Roekoe: a pigeon campaign

(October 2022) We are taking over in Amsterdam with a massive pigeon campaign, questioning the relationship between animals and humans in the cityscape. This is done in collaboration with Mediamatic, for Museum Night Amsterdam. Stay tuned and check out this page for more. 

Police-project on ethnic profiling

(July 2022) PROFILEER JEZELF’: In samenwerking met Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken ben ik gevraagd om een interactieve installatie te ontwerpen die (etnisch) profileren bespreekbaar maakt binnen de context van de politie. In Rotterdam en Spijkenisse gingen we in gesprek met voorbijgangers over hun ervaringen en de manier waarop die zich verhouden tot hoe de politie zegt te profileren. Check het project hier.

Master of Sociology! 

(July 2022) I just graduated cum laude from the Sociology-master Engaging Public Issues, at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. My thesis was on the ambivelent resistance against capitalism by the high-end fashion brand VETEMENTS – followed by a speculative chapter on the importance of artistic shock. 

These studies were one of the greatest, most mind-boggling and interesting things I have ever done. I loved it from back to end. 

City Museum

(June 2022)  What if we were to treat the entire city like one big high-end museum, including its signs full of fancy words and meta explanations? Thus, I wrote a whole lot of balony for the mailboxes, DIXI’s and street objects in Rotterdam. The sign on the Erasmus bridge is still going strong after three months… 

Sterker door Krijt

(2021) In the nights of November 23 and 26 there were rumors going around in my neighborhood in South Rotterdam, Hillesluis, that there would be riots on the Beijerlandselaan. A few days before, this happened in the city center of Rotterdam and a year ago our neighborhood was hit. I could not let this happen, of course, so I jumped into action right away. A huge amount of sidewalk chalk (left over from another project) came in handy. Between dozens of policemen, local residents and passers-by, I plastered the street with slogans against the riots. “Niet rellen maar Rutte bellen“, “Wij maken de stad, we breken ‘m niet af“, “Laten we het wel gezellig houden“, “Doe es ff rustàg” and “De Jonge sucks, maar je buurt afbreken nog meer“. On friday, we extended the positive ‘protest’ with a 1000 posters, banners and even more chalk (although it did rain like crazy). Check the story and its responses on LinkedIn or on my website.

Onbetaalbaar Rotterdam

(January 2022)  Rotterdam: a city so beautiful, yet so unaffordable for those looking for an place to live. Landlords can ask nearly any price for their property – since searchers are desperate to find a place to live (seen online: a 20m2 studio for 980€). The government is now planning to ‘build, build, build’, without getting to the root of the problem. Through its non-intervention, the economic divide continues to grow. Housing should be treated as a civil right, not an investment for the very few while pushing others into precarity. This asks for some sticker-activism, so I designed one with ONBETAALBAAR ROTTERDAM, demanding the end to this toxic ‘free’ market mechanism. Stickers spotted at Rijnhaven, Rotterdam. The open-source design can be downloaded here.

From pre-master to master at EUR

(September 2021) In July, I officially passed my pre-master Sociology with an 8.0 avarage. This means I will be starting my master-program at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in September, at the department of Social and Behavorial Sciences. I am very excited to dive deeply into the sociological literature. The master is called Engaging Public Issues, which resonates scarily well with my work as an artist. Let’s go!

Consume less! Letter in Volkskrant

(August 11, 2021) The consequences of the climate crisis are getting more and more severe. This month, a report came out by the UN that bundled a vast quantity of research on the subject. The conclusion: we are in big, big trouble. A Dutch politician responded, with the best intentions, that we need to act NOW in order to protect our ways of living. I don’t agree. We need to radically change our lifestyle, which is not sustainable or realistic on the long term (or even short term). It is about time to put an end to our culture of destructive consumption, endless hyperfocus on economic growth and careless use of raw materials. This was published in De Volkskrant on August 11, alongside many other letters and articles about the urgency of this crisis. 

Article in TROUW and Volkskrant

(February 5, 2021) The coronacrisis has hit a lot of sectors right in the heart. Many people are financially struggling and this too accounts for students. Next to that, they’ve had to go through online education. Some of them already for 1,5 years. When the minister of education announced measures to compensate future students for the damage done, I was baffled by their proposal, which put aside all students who had been studying and graduated already. So, I wrote a letter to the newspaper Trouw and lay out my arguments! Read it here. After the elections, I wrote a letter to the Volkskrant about the dangerous tendency to put right-wing voters aside as stupid and ‘deplorables’. Instead, we should attempt to understand each other’s world. 

VENI VIDI VACCINATIE 

(December 30, 2020) 2021: VENI VIDI VACCINATIE. Yesterday we placed this big-ass face mask on Het Gezicht van Nijmegen, to celebrate the end of the year and prelude the new one with a hopeful message. 2020 will be marked as the beginning of a new era; we will speak of ‘before 2020’ and ‘after 2020′. More than ever, I can feel the presence of history. Remember: don’t let your reptile poop on a bat or a chicken! History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does tend to rhyme. Check out the news article here

CANCEL 2020 ASAP

(October, 2020) I started a campaign to cancel 2020: years are a social construct. If we all commonly agree that this year didn’t happen, we can wipe the slate clean and re-do the entire thing. Check out the video and more material + some more Covid-project here.

