5 Projects We Wish Had Happened

It’s a fairly common practice to open a notebook and outline a project. We make all the necessary arrangements, find the materials, organize our thoughts but, somehow, it never happens. It remains an idea, jotted down in a journal that will eventually end up in a drawer somewhere in your office. To others, the project you’ve never completed is fascinating. What stopped you? Who stopped you?

When exhibited as “unrealized”, the work immediately takes on a mystical tonality. Mysterious like a Sapphic poem.  Why did the artist choose to exhibit this piece unfinished? Or to admit his failure at completing it?

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 5.24.05 AME-Flux‘s Agency of Unrealized Projects aspires to archive works that have never come to be and thus outlines a present that could have existed, had these artworks materialized. But it is also a way to create a space where the physical loses its importance. The theoretical thrives.

Here are some projects we wish had been completed:

Jonathan Parsons, Downriver: “Dissected map sculptures”

A map is usually represented on paper. Parsons, however, extracts the map from its habitual home and places it amidst all of us. A map within a map.



Cecilia Guida, Archive of Forgotten Ideas

What if you could put all your repressed thoughts into a book? It would allow the world to deal with their consequences and for you to purge yourself, repeatedly.



Berndnaut Smilde, Will Sizemore

Walk into a cloud. This work was meant to be exhibited in Louisville, KT. Perhaps people decided it would be better to stay grounded. Too bad.



Dorit Feldman, Orna Oren Izraeli and Na’ama Zussman – Unrealized Project 

The artists collaborating in this unrealized project aimed to use books as surfaces for artworks. The book, as a textual rendition of reality, would be torn inside out, reflecting the world it depicts to the naked eye.

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 4.02.12 PM


Mariano del Rosario, Transitory Laboratory Space for Art Experimentation.  

Mayor Bloomberg rejected this proposal at its genesis. The idea was to connect three derelict industrial sites through underground tunnels. These tunnels would serve as laboratory spaces for artists to experiment. The five artists in charge of the project wanted to occupy three toxic buildings and connect them through their work. Unfortunately, the city of New York vetoed the project and brought the artists to court for trying.


To find out more about the Agency of Unrealized Projects, click here and make sure to contribute to e-flux’s archive if you have a project you’d like to never complete.

text by: Michael Valinsky

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