/* will definitely have to work on this section when i am less busy */

/*art historian; contemporary art and theory; digital art/ new media; public space/ architecture; socially engaged art practices*/

Merel Willemsen [the Netherlands, 1977] is an art historian specialised in contemporary art and theory with a focus on socially engaged art practices and e-culture. She has been involved in multiple long-standing art and architectural projects in public space and publishes on a regular basis. She has worked at, among others, Casco, office for art, design and theory (Utrecht), Mediamatic (Amsterdam), Virtual Platform, sector institute for e-culture (Amsterdam), KijkRuimte (Amsterdam), The New Institute (Rotterdam), Museu da Crise (PT / International), served as a board member for the Blue House Foundation and currently chairs the Fossil Free Culture NL Foundation.

Willemsen is working as an independent researcher within the Pie News project (June 2016 – June 2019), which aims to promote Commonfare: a new and complementary form of welfare provision. The four main pillars of Commonfare are 1) a universal basic income, 2) proper management of the common goods, 3) access to both the tangible (food, housing, etc.) and intangible (information, culture, etc.) basic needs and 4) alternative monetary circuits deploying for instance blockchain technologies. PIE News is a CAPS (Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation) project and as such has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687922.


Current: Co-founder of STAFF_ ROOM, a not-for-profit gallery that exclusively represents socially and politically engaged artists www.staffroom.nl; working on Museu da Crise www.museudacrise.org; independent researcher within the PIE News Project www.pieproject.eu; chairman of the Fossil Free Culture Foundation board www.fossilfreeculture.nl; bringing down capitalism and neoliberalism (oh yeah, and the patriarchy along with those) with FairCoop.

Recent past: Keeping myself busy at KijkRuimte, an artistic research platform in urban renewal area Amsterdam North. www.kijkruimte.nl

Ongoing: Co-founder & representative of SPANONYMOUS ‘We reject: kings, presidents and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code.’ http://www.spandoekotheek.nl. Bubbleclub | An essential ingredient for the continued existence of the human species: let your culture do the dirty work! www.bubbleclub.net

Rijksuniversiteit Leiden / Leiden University
Kunstgeschiedenis en Architectuur / History of Art and Architecture
Specialisation: Contemporary art and theory; public space; socially and politically engaged art; community art; urban development; urban planning; urban renewal; transition; new media; digital arts; participatory design; the common(s); wellbeing;

Professional Experience (selection)

2003 – current Freelance writer, curator and project manager.
2015 – current STAFF_ ROOM
2012 – current bubbleclub
2011 – current Museu da Crise
2011 – current SPANONYMOUS

2009 – 2013 Co-founder KijkRuimte www.kijkruimte.nl
2009 – 2012 Producer PICNIC Academy HOT100 for Virtueel Platform www.virtueelplatform.nl, www.picnicnetwork.org, picnicnetwork.org/hot100
2011 SLOW DOWN Winter Performance Festival www.slowdownfestival.com
2005 – 2011 Board member of ‘The Blue House’ foundation, Amsterdam. www blauwehuis.org
2008 – 2009 Project manager exhibitions at Mediamatic, Amsterdam. www.mediamatic.net
2007 Text & research Face Your World, Rotterdam. www.faceyourworld.net
2007 Project manager Vlagplantsessies, Rotterdam. www.designplatformrotterdam.nl
2005 – 2007 Project manager Casco, office for art, design and theory, Utrecht. www.cascoprojects.org
2004-2005 Project manager ‘Het Dwaallicht’, Rotterdam. www.dwaallicht.nl
2003-2004 Project WorldWideWestwijk, De Strip, Vlaardingen. www.worldwidewestwijk.nl
2001-2002 Editor for Dutch contemporary art-magazine Decorum

Selected writing:
Read some of the articles posted on this site…

Current reading:
Radical Enlightenment; Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750
, Jonathan Israel, Oxford University Press 2002

“If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way to make life more bearable.”
— Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)


FAIR: fFoUWw8LRm9di7nnYMs6j6hoN2QGnD7Kbj

will work for cryptocurrency ;^p