenega in okoljskega hazarderstva. Razpotja : revija humanistov Goriške. pomlad 2021, letn. 12, št. 43, str. 68-71, ilustr. ISSN 2232-2582. [COBISS.SI-ID 64100099]
PURG, Peter. Videoscanning (in) an art school community : pivotal creative tool becomes a medium of collective (self)reflection and curriculum development. V: Designs on e-Learning Conference, 5 - 7 September 2012. Crowd and cloud : towards a collaborative future. London: University of the Arts, 2012, str. 6-7. http://myblog.arts.ac.uk/del2012/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Paralell-Session-2_CW.pdf. [COBISS.SI-ID 2674683],
PURG, Peter. SCANRAIN performance-lecture (4-channel integrated video version). Of Nova Gorica: University, School of Arts, 2014. http://vimeo.com/89226603. [COBISS.SI-ID 3307771]
PURG, Peter. Umetnost mešane resničnosti: nova razmerja zaznavanja v interaktivni instalaciji in medijskem performansu. Amfiteater, ISSN 1855-850X, 2010, let. 2, št. 1, str. 101-126. [COBISS.SI-ID 2952795]
PURG, Peter. Medijski performans besede same. Amfiteater, ISSN 1855-4539, 2008, let. 1, št. 1, str. 244-251. [COBISS.SI-ID 2541403]
PURG, Peter. Performative disturbance of public space. V: VODEB, Oliver (ur.), JANOVIĆ, Nikola (ur.). Demonstrating relevance: response-ability : teorija, praksa in imaginacija družbeno odzivnega komuniciranja = theory, practice and imagination of socially responsive communication, (Knjižna zbirka Psihologija vsakdanjega življenja). Ljubljana: Fakulteta za družbene vede, Založba FDV: Memefest, 2010, str. 490-497. [COBISS.SI-ID 1861115]
Performansi-predavanja // Performance-Lectures:
PURG, Peter. Eastweetswest: a performance process reflecting the state of unity, October 3, 2016; gruentaler9, Berlin, Germany. http://vsu.ung.si/node/3669. [COBISS.SI-ID 4575483]
PURG, Peter. Ultravijolični dokaz odrasti. [S. l.: s. n.], 2021. 1 spletni vir (1 videodatoteka (29 min, 34 sek)), barve, zvok. https://drive.google.com/file/d/102Qej_ULgYY0llMTq3fqRDmFKfM9IFnE/view. [COBISS.SI-ID 76905987
PURG, Peter (umetnik), et al. Diplomacy Collective. Potsdam: Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, 2019. https://klops.filmuniversitaet.de/index.php/s/UO7G60pPoTQ0aaD. [COBISS.SI-ID 5364731]
PURG, Peter. Quo vadis? : participative crucifixion performance. [New York]: Vimeo, 2017. https://vimeo.com/242541117. [COBISS.SI-ID 4955899]
PURG, Peter. Other Contact / Drugi Stik, perfomance Speculum Artium 2021 international festival for new media culture, 24.9.2021 https://speculumartium.si/wp21/other-contact/?lang=en .
PURG, Peter. Človek človeku stroj. [S. l.: s. n.], 2021. 1 USB-ključ (1 videodatoteka 15 min, 17 sek)), barve, zvok. [COBISS.SI-ID 58950915]; online lecture performance on three video channels
PURG, Peter. "art@blackbox.edu": performans z udeležbo na festivalu Kiblix (Participative performance at Kiblix festival), Maribor, 11. 11. 2017. [COBISS.SI-ID 4962811]
PURG, Peter. Performiranje urbanih medijskih ekologija (Performing Urban Art Ecologies): gostovanje na Akademiji uporabnih umetnosti Univerze umetnosti Beograd, 26. - 31. March 2017. [COBISS.SI-ID 4765179]