Zuidas in 2030



‘30 years of mud.’ That was the answer to the question Teike Asselbergs and Elias Tieleman of Orgacom – an artists’ initiative that works on visualizing organization cultures by means of contemporary visual art – posed to students at the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam in 2000, about how they saw the future of the Zuidas, their campus and its environs. For the VU students, the focus lay not on the end result of a completed Zuidas, but on the mud along the way. The Research Group Art and Public Space inviting Orgacom to undertake an artistic investigation of the Zuidas in May 2003 provided an opportunity for the artists’ initiative to delve deeper into the Zuidas. The premise of the Research Group’s brief was a reflection on what is happening with the art projects in the Zuidas from the standpoint of the art. Orgacom subsequently wondered about the assumptions of the people involved in the development of the Zuidas and what consequences these assumptions have for the art and the artistic parties in this area.

In order to document this, Orgacom initiated a series of interviews, in which people who are influential in what the Zuidas will look like are asked to offer their vision of the processes concerning the Zuidas. The ‘shapers’ of the area were as open as the political situation allowed and were willing, in spite of their busy schedules, to speak to Orgacom. From the thirty people Orgacom interviewed during the investigation, five workshops, each involving a maximum of six people, were formed. The objective of these workshops is to get a clear picture of just where priorities lie within a number of oft-cited and therefore significant dilemmas. The themes of the workshops are:

Workshop 1: Do all parties share a desire to bring the Zuidas positive attention? What is the actual perception of end users?

Workshop 2: Does art contribute to an aestheticization of the area? Is there room for newcomers to ‘occupy’ space with meanings?

Workshop 3: Private domains are urbanizing and public spaces are privatizing. Is this visible in the security discourse and what is the place of art within this?

Workshop 4: What is the professional proposition of art? What should remain open within this, and what can be formalized?

Workshop 5: What is the best conceivable organization of artistic parties? And who gets to have a say about art in the Zuidas?

Workshop 6: Whom is the art actually for? Can the Zuidas be simultaneously exclusive and for everybody?

Orgacom uses the interviews and the workshops to get a feel for the way people who work in the area normally think. Orgacom does not want to adopt an outsider’s position, but instead, by means of empathy, reflect on the processes that play a role in the creation of art in this area.

To return to the verdict of the VU students ’30 years of mud’ – Orgacom wonders what potential ‘mud’ might have. Physically, mud is an amorphous substance, but it can simultaneously have numerous colours and aspects. In metaphorical language, mud is often used to describe unclear and/or emotionally charged situations: ‘mud slinging’ or ‘getting your feet muddy’. Mud can flow in slides or take on solid forms.

In 2030 the Zuidas will be ‘finished’. What will be the state of the mud when the mudslides are finally channelled? Who will be living in the Zuidas once the dust settles? What societal changes will have taken place there? What will be the role of art in this context? What aspects of the present vision of the Zuidas will have been achieved and which will have become obsolete? What kind of Zuidas will exist in 2030? What effects can the current situation have for the long term, and how aware of these are we in our day-to-day life? A resident of the Zuidas in 2030 probably has no idea of all the people and processes that brought his or her house into being. He or she lives there, happily or not, and experiences the area as a neighbourhood where you go grocery shopping, children go to school and where public transport is fully available.

Orgacom concludes the investigation by contributing a future vision of the Zuidas in the form of a series of fictional messages from 2030, such as a newspaper article, a blog text, minutes of an internet meeting, a legal document, an AT5 (local radio / television station) transcript, a change of address form, a postcard, the website of the borough council and the invitation to an art prize: a sample of the stream of information and personal messages we are barraged with on a daily basis. Orgacom’s future vision is like a scoop out of a pile of post addressed to a Zuidas resident in 2030. It is neither a clear-cut utopia or dystopia, but a snapshot of the mudslides of the future.

Zuidas in 2030
Artists-Uni Gets a Veto
As every week, the members of the work group ‘positive attention to the Zuidas’ are meeting online. The Chinese Han Group, which has purchased half of the Zuidas, and the (Chinese or partly Chinese) developers associated with the group have just concluded their monthly progress meetings with all the Amsterdam parties.

