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Casa dei Tre Oci: a global centre for art and philosophy in Venice

This 3-8 June 2023, our friends at the Berggruen Institute officially launched their new European centre in Venice’s Casa dei Tre Oci – a beautiful neo-Gothic palazzo, that will serve as a “gathering place for global dialogue and new ideas”.



Members of the Democratic Odyssey team joined the opening to discuss the ontological, epistemological and geopolitical foundations of our project together with policymakers, political thinkers, artists and architects, authors, scholars, scientists and technologists. There, we ignited our ship’s engines and issued an invitation for all the participants to join the constituent network or friends of the European Assembly who will ensure its openness and transparency through the widest engagement possible.

We took part in debates over digital disruption, democratic resilience, about the prospects of the emerging European political community (EPC), about the need to re-think how the West imagines and relates to China (and vice versa). It was an inspiring meeting of minds, and our team came away with bounteous notes to feed our modular framework – the ongoing, crowd-sourced methodology that will shape our future assembly process.  

One of the most exciting takeaways from the discussion concerned art, and the role of Venice not only as a “shop window” for the world but as a potential centre for global 21st Century synergies between art, knowledge production and innovative democratic practices. As our name suggests, the Democratic Odyssey is founded on the conviction that performing and visual arts play a crucial role in social change; and that participatory art, in particular, is itself a form of democratic innovation. We were heartened then that the new Director – the philosopher Lorenzo Marsili – shares our vision of this vital bond and is committed to exploring that interface with us as we develop our campaign throughout 2024. 

With Casa dei Tre Oci as a new hub, Venice has a valuable new laboratory for planetary politics, art and ideas. As we prepare for our Athens launch, we’re excited to consider La Serenessima, with its world-famous regatas, as a port of choice for our fleet as it prepares for future voyages.   

For more information about Casa dei Tre Oci and Berggruen Institute Europe’s future plans, click here.

Last update: 24 June 2024

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