In the beginning was the thought experiment: What if our political system was replaced by an artificial intelligence? Regardless of how speculative Jakob Zerbes’ thesis project seems, inherent to it is the increasingly volatile discussion around our democratic awareness. What role is played by nation branding in this context and which symbols are employed when we talk about democracy? Barbara Tòth (Falter Verlag) moderated a panel discussion of renowned participants regarding these questions. For the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Austria in 1918 and in light of the upcoming National Council elections in fall 2017, Erwin K. Bauer (buero bauer), Edith Blaschitz (Department for Art and Cultural Studies, Danube University Krems) and Eva Blimlinger (Rector, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna) provided examples such as the minimalist façade of the Parliament’s temporary location on Heldenplatz, the one-euro coin inspired by the nation state, and the eagle from Austria’s coat of arms, which is shown casting off its chains.