#1septemberoffline at NOS.nl

(May 30, 2021) My protest #1septemberoffline ended up at NOS.nl, after an interview by NPO1 Radio. It is meant to ask ask attention for education in the Netherlands, which continues to be down the list of priorities in national politics. The situations of students have to be discussed urgently. Want to read more about it? Check out this page.

Politicians are people too (Volkskrant)

(October, 2020) Every now and then I end up sending a digital letter to the newspaper about our society and what’s happening in the world. Lately, it has been a lot about corona. I wrote a piece on the complexity of this crisis and called for more understanding of politicians being ‘just like people‘. They also published a letter about apologies by the Western society for the discrimination and xenophobe behavior that has partly led to a new wave of terrorism. 

EM Magazine illustration(s)

(October, 2020) At the start of this school year,  I started my pre-master Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Soon after, I discovered a few things: a) I am loving it, and b) the university has a journalistic platform called EM Magazine, which happened to be looking for illustrators at the time. Click here to check out the first article I illustrated for them, about graduation in the Corona-era!

Placemaking for DZKMNL

(September, 2020) together with studio Aina. I am doing a project for De Duurzaamste Kilometer van Nederland, in Leiden. We will be doing all kinds of interviews, interventions, performances and lots of (literal and figurative) green stuff… Stay tuned and get excited. We already got ourselves a kilometer of rope!

KONT04 publication

(September 2020) KONT is a magazine that links to people together and asks them to do a project together. This year, me and Fides Lapidaire teamed up and worked on the theme ‘the city as a baby‘, in Eindhoven. We went out there, pink-suited and all, and analysed the surroundings of Strijp-S, which led us to an analogy on the millenial and the pressure of having to make-an-impact (impact? IMPACT!). This ended up in us putting the cliches in perspective, that hoover above the word ‘impact’. Would you like to see some of the spreads and check out our story? Go get yourself a little KONT here! Don’t forget to repeat the word impact at least twenty times to make it more fun.

Redesigning a square for the municipality of Rotterdam

(August, 2020) Around the corner of my house, in Rotterdam-South, lies a funny little square. It had been in a messy and neglected condition for a while and the municipality wanted to give it a touch-up. Corona gave the final push: the restaurants and food places at the square needed more space for their people to sit, since it was no longer an option to let them inside. I was asked to do the design, in dialogue with the local entrepeneurs. Fast forward to July… and it has become one of the most ‘gezellige’ squares of Rotterdam-South! 

Infinite drawing workshop

(August 2020) I organised a workshop for de Lindenberg in Nijmegen, a cultural center where people of all ages can follow artistic workshops. This time with lots of kids! For 1,5 hours they did all kinds of drawing games and exercises. They made an ‘infinite drawing’ together, continuing each other’s artwork. This workshop was inspired by the idea of an ‘Exquisite Corpse” (long live Wikipedia: click here). 

“Een Vleugje Vakantie”

(August, 2020) All summer long, I’ve been organizing summer events for the cultural space De Voorkamer. Check out these aftermovies for some of the vibes! Want to read more about it? Check this. 

Candy color samples

(June, 2020) What better way to do color sampling than to use candy? For a textile design, we made the selection process a bit more tangible and playful by getting as many different sorts of candy as possible. With a table full of sugar and a hungry co-designer eating all the double ones, we made up our minds. Sweet!

I have become the municipality of Rotterdam! 

(May, 2020) The traffic light stickers I designed for the new corona-behavior I see all around me (to be found here), have been going around the good ol’ Internet, causing quite a stir. Most interestingly, the media interpreted it as if it was done by ‘Rotterdam’. And what would a news article be without a group of angry respondents on social media, who felt patronized by their government?

This means I have officially turned into a municipality. Next up: How to Become a Ministry, Part I, II and III (the first one will be great, the second one a bit mediocre and the third one simply bad because that’s when it’s the exploitation of the formula hits in). 

Check out the articles at AD and Telegraaf.

The Elbow Economy | Coronavirus

(March, 2020) A new world requires new stickers for our traffic lights, explaining us on a daily basis how to press the buttons. We might want to start doing that differently, now. Some have already adopted this new behavior. 500 Stickers on its way for May! 

Don’t visit the Netherlands!

A Dutch newspaper (AD) suggested that the comedian Arjen Lubach should make a video to keep German and Belgian tourists from coming to the Netherlands during the Easter holidays, in times of Corona. He responded with: “Do it yourself, we don’t have time for that!” Luckily, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands at the moment. I decided to help him out with this commercial. Bleib zu Hause, blijf in uw kot, restez à la maison!

Cake: LEVEL UP

The Research Bureau by University of the Underground has been quite an adventure so far. It took me to Cairo, lots of cake shops, funny videos on the internet (a never-ending hole) and I wrote a research document to take my writing to the next level (I think it worked!). To do that, I went through lots and lots of papers by philosophers, sociologists, foodies and historians. And what better way to summarize it than to turn it into some cupcakes? Thus, Hannah Arendt’s theory on ‘authority’ ended up being edible.

