Microreview: Dialectic Diatribes on the New European Bauhaus (Intro)

Microreview Bauhaus 1
2021 June
(Statler & Waldorf for) Anke Gruendel and Jamie Allen review the New European Bauhaus project in 3 parts
Author / Publisher
Anke Gruendel and Jamie Allen for NewsLibrary
Author Info

Anke Gruendel holds a PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research and currently is a research associate at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Her current research investigates new forms of political rationality in public sector design that inform how theories of democracy and the political continue to be enacted and transformed in modern technical democracies.

Jamie Allen is occupied with the ways that technologies teach us about who we are as individuals, cultures and societies. His work has been exhibited internationally, from the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin to the American Museum of Natural History in New York to the Nam June Paik Art Center in Korea. He teaches, lectures and leads workshops widely, engaging with and working to create collaborative contexts that acknowledge how care, attachment and love are central to knowledge practices like art and research. http://jamieallen.com/



Also published here

Newsletter No. 35

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Reviewed Publication

New European Bauhaus

Image Credits

Anke Gruendel and Jamie Allen

Launched on 14 October 2020, the New European Bauhaus (NEB) Initiative is a project initiated by the European Commission with the express purpose of using design for politics, politics for design, or both. Bound up in it are numerous histories, ambitions, and conceptions of what it means to make policy, practice art and design, or use media for political purposes in a fraught European landscape today

Ursula von der Leyen surprised many—artists and designers perhaps foremost—by announcing that the NEB would enlist designers on a continental scale, in response to the climate crisis facing Europe and the world

Two illustrious European commentators and cultural stewards, Statler (S) and Waldorf (W), over a Zoom call between their apartments in Paris and Vienna, respectively, engaged in a three part high-level roundtable on the resonances and implications of this momentous, ambitious, and somewhat cryptic creative, political project, shortly after its launch. This is what transpired:[1]

[1] Anke Gruendel and Jamie Allen’s review of the New European Bauhaus project is voiced through Statler and Waldorf, two elderly hecklers based on the homonymous Muppet characters. Through these characters, important critiques of the project are voiced in a way that takes up the New EU Bauhaus project as welcoming of “everyone’s” opinion, in the classical form of a Socratic dialogue. Their discussion is inspired by art critic Jan Verwoerts’ suggestion of The Muppet Show as an ideal for diverse communities that provoke a strange assembly of creatures finding a way to coexist that is impossible to explain (Butt, 2007, Artistic research in the future academy).