Since the Chinese became majority shareholders in the Zuidas, financial problems have arisen, because construction is proceeding faster than anticipated and Dutch bureaucracy cannot keep up with the growth. Chairman Yen (cultural management at UvA) welcomes Kunay Raadhuis of the promotion team ‘ChiAmsterdam’, who asks whether he can bring up a point of order. Yen assents.

Kunay: The art budget has been under considerable pressure recently, because the extra budgets allocated for English-Mandarin translation costs are not sufficient.

Yen: Can’t ChiAmsterdam use its own translators? The Han Group has just paid for a large screenwall and cannot submit additional expenses to the main office in Hong Kong.

Kunay: We are constantly understaffed. Six of our translators are currently pregnant and the Mandarin translations we get back from Poland are not of adequate quality.

Yen: Surely India can be a useful alternative?

– Lowe Percy of the Artists-Uni joins in the discussion

– Lowe: Hello

Kunay: Hi Lowe. What do you think?

Lowe: Our artists group just hired four Indian English-Mandarin translators. The Han Group’s suppliers gave us a tidy sum for an artwork in the air space of the 4th Quadrant. Our programmers in India had told us they knew a good translation agency that also happened to be close to them physically, a luxury.

Yen: Air Space 4Q is Item 2 on the agenda. Let’s do Item 2 first, since Kunay does not need to sit in on Point 1, about environmental standards.

Kunay: Convenient.

Yen: The Artists-Uni presented three designs to the Han Group suppliers. What was the reaction?

Lowe: Plan 2 has been approved, but there is still a great deal of discussion about the budget. The Han Group writes and talks about art the most, but in practice nothing happens. We have to work harder at selling the potential of art to generate positive attention, because in spite of our new veto position, the power balance is still off. The suppliers are also having difficulty accepting the plan because we vetoed their pagoda.

Yen: What does the borough council say?

Kunay: What is the progress of your project, given the airspace restrictions that have just been imposed?

Lowe: Two of our artists are in the new council, which is also against pagodas in the 4th Quadrant.

Yen: Lo of the Han Group’s DGC is also against. The 4th Quadrant has been zoned for green tech.

Kunay: Ever since the Artists-Uni acquired the rights to Veto Public Space, the smaller Asian businesses are being told ‘no’ a lot. How is your relationship with them now?

Lowe: We gave a lecture yesterday to the SAP (SmallAsia Pact) about ‘how to put together a briefing’ and explained to them that a quiet area is definitely not a problem, but that they were selected to develop this area because they get the very best out of technology and the exterior space should reflect this. I said, ‘Surely you don’t want the Europeans to think you come from a village?’

Kunay: Oops … What was their reaction?

Lowe: Yeah, well, some of them were awfully quiet, but to most it made it clear that this was why no products from the authenticity industry, like the pagoda, ore being approved.

Kunay: I’m hearing noises that people find the public space too cold.

Lowe: Market research shows that high tech is a more significant factor in corporate selection than authenticity.

Kunay: Does market research define the applications of culture?

Lowe: We opted for this in order to generate a lot of positive press.

Kunay: But does it work? What do you artists think of this, internally?

Lowe: Most are used to it. They used to work in big workshops. There is one small group of account managers that tend to listen to the SAP, but that group is now working with the designers to find solutions for developing authentic products that don’t look like they were designed by the authenticity industry. The initial results are remarkable, particularly in the area of green tech and plant design.

Kunay: I read about that in the paper. There is a risk that Zuidas art is being promoted too much, when many of the ambitions have yet to be fulfilled.
This can lead to scepticism in the media and in other parties from which positive attention is needed.

Lowe: Yes, I’ve noticed the scepticism in the media. Perhaps we should go over our media plan one more time.

Zuidas Bankruptcy = The End of Art?
‘A lack of allure’ was one of the answers to the question of why project developers were coming out of the room without square footage.

When the auction for square footage at the Zuidas, aimed at international developers, was launched with great fanfare two years ago, punters were supposedly already standing in line to sign up.

Instead, the final result of the auction was far below the anticipated yield. Yesterday, the Zuidas NY public limited company officially applied for a suspension of payments. The consequences of a bankruptcy for other parties involved in the Zuidas are most visible in the cultural sector. A sector that is already under pressure at the moment.

