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Call for artists: paper transformation

dinsdag 6 september 2022

The European Patent Office celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023 with a major year-longprogramme of events, exhibitions and creative competitions. In preparation for the celebrations and to reflect our commitment to sustainability, we are commissioning two artworks on the theme of “paper transformation” for our permanent art collection. Professional artists of all nationalities currently living and working in either Germany or the Netherlands are kindly invited to submit proposals by 14 October 2022.

The commissioned artworks will become part of the prestigious EPO art collection, which comprises around 1 000 works, including 40 site-specific commissions. Each commissioned work will enjoy high visibility in our headquarters in Munich and in our New Main building in The Hague, with around 500 to 800 people passing each artwork every workday.


The artworks must make use of old EPO paper files previously used for patent applications, in which inventors describe their inventions. These files were taken out of circulation following the digitisation of the entire patent grant process. Artists are asked to reflect on the following topics, using the paper files both as a source material and a raw material:
• Sustainability
• Innovation
• (Digital) transformation
• Paper recycling


Applications must be submitted online in English and include:
• Cover letter
• CV, explicitly stating your place of residence and contact details
• Summary of your artistic career to date
• Link to portfolio showing examples of the your artwork
• Short narrative description of your project concept, together with any sketches or 3D models and the estimated paper volume required


The artists selected by a jury of EPO staff and art professionals will each receive EUR 45 000 (net) to produce their commissioned artwork. This amount must cover the artist's fee, production and travel costs. The EPO will be responsible only for providing the requested amount of paper files for the artwork and a workspace for the artist to complete the project onsite. The delivery of the artwork to the respective EPO premises is the sole responsibility of the artist. The artwork also needs to be professionally prepared for exhibition. The EPO will pay 20% of the award when the agreement is signed; 20% at the project’s mid-point; and 60% upon its completion.


All components of the proposal must be submitted in digital format to Call for artists by midnight on 14 October 2022. Applications that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will not be considered. There is no submission fee and artists may submit more than one concept proposal.


All requirements, information and background on the EPO Art Collection can be found in the official call for artistsCall for Artists: paper transformation.