Field grass was lashing against his feet, and the sun was getting hotter. A young man – jeans, checkered shirt, long disheveled hair (is he a hippie?) – was striding across the field ringing with thousands of grasshoppers; he had a very dim idea of where exactly he was going, but he was confident he would not stop until he found what he was looking for.
The man's name was Vasily Shchetinin. A young architect, fresh from the Moscow Institute of Architecture, he was facing dull prospects of working at a design institute or an integrated homebuilding factory, a job as monotonous as the surface of foamed concrete (the best option could be to build dachas – summer residences for those still enjoying the titles of Communist Party VIPs). Yet Shchetinin was longing for free thinking and creative infinity - after all, he already knew what free creative work was like. Being a regular soldier in 1986, he created decorations for the Olympics of Warsaw pact member states' armies: at first he invented and then created navigation signs for the then Europe's largest mountain skiing complex in Raubichi, Belarus (he did it almost with his bare hands, having gathered a small team of assistants, having only paint and paint rollers at their disposal). In 1989, Shchetinin traveled from Moscow to Leningrad as a member of dissembler Slava Polunin's "Caravan of Peace"; he carried "Ikarushka" kinetic sculpture
which became a mascot of this mad procession.
Inspired by their cooperation, Polunin suggested Shchetinin to create a "city-theater" nearby the present-day St. Petersburg – it was going to be a kind of a free artist settlement where everyone would be able to engage in creative activities – but the wonderful idea was crushed by harsh realities of the country falling to pieces. That was when they parted: Polunin left for France, and Shchetinin stayed in Moscow. He hated the thought of returning to everyday drabness, and he decided to bring to life the idea of a creative settlement which had become his own dream at that time, and do it at whatever cost. What he needed was to find a suitable place.