As contemporary theories suggest, there are two sorts of influences
that determine the distribution of traits in a society: "genetical"
and "cultural". Our previous project Closed
Reality - Embryo (1999-2000; http://embryo.inet.hr)
was designed to simulate the genetical aspect of creation and
to provoke critical reflection on its possibilities and consequences.
By creating individual embryos visitors have (unintentionally)
influenced the distribution of traits in a "society"
and, consequently, the profile of future society. However, the
character of a society does not depend only on genetical determinants.
Inherited individual differences between persons are only one
- though a very important one - among several factors of social
success. Other factors also influence the allocation of social
goods among the individuals. The aim of the proposed project
is to elucidate these factors from the standpoint of the concept
Introduction to the project
Distributive justice is not only a central issue of moral
and political philosophy, but also an object of common-sense
moral reasoning. Everyone is sensitive to the question of his/her
share of the common good. Even those who get the best peace
of the social pie are in need to justify the actual model of
distribution. It has become a truism that most people experience
their own social position as "unjust", relying on
certain intuitive principles of distributive justice.
Philosophers of distributive justice try to formulate explicit
principles securing the highest degree of just distribution
of some limited supply of common good. The abstract category
of "good" can take various forms of expression, such
as material goods, money, information (knowledge), services,
rights, duties, political power etc. Anything can act as an
object of distribution, and the ones affected by it are persons
and social groups.
In the last 30 years many interesting models of distribution
have been put forward (the most famous one being proposed by
John Rawls). Whether their weaknesses can be amended, and how,
has been a subject of an extensive and ramified theoretical
debate. This debate has proved useful because it has made the
virtues and drawbacks of particular models become explicit and
helped submit the common sense notions of justice to rational
Nevertheless, theoretical study often draws attention away from
real communities and real conditions under which allocation
of goods takes place. By placing the problem in a specific time-space
frame (in this case Middle and Southeast European societies
in post-communist period), the debate on distributive justice
gains in importance and timeliness. The prevailing "public
moral" in the sphere of distribution becomes a topic of
special urgency as well as moral intuitions of those individuals
and groups that are in conflict with the prevailing intuitions.
These people see themselves as victims of historical and/or
Aim of the project
Each individual experiences his/her own social position in a
specific way and in accord to his/her (more or less implicit)
concept of justice. On the other hand, there exists an "objective"
view of the situation, in empirical terms. The aim of the project
is to co-relate the "subjective" and the "objective"
pictures and to stimulate critical reflection on individual
moral beliefs about justice. This goal will be achieved with
help of empirical data, experiences of virtual reality, and
theoretical insights and instruments. It is thereby assumed
that there is no specific concept of justice, viz. a model of
just/fair distribution that should serve as an ideal towards
which the public opinion should be systematically biased. As
this project is concerned, all concepts/models will be given
equal theoretical and practical consideration.
Parts of the project
·Theoretical part: study of relevant literature, attending conferences,
publishing of articles, organizing/holding lectures, round tables,
- two Internet games:
1) Common goods distribution game;
2) Distribution identity game.
- exhibition in the gallery; field research, newsletter
Exhibition in the Gallery
The exhibition is designed as a "workspace" or a "social
laboratory". It comprises (A) active participation of visitors
in the project, either as "test persons" or as acting
social scientists; and (B) presentation of material that has
emerged and continuously emerges as a result of the project.
Kassel (installation views)
The accumulated material changes its shape from exhibition to
exhibition. Since several countries will be involved in the
project, every country leaving its imprint in the work, i.e.,
becoming a part of the exhibition.
During the exhibitions the visitors (participants in the project)
read materials, listen to lectures, chat, join the discussions,
participate in the polls, surf the Web, print from the base,
copy materials, video or audio tape the events, etc. (as in
our previous project realized in the Kraljevic gallery, Zagreb).
In addition, all parts of the project will be presented and
further elaborated on a web-portal. The actual or potential
participants are thus gaining their own virtual space designed
for information exchange and expression of opinion. The project
develops into a permanently open forum.
Project manager &
concept development: Andreja Kulunčić, visual
Gabrijela Sabol, sociologist
Ivo Martinović, photographer
Neven Petrović, philosopher
Dejan Janković, designer
Trudy Lane, designer
Matija Pužar, programmer
Theory consultant &
lecturer: Tomislav Janović, philosopher
Newsletter & catalogue
editor: Momo Kuzmanović, sociologist
Artist based in Zagreb, Croatia
A text on the work of Andreja
Kulunčić by Nada Beroš