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Press release: WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW?



1-31 October, 2021
CIRCA, Piccadilly Circus, W1

In the lead up to COP26, CIRCA is dedicating their global art and culture platform to a month-long public investigation of the urgent question ‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW?’, featuring key responses from world leading artists, activists and thinkers including Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramović, Nikita Gale, Indy Johar and Tom Whyman amongst others. Making public art truly public, CIRCA is offering everyone who answers this question the once in a lifetime opportunity to both see their response appear on the iconic Piccadilly Lights and win a special signed print by Ai Weiwei worth £5,000.

Marina Abramović said: “I propose a world of simplicity, forgiveness; a world with no anger; and a world of love for our planet and all human beings living in it. It’s very simple but it’s a lot to do.

Ai Weiwei said: “To be a healthy human society we have to respect each other, and we have to really pay our respects to humanity and to really defend humanity, human rights and freedom of speech.”

‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW?’ harnesses today’s global moment of unpredictable flux to propose routes toward more inclusive, more creative and fairer societies, placing a focus on the shared “now” of this unique post-crisis moment, rather than the divided “here” of our individual circumstances. This aims to propel the CIRCA public art programme into its next phase of connecting public art with public debate, a year on from its launch with Ai Weiwei in October 2020.


Commemorating CIRCA’s one year anniversary this October, Ai Weiwei has created a special edition of 51 hand-typed and signed #CIRCAECONOMY prints. Available to purchase on CIRCA.ART for £5,000, the prints will be ‘dropped’ at some point during the month. Expanding on their commitment to provide equal opportunities to all, one lucky person will win the 51st edition by Ai Weiwei for simply responding to the question ‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW?’ via a submission box on the CIRCA homepage. The #WINAWEIWEI winner will be drawn at random by Ai Weiwei LIVE! in Piccadilly Circus on 30 October. 

Proceeds from the drop will go towards supporting the CIRCA free public art programme in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Milan and New York whilst also empowering their #CIRCAECONOMY initiative which is designed to commission new public art in our communities, nurture a more diverse cultural industry and support emerging creative potential across the U.K. and beyond with life changing opportunities. This October, Marina Abramović will announce the winner of their inaugural CIRCA x Dazed Class of 2021 who will receive a cash prize of £30,000 generated entirely from the sale of #CIRCAECONOMY prints by artists including Patti Smith, David Hockney and more. 

Alongside their monthly schedule broadcast across screens in London’s Piccadilly Circus, Tokyo and Seoul, CIRCA will publish its first-ever print publication, a foldout roadmap to the future. 10,000 copies printed on 100% recycled paper will be freely distributed during Frieze week, and at events in the run-up to the COP26 conference in Glasgow on 31 October. 

The roadmap will feature commissioned responses to the question ‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW’ from artist Pan Daijing, writer Charlie Fox, design studio REM Atelier, poet Emily Pope, architect Indy Johar, philosopher Tom Whyman, activist Marylize Biubwa, among many others.

October Programme:

  • 1-13 Oct: An introduction to October’s question ‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM NOW?’ featuring Ai Weiwei, Marina Abramovic, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Cauleen Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Patti Smith a.o., with a public call to submit responses on the CIRCA website.
  • 14 Oct: Marina Abramović announces the winner of CIRCA & Dazed’s Class of 2021 in Piccadilly Circus during a special 10 min presentation.
  • 14-31 Oct: CIRCA presents the curated public responses to the question;
  • 30 Oct: Ai Weiwei special screening in Piccadilly Circus and #WINAWEIWEI winner announcement. 

CIRCA Public Screening Times and Locations:

London – Piccadilly Lights, 20:21 GMT/BST
Tokyo – Yunika Vision, 09:00 JST
Seoul – K Pop Square, 20:21 KST
Milan – Luxottica Piazzale Cadorna, 20:21 CET
New York – Luxottica Times Square, 20:21 EST

Josef O’Connor, Artistic Director, CIRCA, said: “We’re starting to test the limits for how art in the public realm can not just speak to regular people, and intervene in public debate, but listen and respond, providing new creative impetus to powerful and positive ideas. There are rare moments in each of our lifetimes that are as crucial and open as this, when new ideas can enter the public consciousness and take root to inspire us to take action and make a new world possible. CIRCA wants to define what role public art can play in the process — which is being led by regular people, activists and progressives, as well as many creatives — and how this mass-scale public commission can catalyse and envision new realities.”


CIRCA is a digital art and culture platform with purpose. We stop the clock on global media space every evening at 20:21 and mobilise the world’s greatest creative minds to broadcast unique works that consider our world circa 2021. The funds we generate from artist print sales drive the #CIRCAECONOMY – a circular model that creates life-changing opportunities for the art & culture community.

Since launching in October 2020 on London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights, CIRCA has commissioned work from rising and established names including Ai Weiwei, Cauleen Smith, Eddie Peake, Anne Imhof, Patti Smith, Tony Cokes, Emma Talbot, Vivienne Westwood, James Barnor, and David Hockney.

Created by artist Josef O’Connor, CIRCA pioneered a new way for the public to engage with art and support creative communities through the sale of affordable prints by exhibiting artists. Each month, #CIRCAECONOMY profits are circulated back into helping build an economy that commissions new public art in our communities, nurturing more diverse cultural industries, and helping support emerging creative potential.

CIRCA has been made possible by Landsec, landlord of Piccadilly Lights, who have kindly donated media space, as a helpful boost to the cultural scene in London’s West End. We are grateful to Piccadilly Lights, Yunika Vision, CJ Powercast, Ocean Outdoor, Luxottica, Heart of London, Barakat Contemporary, Lisson, Thaddaeus Ropac, and Gagosian for their continued support to enable our free public art programme.

For more information, please contact:
Reece Watson
+44 (0) 7899 043 357