ArtCity. Everything is art | PAN Amsterdam 2022

22 November 2022

Shall we consider everything as art? What if bridges, buildings, gardens, or public squares – in short: the entire built environment – had artistic value? Our proposal for this year's PAN Amsterdam campaign is an invitation to reimagine city life through the lens of art. Such a shift in focus will help us appreciate our built environment more, and spark the discussion about inclusive cities and democratic spaces where everyone is welcome. Let's make buildings, streets, or parks become art so that the monotonous and repetitive cities we know today come to an end.

“Art is essential to understand our societies and cultures beyond the political vagaries of a certain moment. It can be critical through beauty (or through ugliness), it is one of the world’s places of autonomy, reflection, production of alternatives, seduction, and hope. In this sense, the PAN Amsterdam campaign we conceived is a call for action for both the public and the private sector. Let’s protect art.

“Our contribution to PAN is based upon the idea of bringing art to the urban scale, enlarging the role of art. Inspired by the work of Claes Oldenburg, whose public art installations featured large replicas of everyday objects, we claim for a city that is full of art. Let’s make cities of diversity that become true living art biennials.

“PAN’s art collection is the base for our visualisations. This art collection forms an enormous cloud of knowledge growing constantly as time goes by, just like the endlessly growing amounts of information gathered in data centres. How to accumulate all the art that is produced? Where to locate it in the future? Myriad options are possible: from a flat city of art spread across the plains, to a compact and dense one. From a tower of art on earth to a cloud of art in the sky, to a donut, to a puppy, to a spider… To a planet… How to evaluate the best direction in which to go? How to ‘urbanise’ with art? We can design a city where streets are organised in alphabetical order: from A as in Abramovich to Z as in Zurbarán. Otherwise, if the city is designed in a chronological manner, then legacy of Ancient Egypt might be displayed in plazas surrounded by Dutch Golden Age area quarters with Rembrandt courtyards.

“Sorting is a free exercise allowing us to organise information and hence this art city in many ways: from dark to light, from black to white, from porous to compact, from flat to vertical, from light to heavy. And the list goes on…

“Let’s think together how to sort all the art. Isn’t sorting an art in itself? ”

Welcome to the art of sorting. Welcome to the city of arts. Welcome to PAN.”

— Winy Maas With MVRDV and @The Why Factory