A Project about Europe

Europe (to the power of) n is a transregional art project. It takes place between July 2012 and April 2013 in various cities within and outside the European Union, such as Brussels, Istanbul, London, Łódź, Minsk, Novi Sad, Høvikodden/Oslo, Donostia – San Sebastián, and Beijing. Europe (to the power of) n has been made possible through the Excellence Initiative of the Goethe-Institut.

The conceptual approach of the project understands Europe as pluralistic, heterogeneous, frayed and full of contradictions. In this perspective Europe has challenging relationships to others, is challenged and challenges itself in itself. It does not defend its identity and unity, but opens up instead. Thus, Europe (to the power of) n addresses a variety of themes, such as community, forms of social organisation, frictions and potential upon the encounter of different cultures as well as the impact of mass media and representations of collective subjects. Through both curatorial concepts and works of art Europe is set in relation to others taking into consideration its colonial past, its current migrant imprints and its increasing global interdependences.
Europe (to the power of) n was preceded by the study Scenarios about Europe, a collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig between September 2011 and April 2012. The thirty scenarios conceived by various international curators and curatiorial teams form the basis for a variety of exhibitions and events within the framework of Europe (to the power of) n, in which they are exhibited, contextualised and developed.

Europe (to the power of) n launched on 6 July 2012 and started with an art festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin on July 6 and 7, 2012.

Scenarios about Europe and Thinking Europe

Europe (to the power of) n was preceded by the study Scenarios about Europe. Initiated by the Goethe-Institut and supported within the frame of its Excellence Initiative, ten curators and curatiorial teams have been invited to make three proposals each on how to approach the subject of Europe from the perspective of art. From September 2011 to April 2012, altogether thirty scenarios were developed which introduced a variety of thoughts by artists from within and outside of Europe. Between January and April 2012 the scenarios were complemented by the formaThinking Europe, which addressed questions about community and the role of art in a greater European context. The process culminated in a conference in January 2012 as well as in the publication of Thinking Europe! The Scenario Book at the end of the project. It contains detailed information about each scenario as well as essays outlining the ideas of the different curatorial and artistic approaches.
The scenario technique is a tool for decision-making. On the basis of existing knowledge, it is employed to provide hypothetical constructions of possible futures. While this technique is most commonly applied in economics and political science, the aspect of imagining alternatives beyond the status quo and the notion of a versatile understanding of future makes it interesting for many artists and curators. However, the utilisation of empirical methodologies as well as related scientific criteria is not essential to artistic approaches. Instead, the independence from any methodical boundaries allows widening the notions of scenarios without any restraint.

Next to exploring and conceiving future prospects of Europe, testing the potential of the international collaboration was the essential purpose of Scenarios about Europe. The study was conducted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. Thinking Europe was supported by the Allianz Kulturstiftung.

The Protagonists

Europe (to the power of) n was initiated by Sabine Hentzsch, Director of the Goethe Institut in London and Regional Director for Northwest Europe, and Heiko Sievers, Director of the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi and Regional Director for South Asia. In 2009 they invited Barbara Steiner, at that time Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Leipzig, to develop a collaborative project about Europe from the perspective of art.

The associated curators have different artistic, professional and academic as well as cultural and national backgrounds. They are artists, philosophers, architects, scientists, or art historians who work closely together with representatives from other disciplines such as economy, genetics and education. However, all of them share an interest in new models of collaboration and interdisciplinary working approaches with a focus both on social issues and the creation of communities.

The Artists

The Research Platform

Europe (to the power of) n discusses multiple and heterogeneous positions which need to be reflected, mediated and documented in all their complexity and diversity. Due this need, a multidiscipliary research team started to develop a content management system which is capable of mediating the diversity and complexities of the current shifting conditions of European social, political, cultural and economic relations. Shortly after, CLOUDr was developed, supporting a new way of understanding how complex information can be connected and read. It presents an alternative way of both structuring and accessing information through connectivity rather than through linear, hierarchical or categorical imperatives. By connecting sources of knowledge CLOUDr is able to create diverse information networks, which enables the user to contextualize meanings. Thus, knowledge becomes sharable and comparable across different disciplines on a large scale.
The online platform was initially inspired by the principle of the semantic web. However, in order to overcome the shortages of a purely semantic system it has been developed into a hybrid – in the sense of its logic as well as regarding the data management system and its visual appearance. As such, it is based on human editorial mediation and suitable algorithms.

How can the emergent discourse between technology and culture be characterised? What are the challenges for the semantic web in the realm of culture? How can complexity be mediated? How does emerging technology influence our way of thinking? What are the limits of technology and of our perception and where can we go from here?

Visit the CLOUDR project website to get into more details.

The Partners

Europe (to the power of) n has been made possible through the Excellence Initiative of the Goethe-Institut

and with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union

as well as with the support of the following partners:

Press Information

Press release Cultural Freedom in Europe
13th February 2013 - 15th March 2013,

Press release Asymmetric Europe
16 November - 2 December 2012,
Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina, Novi Sad

Press release Learning for Life – An exhibition for anyone who has attended school
11 November 2012 – 24 February 2013,
Henie-Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden/Oslo

Press release Measure
15 October – 17 November 2012,
SALT Beyoğlu and streets of İstanbul

Press release Untimely Stories
22 September - 2 December 2012,
Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź

Press release West to The East - An exhibition about Europe in 6 chapters
4 September - 4 October 2012,
Gallery for Contemporary Art Ў, Minsk

Press release The Europa Triangle
18 July – 18 August 2012,
Royal College of Art, London

Press release Europe (to the power of) n launch festival
6 July - 7 July 2012,
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

Flyer and programme for the launch festival
6 July - 7 July 2012,
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

General Press Information about the project

general information PDF(english)

Press contact

Markus Müller
Bureau Mueller
Alte Schönhauserstr. 35
10119 Berlin

Barbara Steiner
Artistic Director
Europe (to the power of) n