From our correspondent Harre Hiemstra

‘The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts is temporarily suspending activities, in order to consider how to proceed’, said the chairman of the interim governing board, K. Koppers. The privatized Amsterdam Fund was one of the smaller shareholders in the Zuidas NY public limited company, and was responsible for art projects in the public and semi-private spaces of the Zuidas. In the wake of the From our correspondent Harre Hiemstra failed Zuidas auction, all parties involved put in additional effort toward keeping art in the schedule of requirements. The idea was that the previously noted ‘lack of allure’ could be remedied with art (extra decoration and a socially conscious image). The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts invested a great deal and in so doing earned for its stakeholders not only the opportunity to realize the ‘allure’ of the Zuidas, but also a share of its debt of 330 million Local Euro.

A few years ago, things were going well for the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, which was privatized in 2021. After a period of uncertainty as a result of the abolition of subsidies for culture, the resources of the Fund grew enormously in a few years’ time, thanks to numerous donations by retired baby-boomers. ‘We even had to be careful not to pay too much in taxes ourselves’, said Koppers. ‘That was why, in 2028, we decided to invest in the Zuidas, a project we had been involved in from the beginning … The idea was that by the time the babyboom generation would no longer be able to contribute funds, we would be reaping the fruits of our investments in real estate.’ The shrinking population and the surplus in office space have driven real estate prices to an alltime low, and many priva-
tized cultural organizations are now in trouble.

Rudy Barbon, a participating artist in the Funel project and an Amsterdam Fund shareholder, says that if the court decides, in the class-action suit against the former governing board of the Amsterdam Fund, that the Fund can pass the losses onto its shareholders, his one-man operation, Rubon, will go bankrupt. One-third of all shareholders of the Fund are cultural entrepreneurs who support cultural institutions with their incomes. Rudy: ‘If the outcome of the class-action suit is that we have to pay, then not only will a large section of the larger cultural enterprises go bankrupt, but the support for the cultural infrastructure of the ROA [the partnership between the Province of North Holland and the Amsterdam Urban Areal will also disappear. The Urban Area does not want to spend any money on art, because it has to cut back on basic facilities because of the Zuidas fiasco.’

Even after the loss of provincial and municipal subsidies for the arts and the approval of the Second Report on Cultural Infrastructure in the Netherlands (TRNCIL little seemed to be amiss in culture land, thanks to the generous donations of the babyboomers. Now, however, the cultural sector is witnessing the consequences of the new situation, and there is a new movement emerging, advocating a return to the era of government involvement. ‘In the past people wanted to derive as much profit as possible from the new measures for tax write-offs for cultural donations, but now that things are not going so well, the government should foot the bill again. That’s not how we do things’, says H. Bakkel, chairman of the TRNCI.

A great deal depends on the previously mentioned class-action suit, in which an initial, indicative decision is expected on 18 March. The attorneys at Spong Limited are already making preparations for an appeal to the higher court in The Hague. Louis Spong: ‘The impact of the class-action suit is very significant for the smaller parties. If we can immediately file for an appeal on the indicative decision with the high court, we can arrange for bridge credit with the insurers.’ The insurers have already indicated they will settle with the smaller enterprises if the debt burden is reduced. For Rudy Barbon of Rubon, the settlement may come too late anyway: ‘I make posters for museums. If the first indicative decision is negative for the stakeholders, my clients will cut back on their spending, and then I can forget about any new commissions.

Artwork a pilgrimage shrine for hooligans
transcript of AT5 news radio for Tuesday 12 January 2030

Ferry: I read in my personal newspaper that you first had the pigs tattooed in China, is that right?

Halle: Yes, my boyfriend, the artist Wim Delvoye, has pigs tattooed in Chenjiatuo and then sells them for a lot of money to art collectors. We can’t do that here because of animal rights, and you can’t get a decent tattoo on a dead pig because the cuts have to heal.

Ferry: Right… and now, these hooligans?

Halle: The hooligans that were barred from the Arena recently had seen the Spits in the train from Schiphol that morning. My artwork was pictured on the front page because of the ‘Fur for Animals’ demonstrations. The football supporters thought that a riot was going on and so went to the Zuidas to see which club it was, because they thought that ‘Fur for Animals’ were supporters of some club or other as well.

