In 2022, the series Commissioned by – Art in Relation presented essays, statements, and practice-oriented formats such as seminars and workshops. The contributions from art studies and mediation, sociology, anthropology, architecture and urban development, economics and mediation are made available here as an archive of a discursive and practical examination of the New Patrons model. The series was conceived by Anne Kersten and Alexander Koch and funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation), the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb), the Goethe-Institut and the Fondation de France.

How To: What Does It Take to Make a Thing to Make a Relationship? 

Jane Rendell

How To: What Does It Take to Make a Thing to Make a Relationship? is the question raised by architectural historian and cultural critic Jane Rendell in ARCH+ features 104. With her critical essay, Rendell turns her attention to the New Patrons model that challenges conventional forms of art patronage (through private individuals, corporations, states, or churches) by democratizing the commissioning of public art and handing this process over to citizens… more

The Commission: What Happens in the Interstices of Art Mediation?

Nora Sternfeld

In her contribution The Commission, Nora Sternfeld considers the work of Heiner Müller in examining the significance of commissioning a work of art. Sternfeld focuses on the practice of the New Patrons of transferring to citizens the power to commission, as well as the mediation of the process and scrutinizes whether these constitute fundamental changes to the system… more

As Society. The Production of Art and New Self-Relations

Karin Harrasser

In her text, written in 2013 and now published in German for the first time, cultural studies professor Karin Harrasser looks at the New Patrons model against the backdrop of the old questions concerning the relationship between art and society. In the New Patrons projects, she recognises a new approach to reshaping the relationship between art and life and answers to the question of what art should be and what it should be for… more

New Patrons Aesthetic Infrastructure as Proto-Social Practice

Shannon Jackson

Shannon Jackson is a scholar, teacher, and convening in the fields of socially-engaged art, experimental performance, and video/media art. Throughout her work, she explores the political dimensions of art in terms of its themes, its media, its social practices, and its material infrastructure. In this essay, she sets the New Patrons protocol in relation to a range of debates within the field of social practice… more

field Report

Germain Loumpet

Germain Loumpet is an international anthropologist and archaeologist based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) and Paris (France). He developed the National Museum of Cameroon, the Bamun Palace Museum and many others in Cameroon and Mali. He founded the Ministry of Culture in Yaoundé. In 2014, he started the first New Patron project on the African continent as a mediator… more

Field report

Sören Meschede

The New Patrons protocol has been in use in Spain for ten years now. Sören Meschede is the coordinator of Concomitentes. With degrees in philosophy and law and a professional background in journalism, he has been working as a cultural manager and producer in Spain since 2006. In recent years he has worked mainly with art in public spaces… more

Because now I would feel authorized to do it...

Isabelle Stengers

This text by philosopher Isabelle Stengers, available for the first time in German, uses the project The Washhouse of Blessey to illustrate the democratic potential of the New Patrons model. Her contribution describes how, in the process of commissioning and realising artworks, civil society groups empower themselves and become aware of their own capacity to shape their community… more

Field Report

Susanne Burmester

Susanne Burmester has been a curator, journalist, and project manager since 1993 and lives and works on the island of Rügen. She joined the New Patrons as a mediator for the German pilot phase in 2017 for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region and currently mentors three citizens’ groups. In Greifswald, the commissioners have invited Daniel Knorr to develop a work of art… more

Field report

Atelier des Jours à Venir 

The authors of this text, Claire Ribrault, Maria Pothier and Livio Riboli-Sasco, work at Atelier des Jours à Venir as trainers, mediators and researchers. Atelier des Jours à Venir is a non-profit cooperative company from France, aiming to empower both the research community and local citizen communities by sharing knowledge practices… more

Field Report

Daniela Medina Poch 

Daniela Medina Poch is a-born-in-Colombia, based-in-Berlin visual artist who likes to research and write. She is currently part of the Art in Context MA program at UdK through which she came to learn about the New Patrons Protocol, whose methodology resonates strongly with her practice… more


27. + 28.5.2021, online event

In this workshop for art and cultural mediators, we provide insights into the processes of mediation behind the accompaniment of art on behalf of citizens. We present New Patron's special model of active local participation in ambitious artistic projects and report on the opportunities, peculiarities and challenges that mediators – as mediators in a broad sense – encounter while implementing non-profit projects together with citizens and artists… more

Art Commissions throughout History

Bruno Latour/Joseph Leo Koerner

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… more

To Art its Time …

Judith Laister

This text by the cultural anthropologist Judith Laister is a cultural analysis of the participant world of the New Patrons. It examines the various protagonists that come together in the projects, how cohesion is established between them and where controversy, rifts and disruptions arise… more


Opération – Nouveaux commanditaires

The protocol and the action of the New Patrons: the radical transformation of the conditions of emergence and appropriation of the art as political act.

Published by: François Hers 
Authors: François Hers, Alexander Koch, Livio Riboli-Sasco, Claire Ribrault, Didier Debaise, Katrin Solhdju, Xavier Douroux. 
Language: French
Year: 2023

Publisher: Les presses du réel 
14 x 19 cm (Softcover), 120 pages 
ISBN: 978-2-37896-382-8&


Neue Auftraggeber - Kunst im Bürgerauftrag

This book is not an art book in the classical sense. It does not invite the admiration of finished works. It shows the path from the first question to the visionary answer that citizen-commissioned art gives. It is a book full of surprises. It shows unexpected turns. Obstacles. Perplexing solutions. And it's a great story of the joy of invention and the trust that people place in an art that responds to their wants and needs.
It is a book about 17 amazing visions in which forward-looking images of our society emerge.

