Concept and themes

Mediamatic’s New Order exhibition series explores a world in which energy has become a fundamental principle of our society. The energy crisis has been solved. The climate crisis is a non-issue. The world looks very different to ours, and yet seems normal to those who live in it. There will be a name for it, but for now we are simply calling it ‘New Order’.


Ubangi woman with a solar tablet - from Expo 2020 Gbadolite. a research design project by Femke Herregraven, Katja Novitskova, Matthias Schreiber, Chris Lee, Henrik van Leeuwen and Mikko Oustamanolakis, 2010 Katja Novitskova


In this world, energy is understood not as merely electrical power, but as all its various states and influences – mineral, biological, social and cultural – becoming a fundamental principle of our society. New Order explores the implications of this new role of energy in our daily lives. How does it influences our interaction with the city, with power structures, with products, with art, and with other crossing points of energy our social values?


New Order - lets see what comes out of it


Electricity – The death of a centralised energy infrastructure has led to the democratisation of its generation & distribution. Power is now informal, personal scaled, and peer to peer.

Politics – The securing of sources of fossil fuels is no longer the cause of international conflicts, leading to a new era of geopolitical cooperation.

Democracy – The personal autonomy enabled by new local forms of energy has led to a powerful anti-government individualism.

Economy – New forms of energy creation have led to new forms of sharing and exchange, which has created a vibrant informal economic sector.

Society – Personal Carbon Trading is mandatory. Every citizen is allocated a certain amount per annum by the state, with which to invest, donate or trade to suit their lifestyle choices. We donate our carbon in order to participate in carbon-intensive events, such as watching motorsport.

Experience – Our personal carbon accounts follow us around as fuzzy avatars, visible hovering over our shoulders. We monitor them ambiently, looking out for others to trade or work with.

Culture – Energy is no longer considered as infrastructure or science, but as a legitimate
independent creative medium. Galleries are dedicated to it, and biennales curate it.

Health – Preventative Environmental Health has replaced conventional medical pathology, leading to a new awareness of our impacts and responses to our world.

Food – Food production has completed its transition from industrial production, to locally grown to internally manipulated. Using the energy of microbes and bacteria, we are able to digest a new expanded range of substances, grown throughout our cities and dwellings.

City – Faced with the monumental task of renovating our ageing urban fabric to suit this new post-carbon world, governments have overturned antiquated planning controls, leading to a new ecological built environment of speculation.

More information

New Order is an exhibition and public event series, which will take place at Mediamatic FABRIEK, Amsterdam, from February 2012 till July 2012. Curated by Katja Novitskova and Rory Hyde. Click here for a list of all New Order exhibitions.

New Order is made possible by Mondriaan Stichting, Ministerie van OCW, Gemeente Amsterdam, SNS Reaal Fonds and Stadgenoot.