Wietske Maas is a researcher, artist, and curator. She is currently curator of Research and Publications at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Since 2015, she has worked for BAK in various curatorial and researching/editing capacities. In 2015–2017 she was researcher and managing editor for the research, education, publication, and exhibition project, FORMER WEST, culminating with the publication Former West: Art and the Contemporary After 1989 (BAK & MIT Press, 2016). Other recent co-edited publications include Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent (with Maria Hlavajova, MIT Press, 2019) and Courageous Citizens: How Culture Contributes to Social Change (with Bas Lafleur and Susanne Mors, Valiz, 2018). Forthcoming is Fragments of Repair (with Kader Attia and Maria Hlavajova, MIT Press, 2024).

In 2008–2018 she worked for the European Cultural Foundation, curating the annual ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture. As an artist she conducts politically-motivated participatory practices that activate the urban public sphere as a site of transformative assembly. Maas has developed projects, performances, and contributions to exhibitions in international contexts including Kunstraum Niederosterreich, Vienna, 2017; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2015–2016; e-flux, New York, 2015; Remai Modern, Saskatoon, 2015; Careof, Milan, 2015; Casco Art Institute, 2015, NGBK, Berlin, 2014; Utrecht; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 2010–2011; Mediamatic, Amsterdam, 2010; Stedelijk Museum/Stedelijk in West, Amsterdam, 2009–2010; and Garaj Istanbul, 2008.

In 2007, Wietske coined the term urbanibalism and started developing with Matteo Pasquinelli the eponymous project urbanibalism. Urbanibalism picks a bone with the binary morality that casts nature and culture into separate ecologies. It seeks instead a newfound materialist ethics for the city, using cultural tools to explore the urban as a messy site of digestions between people, institutions, other life forms, and non-organic matter. Tapping into unexpected food chains to make new public recipes and conviviums, urbanibalism metabolises new relations between art, philosophy, science and the urban public sphere. (NB. urbanibalism website was originally urbanibalism.org, but the term and our website’s content has now been bot-cannibalized by a project which we have no connection to.)

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