April 15, 2014 - Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP) - A public database of unrealized artworks
April 15, 2014

A public database of unrealized artworks

Design: Alan Woo.

Open call for unrealized artworks


Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP) presents a public database of unrealized artworks.

To submit your unrealized works and view other unrealized art projects, visit aup.e-flux.com.

Unlike models and unrealized projects submitted for architectural competitions, which are frequently published, similar endeavors planned but not carried out by visual artists around the world remain unnoticed or invisible. Since 1990 Hans Ulrich Obrist has been gathering information on thousands of unrealized artists’ projects, on roads not taken that together comprise a reservoir of ideas. There are the forgotten projects, the directly or indirectly censored projects, the partially realized projects, the misunderstood projects, the oppressed projects, the lost projects, the unrealizable projects: all between the non-real and the probable. The Agency of Unrealized Projects seeks to document and display these works.

AUP follows the publication Unbuilt Roads: 107 Unrealized Projects, collated by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Guy Tortosa after several years of international research conducted in the late 1990s around the question of what public art projects artists would like to realize in the absence of logistical and technical constraints. In 2006 Hans Ulrich Obrist & Julia Peyton-Jones of Serpentine Gallery and Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle of e-flux formed the Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP). This was followed by an open call and public exhibitions at e-flux’s Kopfbau at Art Basel in 2011 and at Berliner Künstlerprogramm/DAAD in 2012, where it was accompanied by a public program of lectures and presentations considering artistic and philosophical perspectives on the unrealized or the unrealizable. The exhibition included commissioned models for a museum of unrealized projects by Alejandro Arajena, Atelier Bow-Wow, Yona Friedman, Julieta Aranda & Anton Vidokle.

During the initial research, Obrist had a conversation with Dan Graham, who urged that the project include not only unrealized utopian visions, but also unfulfilled yet technically and economically entirely feasible proposals. Thus in the spirit of the “concrete utopia,” the project continued to grow into what has now been deliberately conceived and compiled as a hybrid collection of materials full of contradictions. Possible and impossible concepts  are presented in a field of tension between the unreal and the highly probable, between implosion and explosion, between success and failure. It is hoped that some of them can soon take concrete form in order to imagine and build what could be, in order to advance new forces of subjectivity for future-oriented archeologists using the past as a toolbox. 

The open call will continue until all unrealized art projects are compiled.

Concept: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Julieta Aranda, and Anton Vidokle

Site design: Alan Woo

With many thanks to Art Basel, Serpentine Gallery, e-flux, DAAD, Ariane Beyne, Julia Peyton-Jones and Ingrid Erstad

Agency of Unrealized Projects (AUP)
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