Published by: Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber – GNA gGmbH
Authors: Gerrit Gohlke, Alexander Koch, Tina Veihelmann
Languages: German
Year: 2022

Publisher: Spector Books
220 pages, 435 Illustrations in colour and b/w,
Softcover with flaps
ISBN: 978-3-9590-5690-8 



Temple of Refuge

A different world is possible. In any case it can be drawn! Sartep is looking for a future in a foreign place. On the way he draws the wishes of the people he meets. But when his pictures suddenly become reality, something incredible happens: the dream of a better world comes within reach. The comic Temple of Refuge is commissioned by Sartep Namiq, a young Kurd who came to Berlin from Iraq, hoping for a better future. Many people have worked together to make his idea come true, and they have all given life to a picture story that makes a better and more beautiful future imaginable - and perhaps even possible.

Authors: Felix Mertikat, Sartep Namiq, Bruce Sterling, Matthias Zuber
Languages: without
Year: 2021

Publisher: Egmont Comic Collection
22,1 x 29,2 cm, 84 pages, bound
ISBN: 978-3-7704-0115-4

Further information and download


Wir - die Geschichte einer Erfindung

With photographic portraits and city views by Victoria Tomaschko, 13 interviews 
and a 30-page chronicle as an entertaining inside view of a ten-year development process

Published by: Kunst Freunde Pritzwalk e.V.
Editing and collaboration Interviews Gerrit Gohlke; photographic portraits and city views Victoria Tomaschko
Languages: German
Year: 2021

Hardcover edition, 168 pages



Reclaiming Art / Reshaping Democracy – The New Patrons & Participatory Art

This book brings together the New Patrons and its American cousins: participatory and socially-engaged art. Through articles by preeminent European and Anglo-Saxon thinkers and curators, it explores the artistic and political issues raised by these contemporary practices. It reveals their common aspirations of inventing new ways for art to play a social role, to produce effects, to be part of people's lives—and puts to the test the belief that art can change life.

Authors Dorian Astor, Vinciane Despret, Xavier Douroux, Patricia Falguières, Boris Groys, Émilie Hache, Karin Harrasser, Alistair Hudson, Cameron Cartiere, Helmut Draxler, François Hers, Bruno Latour, Joseph Leo Koerner, Mary Jane Jacob, Frédéric Lordon, Malcolm Miles, Baptiste Morizot, Paul O'Neill, Julia Robinson, Margit Rosen, Isabelle Stengers, Nato Thompson, Estelle Zhong Mengual. 
Languages: English 
Year: 2017

Publisher: Les presses du réel 
15 x 24 cm (hardcover), 432 Pages, Illustrations in colour
ISBN: 978-2-84066-720-9



The Seven Arts of Pritzwalk

In 2014, an artistic adventure occurred in the small town of Pritzwalk in northern Brandenburg. The residents completely decided for themselves on the art and culture they wanted. Invited by Clegg & Guttmann, they developed a wealth of activities in seven vacant storefronts, uncensored and without curatorial guidelines. The book tells the story of this strange venture. Two artists open their art unconditionally, without any filter, to the hopes, the conflicts and the peculiarities of a social community. In times of social media and global networking, they almost defiantly evoke the importance of a self-designed and unadorned image of our community.

Authors: Clegg & Guttmann, Gerrit Gohlke
Languages: German, English
Year: 2016

Publisher: Salon Verlag
28 x 20,5 cm, 176 Pages, Illustrations in colour and b/w. Also 17 previously unpublished portraits by Clegg & Guttmann, softcover with colour dust jacket.
ISBN: 978-3-89770-468-8

Essays and articles

Die Gestaltung der Nähe. Kulturwandel und Konfliktarbeit im Bürgerauftrag

2020, Alexander Koch

Contribution to Jahrbuch für Kulturpolitik 2019/20
Editors: Ulrike Blumenreich, Sabine Dengel, Norbert Sievers, Christine Wingert
8. October 2020, approx. 512 pages
Language: German
Bielefeld: transcript
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4491-3

Courtesy of the Institute for Cultural Policy of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft e. V. and transcript Verlag

In Every Project Dwells At Least One Citizen

2020, Alexander Koch

Who decides about the art locally? And what should it show? Who should it represent? The New Patrons program is about fundamental questions in the field of tension between participation and representation, as Alexander Koch explains in the magazine of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) magazine #34
Languages: German and English

Read online version

[Translate to English:] Download (PDF English)

[Translate to English:] Download (PDF English)

ARCH+ features 104: Initiator of Change: New Patrons


ARCH+ features is a series by ARCH+ that explores the current conditions of the production of space. ARCH+ features is curated by Anh-Linh Ngo and made possible by Siedle as an initiating partner. This special edition is a collaboration between ARCH+ and Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber and is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).

ARCH+ Verlag GmbH
Language: English

Do You Want a Future? A Protocol for New Cultural Commons

2020, Alexander Koch

Contribution to the publication Navigating the Planetary. A guide to the planetary art world—its past, present, and potentials
Editors: Hildegund Amanshauser, Kimberly Bradley for the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts
Language: English
Verlag für Moderne Kunst, Vienna
Paperback, approx. 400 pages, 19,5 x 12,5 cm, 100 images in color and b/w
ISBN: 978-3-903320-67-3



The New Patrons of Marl



The New Patrons of Mönchengladbach



The New Patrons of Wietstock



Press conversation on September 30, 2022


Short introduction as of January 2021


Event on October 13, 2020 at Grüner Salon of Volksbühne Berlin