The Thousand Year Plan, 2021

Artist: Agnieszka Polska

Venue: Prizrenasja Hydro Power Plant

The Thousand-Year Plan is an immersive, filmic installation. The story is set in the first years of post-World War II Poland and focuses on two very different social groups: the engineers involved in establishing the power grid in the countryside—the representatives of the early communist state—and the anti-communist, nationalist partisans, still hiding in the forest after the end of the war. Their unexpected encounter serves as a reason for a poetic reflection on the political importance of the organization of technological megastructures. The film combines animated and live-action video. It presents how the electrification development of power grids and technological megastructures created governing planetary architecture. It reflects on how the techno-human relationship evolved into a dynamic in which humans don’t live next to technology, but rather inside it, in a spherical, technological organism. With a poetic narrative and shattered edit, the work focuses on various aspects of the development of the electrical grid: its role as a map of socioeconomic power, a tool for control, an emancipating factor, a placeholder for spirituality, an architecture for modern consciousness and later the Information Age.

The film began with Polska’s interest in the development of the power grid in the context of early communist Poland, and in the future it will expand with the chapters set in different times and places, and different electrification nets. In Prizren it is featured next to the old map of the electrification of Yugoslavia, in a place where water was turned to power, which was then turned to light.

The Thousand-Year Plan was commissioned and produced by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and enabled by Art Collection Telekom.

Agnieszka Polska (1985) was born in Lublin and lives in Berlin.

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