Fountains of D.C.

Enhance your campaign with a moving fountain starting March 21st

A mobile replica of the Temperance Fountain located in Penn Quarter / Washington D.C. will move the city. Fountains of D.C. is inspired by the relationships of two significant periods in DC's history - the 19th century Temperance Movement and the 20th century Straight Edge punk rock music scene.
Both periods share similar values of social reform, activism and counter culture. The fountain will be hijacked and modified by various groups willing to express their values and agendas of change in 21th century.
It will be taken to specific sites around the District relating to their ideas and used for inspirational public gatherings, musical events, and community dialogues.


Why the Temperance Fountain ?

One of the key figures of the temperance movement was Henry D. Cogswell. In 1882 he donated a Temperance Fountain to the city, which is still to be found at the corner of Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. This fountain was one of a series of fountains he designed and commissioned in a belief that easy access to cool drinking water would keep people from consuming alcohol. Under its stone canopy the words "Faith," "Hope," "Charity," and "Temperance" are chiseled.

Much later in history the idea of temperance was promoted and very success- fully exported into the entire world under very different premises: In the late 70ties and early 80ties, Washington D.C. became the epicenter of the ameri- can music movement 'hard-core'. Out of this subcultural scene, the idea of 'Straight Edge' was born.
Straight edge, symbolized by the letter 'X', until today stands for refrain- ing from using alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs. The musical movement and the ideals of that scene where also adopted by german youth cultures in the 80ties and 90ties - directly linking the personal biographies of Kunstrepublik's members to Washington D.C.'s output of culture and values.

Both movements - the temperance movement and the straight edge scene - were in very different ways discussing broader values of society, counter- culture and self determination. The strategies of representing these values were very different: the temperance movement of the late 19th and the early 20th century created a fountain applying sculptural and formal methods *1, whereas the Washington D.C. hardcore scene was representing their values (which essentially went far beyond a rigid interpretation of temperance) in a more ephemeral and informal way: through music and temporal gatherings.

How to Hijack the Fountain


Identify a space in D.C. relating to your protest. We will deliver the fountain to enhance your perfomance with a proper representational tool.


The original fountain has four words en- graved into its roof structure. ('Temperance', 'Charitiy', 'Faith', 'Hope'). The mobile replica comes with a magnetic letter set, so these words can be adjusted according to your message.


The original fountain has a bird-sculpture on top and a fish sculpture underneath the roof. These are left out in the replica, so the visual gap can be filled by objects of your choice.


The replica is equipped with a functioning water pump and a bucket to be filled with liquids.


There is a decent soundsystem built into the fountain, including microphones. Electricity is provided by the pickup truck towing the fountain.

Book the Fountain

If you would like to hijack the fountain, please tell us the following:

Which are the four words, that you want to stick to the fountain (using the mag- netic letter set)?

What is your campaign about ?

Where and when do you want to stage your performance (location / date / time) ?

What's your or your organisation's name?

Please send email to:


Idea, Organisation and Support

Fountains of D.C. is a project by KUNSTrePUBLIK (M.Einhoff, P.Horst, H.Sachs), KUNSTrePUBLIK was invited by Steve Rowell, who was comissioned by DC COMMISSION ON THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES. Fountains of D.C. is part of 5x5 project taking place at the National Cherry Blossom Festival 100 years aniversary from March 21 until April 30 2012.

KUNSTrePUBLIK is an artist collective and registered non-profit oganization founded by 5 individual artists, Matthias Einhoff, Philip Horst, Markus Lohmann, Harry Sachs and Daniel Seiple.

The group's formation was precipitated by their initial project, Skulpturenpark Berlin_Zentrum, a non-traditional exhibition venue on 62 vacant lots of downtown real estate, on what was formerly the "death strip" within the Berlin Wall. Since 2006, the group has conceived and realized many site-specific exhibitions, which have pulled from their extensive research of the site's history and its present in-between status. Through their activities in the park, the group's members have gone on to engage in other constellations and community-based activities, including education, urban planning, art making and curation.

The organization relies on private donations, specific project grants, and collaborations with other institutions in order to fund its program. The members of KUNSTrePUBLIK continue to work both collaboratively and independently, as artists, curators, educators, organizers and urban planners, as each invitation, site or situation demands.

Currently three members of KUNSTrePUBLIK are preparing the opening of ZK/U (Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik - Center for Art and Urbanistics), turning a former railway depot into a new venue offering artistic and research residencies for art production at the interface of urban research will open its doors in summer 2012 in the district of Moabit in Berlin-Mitte.