Ferry: And then they started fighting with the animal-rights activists, I understand from my newspaper.

Halle: That’s right, and now more and more clubs of hooligans are coming to the Zuidas because of my artwork. They really want to have their picture taken with it.

Ferry: How does your client feel about this?

Halle: He’s let it be known that he is not happy with the attention of the hooligans and wants to move the artwork.

Ferry: Where to?

Halle: He’s still discussing that with the city. The city partially funded the work, and because my boyfriend, Wim …

Ferry: The one with the pig tattoo operation?

Halle: Yes, our Art Farm … um, where was I?

Ferry: The city …

Halle: Oh yes, the city really wanted a work from us because Wim is famous and the Zuidas is a prestige project with international allure.

Ferry: Then that’s worked out very well: there have never been so many international hooligans at the Zuidas.

Halle: The city’s just released a report on the cultural sector about how there has to be more art that the ordinary public can relate to. Football supporters are the ordinary public too. The football clubs in Amsterdam have said they have no objection to the artwork, because it attracts attention to Amsterdam as a football town. Ajax does not want the ball near the Arena because it will become a meeting point for riots. The hooligans have told me they will not allow the ball to be moved.

Ferry: Why not?

Halle: They’ve declared the ball their monument and consider it their property.

Ferry: How do other users of the space feel about this?

Halle: The land belongs to the project developer so it doesn’t matter how the other users feel. They were against the ball from the start anyway, because it’s made from animal hides.

Ferry: We have to move on to the rest of the show. Keep an eye on the front pages, people, this is going to get exciting …
And now ‘Musica De Futebol’, from Brazil.

Change of Address Form

Name: Steven and Lotte Dalfour
Former address or postbox: Dr. Schaepmanstraat 48
Postal code and city: 2032 GK Haarlem

New address or postbox: Zuiderdok 244 (blok 4)
Postal code and city: 1077 XZ Amsterdam
Effective date: 19.07.2030

Telephone: 020-32000382
VOid: 0500-2379900
VOid name: STEVLOT48
Mobile telephone: 06-19612314
E-mail address: –

Supplementary information:

At the WTC, take the south exit to Zuiderdok. Once outside, you’ll see an artwork of LED screens on the left; walk past the artwork into the street with the green facing bricks, and when you see a coloured plaza with little coloured buildings on the right, cross that plaza. The Zuiderdok is there. Blok 4 is near the tall minaret by artist Giebema.


Greetings from the Zuidas

Dear parents,

I’ve taken the twins to the Zuidas. It’s a nice day and this week they’re having cultural activities for children up to age 12. The schools in the Zuidas are trying to use culture to compete with the schools in Brussels. Unfortunately Mark couldn’t get the day off today. The children especially love an artwork that looks like a huge ice floe and changes shape under the influence of climate changes and variations in the weather. Most kids here use it as a playground and play hide-and-seek. All the intensive use makes it look pretty shabby, only two weeks after the inauguration. With all the offices there isn’t much playing room for the kids, which is a problem for our school here as well. Mark and I may go look around in Brussels. We’ve also thought about Paris, but everything is so expensive there. I have to go, because I can’t see the little one anymore.

Lots of love,


Façade Signage

In many cases, if you, as a citizen, business or institution, wish to install signage on the façade of your building in the Zuidas (for instance an LCD screen or a billboard) you need a building permit. This is based on the concept of ‘building’ in the sense of the Housing Act. In a majority of cases, the installation of signage has to be considered ‘building’. The question is then whether this can be considered permit-exempt building or not.

– In the residential section of the Zuidas you can never build without a permit; a building permit is always required there.
– Outside the residential section, the installation of façade signage is only permit-exempt if it is an alteration that is not of a fundamental nature, that is to say if it is a small, unlit piece of signage.
– If it is also an artwork, it also falls, since 1 January 2030, under the façade signage legislation, because prior to this date, the exceptions accorded to artworks were often abused.

An application form for a building permit can be downloaded from the site of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. To qualify for the building permit, the signage must, among other things, follow the signage guidelines enforced in the municipality of Amsterdam Zuid-Oost.

