...Shortly before his death in 2002, the Kazakh artist Sergei Maslov began writing a science fiction novel called "Astral Nomads." The novel was dedicated to the life of contemporary Central Asian artists in the future, on an interplanetary space station. The title of the novel is taken as the title of this digital archival project about Central Asian artists.

Since Sergei had no heirs other than his friends and colleagues, it was they who became the custodians of his paintings, drawings, notebooks, albums, and samizdat magazines, which were kept in their apartments and workshops. All these materials required cataloging, organization and digitization in order to show both the practice of the artist himself and the depth of his influence on the development of the Central Asian art scene, which he helped to take place. Work on the Sergei Maslov archive and understanding of the importance of such work gave impetus to the formation of the Astral Nomads digital archive.

Astral Nomads is an archival resource about contemporary art in Central Asia. The archive dates back to 2013 and operates in Russian and English.

The archive materials are structured into two sections. Content creators — personalities, institutions, events. And the content itself, divided according to the media principle — gallery, library and mediateca.

In the archive you can find books about the art of Central Asia, original videos, and documentation of projects, and works of artists. Books, digital images, and videos have verified archival descriptions — metadata.

The project team includes curator Yuliya Sorokina, editor-compiler Anton Karmanov and advisers, artists, theorists from Central Asia and other regions of the world.

In general, the practices of the artists who are represented in the Astral Nomads project are an opportunity to say hello to their colleagues from other parts of the world.

To be continued...