Artist Andrey Monastyrski wrote in a text for his 1987 Earthworks series that years-long excavation works for an obscure infrastructure facility he passed by every day on the way to his job at a State institution in the late 1970s had inspired some of the actions by Kollektivnye Deistviya ("Collective Actions") — a conceptualist art group he was part of. Reflecting on some of the features of the Soviet public space as opposed to the space of images and accompanying texts, he also noted that the former — "the walls of apartments and artist studios, museums, factories, institutes, <...>, land, <...>, roads, <...> water resources and airspace" — could only belong to the State and not to the artist.1 Focus on how everything was functioning in the State, Monastyrski argued, could guarantee success for a Soviet non-conformist artist in the West. Here one cannot but recall the so-called hydraulic theory by Karl Wittfogel in which he developed the early Marxist concept of the Asiatic mode of production (AMP) and summed up the following earmarks of a total State: no private property, a total power of a centrally governed state bureaucracy, no market competition or social class, and an absolute power of the ruler governing the bureaucracy.2,3 Despite their official Marxist ideology, the Soviet authorities deliberately rejected and sidestepped both the AMP concept and the hydraulic theory, for the former contained obvious analogies to how the Soviet regime was actually functioning and the latter pointedly blamed Stalin for building a version of an Oriental despotic State based on AMP. It's interesting to look at the post-Soviet daily functioning from this perspective. The whole utilities system here, for example, has been owned and operated by the "hydraulic" State and still largely is in most post-Soviet countries. In Moscow, for instance, bureaucrats run it through the so called State Budgetary Entities [for Maintenance]. Formally these are not-for-profit organizations under the mayor but in fact they create opaque schemes to misappropriate and embezzle the subsidies provided to keep the city clean and running, including by pocketing parts of wages payable to migrant workers they hire.4 In colloquial Russian, when the winter comes, the heating is not "switched on" but is literally "given" because this switch is controlled by the State and not by the citizen. Some obscure "earthworks" today, just as back in the days described by Monastyrski, may suddenly begin or end or last for years without any notice or control. Pictured above is a heating main which, starting from at least the summer of 2015, has been laying above ground in Marxistskaya ("Marxist") Street, formerly Pustaya (Empty Street) in Moscow. One of the artists passes by almost every day on his way to the nearest subway station. Visible in the background is a sign that reads as "Shambhala Center for Beauty and Health", sporting a self-styled runic alphabet which, judging by the center's website, is called the 'All-World Scripture". The center offers yoga and qi gong, "Slavic runic singing", "wave meditative and sensory gymnastics", "cosmo-energetic sessions", etc., whatever this all may mean. The Buddhist concept of Shambhala as an invisible kingdom only pure hearts can find the road to, rose to prominence in the 20th century in theories by Nicholas Roerich, Elena Blavatskaya, among others. According to them, Shambhala is where the Great Teachers dwell, who drive the evolution of the mankind.