The Living Catalogue is an ever-growing collection of the signals we see taking shape in the arts, culture and the creative fields. 

The catalogue is both an engine of ongoing knowledge production at a/nordi/c and an open invitation to practitioners, institutions and everyone in between to become part of our exploratory dialogue about the future we wish to see for arts and culture in our society.

The signals are collected by a group of hand-picked signal scouts: a group of artists, researchers and cultural practitioners who capture and document the signs of change as they arise around them. Signals can be anything from new projects, events, behaviours and trends to articles – anything that points to new ways of thinking and acting in their field.

See the list of Signal Scouts here

As the collection of signals grows, we can begin to see patterns and formulate relevant insights. The Living Catalogue can thus be used to perceive new contexts and inspire new conversations. The aim is more to describe new patterns, find new frameworks of understanding and together create a new language, than to describe objective, measurable results. The insights are jointly developed by the signal scouts, a/nordi/c and designers from Bespoke.

In september 2021, a/nordi/c launched the first theme, ‘artistic identity‘. In june 2022 we shared the second theme, ‘artistic freedoms‘.

If you find your work included in this catalogue and would like to get in touch, please reach out.

Current Theme

Artistic Freedoms

Artistic freedom is as essential to the flourishing of cultures as it is to the functioning of democratic societies. Engaging with the concept of Artistic Freedoms is a complex endeavour since it comprises very vast fields of discussion and includes numerous stakeholders who experience, interpret and engage with freedom of expression in diverse ways from various places in the world.

Nevertheless, artistic freedom seems to be one of the most relevant concepts to engage in today as artistic freedom as a phenomenon is threatened, challenged and fought on new battlefields.


We use the term artistic freedoms, in plural tense, leaning on UNESCO’s definition of the concept. We do this to embrace the highly complex nature of artistic freedom, which cannot be understood or interpreted through a single prism, and freedom of expression is experienced very differently according to location, ethnicity, gender, tradition, history etc.

Four lenses

We have inquired about Artistic freedoms through the following lenses:

Societal context 

Within the last decade, artistic practices have been praised for their therapeutic properties; their power to enable civil action and community participation; and their ability to raise questions and affect people regarding political crises like migration or climate change. On the one hand, an important step to acknowledge the value of art, but on the other a risky move to only legitimate art if it serves a purpose. 

What we want to explore:

What effect do external expectations have on the freedom of artists? What responsibilities are associated with the receipt of funds? Who defines the criteria for getting funding? And how is it assessed in a societal context?

Transcultural awareness

We see a broader awareness changing the tone of artistic freedom A broader transcultural awareness is emerging drawing attention to indirect harm, inclusion, access, marginalised people, etc. As creators, as well as exhibitors, navigate explicit/implicit rules and responsibilities, we wish to explore how the landscape is changing:  

Who has the privilege to exercise artistic freedom and what are their responsibilities? How are concepts of censorship and freedom of expression changing?

Digital infrastructures

As more artists and creators rely on digitally distributed networks in their work, it becomes easier to surpass gatekeepers, reach new audiences and get monetized. The possibilities – and limitations – of Web3 are evolving as we speak, and we are yet to understand the complexities and dilemmas embedded in the new landscape:

How do digital platforms reproduce new gatekeeper logics and legitimise other forms of content? How can digital platforms enable accessibility and usability?

Political structures

The structures that protect artistic freedom play a central role to the geopolitical power struggles that occur when different (inter)national bodies intervene in the artistic freedom agenda. As the geopolitical agenda is transforming, it is relevant to explore:

How can (inter)national organisations support artistic freedom? How do organisations navigate different (and often unequal) levels of artistic freedom(s – and what implications do the differences have?