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Aleksandr Bogdanov’s Tektology: A Proletarian Science of Construction

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Russian Darwinism developed without Malthus – without the struggle for existence. There is a remarkable link connecting the understanding of the Russian Darwinists of ‘natural podbor’ as ‘fine-tuning’ by nature and Aleksandr Bogdanov’s concept of tektological ‘podbor’ (‘assembling’) as the universal mechanism of the construction of any organization. Bogdanov’s conception of the universal phenomenon of ‘organization’ as an expedient combination of active elements and his attempt to construct a collective tektological ‘personality-organization’ possessed a conceptual creative power and influenced the work of the Soviet Constructivists. Conceptions of ‘assembling’ similar to those expressed in Tektology provided Constructivists with a scientific rationale, projects and terminology for their experiments in a new ‘production art’. They constructed expedient and functional art objects from a tektological point of view – as organizational art objects. Tektological ‘podbor’ – ‘assembling’ as a universal mechanism for construction – provided the Constructivists with a real method for constructing an expedient art-object by way of a ‘cinematic assembly’ of the elements.