New Patrons


Commissioned by – Art in Relation

Reflections, theories and action-oriented proposals to the New Patrons model: The series Commissioned by – Art in Relation sheds light on the special features of art in the citizens' mandate from perspectives of cultural and social studies.

Commissioned by – Art in Relation presents essays, statements and practical formats such as seminars and workshops in a monthly rythm. The contributions range from art theory, sociology, anthropology, architecture and urban development to economics and mediation and will be available here as a growing archive of a discursive and practical examination of the New Patrons model, and will be published in print and online formats with various media and cooperation partners.

With contributions from Karin Harrasser, Silke Helfrich/Commons Institut, Shannon Jackson, Judith Laister, Bruno Latour and Joseph Leo Koerner, Jane Rendell for ARCH+, Isabelle Stengers, Nora Sternfeld and international mediators of the New Patrons

Conceived by Anne Kersten and Alexander Koch

Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb), Goethe-Institut and Fondation de France

Art Commissions throughout History

The philosopher and long-time theoretical companion of the New Patrons Bruno Latour and art historian Joseph Leo Koerner illuminate in their conversation the history of commissioned art up to its most current forms, with a special focus on citizens' commissions.

The conversation, which was originally recorded for the publication Faire art comme on fait société (les presses du réel), is available in German for the first time. Published in 2013, the reader covers a broad field of theoretical perspectives on the programme of the New Patrons. The adapted and supplemented English-language edition Reclaiming Art. Reshaping Democracy (les presses du réel) was released in 2017. Bruno Latour (*1947) is a French sociologist and philosopher whose focus is on the history of science. He has taught at various international universities, most recently at Science Po Paris, and is one of the founders of actor-network theory. Latour is an influential thinker of our time. His writings, translated into numerous languages, have become foundational works in various theoretical debates, such as the discourse on climate change. At the ZKM Karlsruhe, he worked as a curator on iconic exhibition projects. Latour has been an important supporter of the New Patrons from the beginning.

Joseph Leo Koerner (*1958) is an American art historian and filmmaker. He is a professor of art and architectural history and Senior Fellow, Society of Fellows, at Harvard University. After studying philosophy and English and German literature, Koerner switched to art history through his work on Caspar David Friedrich and shifted his research focus to European art from the Renaissance to the present. He has collaborated with Bruno Latour on a number of exhibitions at the ZKM Karlsruhe.

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