2004-06-01 black box
The urban industrial revolution of the utopian Soviet era raised the image of the factory to an iconic status – a hallmark. The Soviet System drew on a network of states that included postwar Lithuania. As with all the connected states, each factory stood for an autonomous node operating within the Soviet network, just differentiated by the number in their title: “Postbox”.

One of the more successful of these factories was the “Postbox 55”, in Vilnius. Starting in the 1960s, it served as one of the main factories for producing Soviet era recording devices, ranging from smaller models for voice to the “black box” recording devices used by planes and submarines. The whole product line went by the name “VILMA”. Since privatization, the factory remains in operation as “Vilma Professional Solutions” and under ownership of the German firm, Junkers.

Within that historical narrative, the Soviet utopia vanishes, written out by the new social imaginary being scripted in Lithuania and in privatization. The Soviet system leaves traces as an uncanny past for the futures oriented in the new world of the progressive market system. Thus another factory emerges which locates the “Postbox 55” on uncertain borders between eras and definitions.