More information? Contact the ROA office, Building Housing Habitat department, tel.: 020-5114400.

last updated on: 23-02·2030

Zuidas Again Battleground for Business Conflicts

Tuesday morning, somewhere on the Zuidas ring road
10:29:09:2030 Local blog
On the radio I hear that the series of conflicts between the heavy metal dealers Alkiet BY and Kazakh AS finally came to an end last night. Both parties announced they would jointly put up an artwork on the disputed piece of land located between the skyscrapers of the two companies at the Zuidas. ‘The artwork will symbolize our new relationship and promote cooperation among our employees’, said spokesperson H. Jansen of Alkiet BY. I’m on my way with Joop to the board meeting about the future of the Zuidas when, among a few telephone calls in the traffic jam, I get an odd text-message: ‘Hacking attempt Zuidas account?’

I manage not to immediately step on the brake pedal to get more information, but my curiosity is piqued. During the board meeting my thoughts frequently stray: The Zuidas server hacked? What businesses might be affected? Luckily Joop and I have three hours of wireless access via the Gamma Mobile hotel network, and we can find out how badly our network has been affected by the hacker.

As a starting point we have the IP address; this turns out, via http://www.dnsstuff.com.to be a Zuidas address: Answer: PTR record: al-2-3-4.adsI3.zuidas.nl. Without actual contact we can’t find out any more information. Joop plucks up his courage and finds a mail server on port 25 that identifies itself as 220 jes-ni7.xyz.nl — Server ESMTP (Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.2-2.29 (built Apr 28 2029)). This identification is rather odd, because an nslookup of that name comes up with a different address, namely that of the company that lost the last pitch for our digital security, XYZ Maker. Might this ADSL address be a back door to their server farm? Joop called XYZ, who, once they stopped freaking out, also want to know what exactly is going on. We’ll get the miscreant! We have an appointment with a police digital detective on Friday afternoon. I’m curious to see how that process will unfold.

Friday morning, Zuidas Police Station
04:31 :09:2030 Local blog
During the conversation with XYZ it was decided that the Zuidas Bureau will file the complaint. Joop and I have an appointment with a digital detective. Because this is a break-in that involves the destruction of a structure, we have to go to the police station itself. The detective sits down and pulls up the programme we have to use to file the complaint on an antique Pc. The questions the detective asks are not applicable to a business server. What virus scanner do we run, what brand of computer is it, etc. With great difficulty we try to turn the complaint into a conclusive story, but only his revolver keeps me from grabbing the keyboard and typing in the facts myself.

The guy tells us the case preparation department will deal with this on Saturday. They will look at the case with the Public Prosecutions Officer and decide whether it is worth the trouble. If it is, it will be then be coordinated onto the right department… So it might be a while. Stay tuned!

Thursday morning, home
11 :25:12:2030 Local blog
I contacted the police again over a month ago. Unfortunately they said that it was once again a matter of waiting to see whether anything is going to be done. Should I hear anything, I’ll keep you informed. By now I can well imagine that the majority of break-ins are not reported and that the chance of catching the culprits is therefore very slim. Unfortunately …

Monday morning, office
16:29:12:2030 Local blog
The hacking attempt that destroyed a large part of the Zuidas server structure turns out to be the work of an international company dealing in corporate information that has offices at the Zuidas itself. In an act of corporate espionage, they unwittingly transferred a virus that was in their system, via the same server, to the Zuidas server. The fat’s really in the fire now! The company in question, GMX Bedrijfsinfo, can expect a hefty class-action suit from the other companies in the Zuidas, in which the accusation of corporate espionage is the least serious indictment. GMX’s objective in the hacking operation was to obtain sensitive information about Petrol-Axis. The offices of Petrol-Axis were already the victim of physical break-ins six months ago, because they have a hard copy archive of their corporate data. The hacker, a 19-year-old visual artist from Gouwen, thought it was an assignment for the internal course Certified Ethical Hacker that GMX offered as part of its retraining programme. Because of this, the labour inspectorate and the PPP (public private partnership) agency are also getting involved in the conflicts. The Zuidas is gradually starting to look more like an arena than the Arena itself (Ajax-Feijenoord was too boring for words, again). Maybe our football clubs could use a retraining programme. :)

Invitation Zuidas Awards

Date and time: 6 December 2030 at 7 p.m.
Place: 1st floor of the commercial Gallery at the World Trade Center.

The Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize is conceived and organized by ING ICA (Institute of Contemporary ArtL with the support of the General Sponsor, the mobile telephone company Telfort, and the help of the commercial centre WTC and the Institute of Amsterdam Creativity.

First launched in connection to the 3rd edition of the Creativity Awards in 2015, this event aims at supporting and bringing attention to contemporary artists and designers working together with companies in the Zuidas. Seven short-listed artists will exhibit their work and an international jury will award the prize.

The exhibition will offer a multiplicity of contemporary artworks including biological design, multinational co-productions, screenings, photography, painting, installation, sculpture, performance and text. Based on an extensive research, the Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize will also function as a tool in mapping the Amsterdam contemporary art scene, forging new relations between artists and audiences and encouraging discussions on new developments. The event also testifies to an increased social responsibility on the part of the General Sponsor, Telfort.

The ING ICA project leaders have short-listed the following artists for the Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize 2030: Lang Yi, Leonard Vigo, Adelia Lion, Nikolin Bulgari, Nikusha de Jong, Fatma Genco, Juka and Sidi Janssen. ING ICA will also present a new project by last year’s winner of the Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize, Suela Qost. The Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize will be awarded by an international jury, this year composed of Maria Sardani, Director of ASP (Artist Studio Program) in Milan Adriaan Offenbach, International Artist and Guest Professor at Leipzich Academy in Germany, and Ivet Mady, member of the curating team SINC (Sticky If Not Cohesive) from Zagreb.

The Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize is made possible through the sponsorship of the General Sponsor, Telfort, as well as the support of the WTC commercial centre. ING ICA’s program is supported by our Program Partner, the European Cultural Foundation, and also enjoys the support of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the ‘Moving Borders’ NGO. For more information on INGrs programmes please visit our website: www.ing.nl/cultuur

Verso of invitation
Recto of invitation

Residents of Zuidas Get Artists as Present

Artist Suela Qost, winner of last year’s Zuidas Contemporary Art Prize, is now a member of the jury for this year’s Prize. Suela Qost won the prize for the concept of ‘giving’ an artist to individual residents of the Zuidas. The concept was based on the criticism that the end users of the Zuidas facilities, up to that point, had never been included in aesthetic and artistic decisions about art in public space. The artists that were given to the inhabitants developed art projects together with or for specific individuals. Some of the art projects that resulted from this concept have already been completed; others are so utopian that they will never be realised except in the minds of the persons that have collaborated with the artists who developed the ideas.

Which concept will win this year’s Prize? What idea will be realised with the € 50,000 the winner takes home? Will it be Lang Yi’s poetic cancellation of shadows in the Zuidas, Leonard Vigo’s successful interpretation of Zuidas political power structures, Adelia Lion’s new time piece for the Zuidas, focusing on the perception of time by office workersr Nikolin Bulgar’s bombastic destruction of polished surfaces, Nikusha de Jong’s new transport machines, Fatma Genco’s mobile restaurant with refugee cooks or Juka and Sidi Janssen’s frontal lobotomy project, which researches mistakes made by powerful figures?

This year’s theme was ‘How can we present an “entertaining” project which is critical at the same time?’ The art world has a tendency to regard the question of art being entertaining as backward. However, does ‘entertaining’ always have to mean ‘light’, ‘simplistic’, ‘not serious’? What if the entertainment value comes from darkness, poetry, satire or black humour? A great many artists sent in their responses and all these are on display in the Zuidas Design Museum from 6 through 23 December 2030. Opening times are Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 7 p.m., Zuiderpark 23, Zuidas.

Child Drowns at the Zuidas in Artistic Water Feature
A four-year-old girl, Emmy Wang, drowned last night in the artistic water feature on the Zuidasplein.

The child, who was playing with an older sister and some neighbourhood children on the plaza, had climbed onto the rim of the basin and presumably slipped, was knocked unconscious and subsequently drowned. ‘I couldn’t find her anywhere and I thought she’d gone home’, said the older Wang daughter. The Wangs are now holding Amsterdam liable for the death of their daughter, but the fact that the land upon which the water feature is built is partly owned by the company Arc Entertainment NY, as well as the question of whether the artist or the arbitrator is also liable for flaws in the design make the case legally complex.

