The Cosmists where a 19th and early 20th century Russian group of thinkers who combined occult and esoteric theories with space science. These scientists, theologians and philosophers developed a holistic and anthropocentric worldview about the relationship between man and cosmos. Among them was Russian scientist Alexander Chizhevsky (1897 – 1964) who studied the effect of cosmic radiation on human behaviour. In a series of studies termed ‘historiometry’ Chizevsky compared statistics and discovered a correlative increase in major historical events on Earth including wars, revolutions and epidemics during years of high solar activity.
The film Cosmism takes Chizhevsky’s theory as a cue to recent conflicts and examines how we perceive and relate to moving images of violent events. The camera, as a device which extends (and sometimes fully takes over) the eyes during violent events, becomes an essential character in the story.