Three years ago a group of young Muscovite artists, musicians and designers opened their doors to a humble group of fifty individuals who became the first ever guests at the NII venue. “Nauka I Iskustvo" ("Science and Art”), located within a compound of glass buildings that looks like it’s been copy and pasted from the Silicon Valley, was equipped with just two bathrooms, one sink, and a relatively modest sound system. On November 11 NII, now merited as Moscow’s most thriving multifunctional space for electronic music and visual art, will hold its three-year anniversary.
Over the course of three years this space became host to a Boiler Room, a plethora of shows featuring renown international underground electronic and experimental musicians, art exhibitions, lectures and the birthplace of Moscow’s most dynamic underground music labels Gost Zvuk and John’s Kingdom. A foosball table, a fully-stacked bar, a few couches for worn out dancers, a tasteful assortment of stylish green plants, a WII gaming system and, most importantly, an additional sink all adorn NII in its present-day incarnation. According to a legend shared by local electronic music enthusiasts, the club also now boasts the city’s best sound system.
NII’s glass walls create an unparalleled atmosphere of transparency. Its wooden floors, its outdoor tree-shaded courtyard, and its non-overtly minimal interior design work to filter and circulate an ambiance that is both relaxing and invigorating. It’s a space that is sheltered from the outside world while harmoniously interacting with it. Whether it be a Gost Zvuk archives night, or a rave with a Berghain resident headliner – NII’s shows are always curated with consistency and melodious tact. The same ten faces working week in week out behind the bar and handling the sound system, coupled with the non-rigid face control guards, demonstrate a relentless and genuine strive to keep this place running and accessible.
The three-year anniversary will feature Amsterdam-based San Proper as the headliner, backed by strong lineup of NII’s resident DJs including Vtgnike, OL, and Lapti. To commemorate the event, INRUSSIA is supporting the release of the “NII Kingdom” photozine created as a collaboration between photographer Masha Demianova and NII resident Pavel Milyakov. The zine, comprised of sentimental photos of the venue, its inhabitants and its greater collective, will be available January at the INRUSSIA online store.