When the Wangs signed up for a new home at the Zuidas, their reason was a cosmopolitan setting from which travel to Brussels (his work) and London City (her work) was easy. International two-income couples chose the Zuidas as their ‘residency’. As once was the case on the Amsterdam Islands, however, the young, ambitious couples had children, and the Zuidas was not built for that purpose. The art projects that were put up at the time in an innovative partnership involving the city, project developers and artists, like the rest of the Zuidas, did not take children into account.

The water in the water feature, according to the land registry, lies in public space, and the city is liable for this. The rim from which the child slipped, according to the land registry, is situated on land belonging to Arc Entertainment NY. The artist, François Dey, has a foundation that is liable for the design. The city and the project developer of Arc Entertainment NY had engaged an art arbitrator to plan the water feature on ‘left-over space’ between various facilities and to supervise its construction. The contractor that did the construction work, in consultation with the orbitrator, decided to set the rim at an angle different from what was indicated in the artist’s drawings. We took this case to several legal consultants.

The civil court in Amsterdam
CASE No.: 777-6655

Johannes Maria WANG

Doornepad 46
1832 AH Amsterdam

mr. Q.A.G. Masius
Essenlaan 43
1095 AX Amsterdam

An answer to the complaint which is herewith served upon you, within TEN (10) days after service of this summons upon you, exclusive of the day of service.
If you fail to do so, judgement by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. You must also file your answer with the Clerk of this Court within a reasonable period of time after service

Jody Peter Van Heegen
2nd February 2030



1. The daughter of ‘Johannes Maria Wang’, ‘Emmy II Wang’ (hereafter ‘Walker’), injured herself and subsequently expired while playing upon an unprotected object that was placed upon the premises of ‘Arc Entertainment NY’ (hereafter ‘Arc’).

2. The object (an artwork by the artist ‘François Dey’)
has a height of five (5) metres and a length of three (3) metres. It consists of a metal construction that rises from a ditch filled with water. Although the object is very high and broad, the object is protected neither by a fence or a security guard.

3. A kindergarten called ‘Tamagotchi-Childcare, Entertainment and Learning Facilities NY’ (hereafter ‘Tamagotchi’) is located next to Arc at Stravinskylaan 1999. Tamagotchi has repeatedly asked Arc to repair the fence between the two premises, as children continually try to escape from Tamagotchi.

4. Plaintiff states that Arc should have exercised particular care due to the placement of a dangerous, unmonitored and unprotected object on their premises, as the Arc premises are located next to a kindergarten. A proper fence is also lacking between the Arc premises and the premises of Tamagotchi (despite several requests made by Tamagotchi to Arc concerning this). This structural neglect by Arc of the dangerous situation entails a greater presumption of liability.

5. Therefore, plaintiff states that Arc created a situation that can be concluded to be dangerous. Arc therefore is responsible for an unlawful act as stated in 1: 162 BW(oud)/ A:6789 CW. Based on this this article of the civil code, plaintiff demands payment of immaterial damages. Those damages amount to EUR 20.431,67. (exhibit 1).

6. In support of this claim, plaintiff refers to the existing jurisprudence regarding this matter.
(exhibits 2 through 8)

7. Arc has so far failed to respond to the claim for payment of immaterial damages. Plaintiff refers to the letters sent on 8 June 2029 and 24 November 2029.


8. It is clear that Arc has wronged plaintiff by creating a dangerous situation that was unprotected and unguarded. Therefore Arc must pay damages in the amount of EUR 20.431,67. This claim is based on the articles 1 :162 BW(oud)/ A:6789 CW of the civil code.


Plaintiff requests the court to stipulate:

1. That Arc be ordered to pay EUR 20.431,67. This payment should be made within 14 days.

2. That Arc be ordered to pay all additional costs connected with this case. The additional costs amount to EUR 928,40 incl. VAT.

The costs of the clerk are EUR 97,60.

This case is submitted by mr. Q.A.G. Masius, de MASIUS & ZHANG ADVOCATEN, Postbus 567, 2019 AD Amsterdam

Orgacom consists of Teike Asselbergs and Elias Tieleman, who are graduate artists (Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam). They have been working together on their initiative Orgacom (www.orgacom.nl) since 1997. Orgacom focusses on visualizing the culture inside organizations.