Cake-research for UOTU

For the University of the Underground I have started to research the history of cake: what are the rituals around eating and cutting cake? How can we reinvent the purpose of a cake, besides the obvious celebrative aspects? I made a digital archive of the most mind-boggling cakes I could find on the Great Internet, and started making some myself, like Trump trying to blow up the middle East and a collaborative project in Cairo, Egypt: Peace of Cake

ABZ social interventions 

I was asked by Afdeling Buitengewone Zaken (a social service bureau in Rotterdam) to help an IT-company become more innovative. To test our assumptions on what could help them to think (and ACT!) differently, we came up with all kinds of social interventions that we executed together with the employees of the company. They were sent out onto the streets to catch people and lock them in with black screens (sounds scary, but we included some escape routes) and try to get their answers to urgent privacy matters. People were confused. Just how I like it! 

Secret feminist-activist-protestproject

Ever since I put a big orange HUH on the Museumplein of Amsterdam, I’ve been working together with a design and communication bureau in Amsterdam, whose founder happened to see me online. Together, we have thought of some new, typical ‘HUH’ kind of concepts. The end-product is still a surprise, but I have been producing many, many protest signs in my living room, spilling paint everywhere while I was at it.

Research Bureau CAIRO

I am very excited, thrilled, delighted (and many more superlatives) to announce that I will be taking part of the Research Bureau Cairo, initiated by the University of the Underground! Together with 14 other creatives from all over the world, we’ll be heading to Egypt and dive into an unknown world of water rituals. I’ll keep you updated… 

Solidary Workspace BIEB X KONT!

For the public library of Eindhoven, in collaboration with KONT, I was asked to come up with a concept for a Solidarity Workspace, where people can make little gifts for other readers during DDW19. It was a process full of crazy material, lots of drilling, handsaws, primary colors and some fake trees. And what would be a set design without some proper paper maché? The installation will be used in the public library of Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week 2019

A bunker with ears? Open now! (sept. 2019)

De Bunker Luistert has opened her doors! Here you can make your own radio plays (hoorspelen), as part of Brabant’s 75th year of liberation. Now kids can come and play in this historic building, while learning about the history of the old German bunker. The opening fit the content of the concept: we made a big line of visitors and all gave them an object to make sound with (geluidspolonaise!). At the end of the line, a bell rang to open de Bunker. We also passed on a sound the way we pass on freedom to the generations coming after us. Lets keep working towards 150 years of freedom. An article about it can be found in het AD.

Design research for KETTER&Co (august, 2019)

During the summer of 2019, I conducted a design research for KETTER&co about the Amstelpark, searching for ways to connect the park with the neighborhood and nearby initiatives. And how do I get them to talking? I bought a big plant, walked up to them and asked them about their favorite garden memory as a conversation starter. Findings were documented by film, video and -as always- some illustrations capturing my subjective view. To be continued…

Speak up, men! (july, 2019)

“Climb that soap box every once in a while” is a Dutch expression that seems to refer to the gravity racers as some sort of speech podium (how would that practically work, racing while giving a speech? Could make for a good TV-show). This was an article in the Dutch newspaper Volkskrant on the dynamics between men and women during discussions on equal rights. I might want to get a membership myself, since I’m blocked from reading my own article on the website. If you have one, read it here

Design Week Atlanta, USA (June, 2019)

For the Design Week in Atlanta I was invited by Design is Human to exhibit Cut the Crap and give a lecture on my working methods as an interdisciplinary designer-artist and pigeon-lover. Luckily, the pigeon is also a widespread phenomenon in Atlanta so I could dive into the more mèta-theory from the start. I americanized the campaign to make it fit to our 2019 debates and the American culture . Together with other present designers, we stayed in a shotgun, took Ubers and trendy scooters, went to the Waffle House, a shooting range (first and last time), multiple museums and NYC. I’ll be back!

Coloring pages (March, 2019)

I was asked to make a coloring page for a social care institute in Heer Hugowaard about their community garden. They were about to move to a new place so it was a nice keepsake for the residents. Later on, I made a coloring page for Tuinbazen (a project by KETTER&co) about the Amstelpark. As a campaigner and research designer, I do all kinds of different work to shed new light on the parks of Amsterdam and the gardeners that take such good care of it. 

Pecha kucha at OPA Arnhem (March, 2019)

I explained the importance of using seemingly uninteresting and widely known images as a start for a project. The more familiar people are with a certain object, situation or image, the more opportunities I see to tell a story the way I did with potatoespigeons and a supermarket shelf. 20 slides, 7 minutes and (always!) too much too tell to an audience of 200 people. A pigeon is not a parakeet.

New project for CUBE museum (February, 2019)

As part of the exhibition LUXE (luxury) in the CUBE museum in Kerkrade, a new project called ‘Sponsored by’ was made, about the luxury of food in 2040. It has something to do with KLM Milk, Shell Sunflower oil and many more puns (better in Dutch). Together with Thieu Custers.

How to make a campaign workshop (March, 2019)

I revealed some of my deepest secrets behind my projects and the success of the pigeon campaign, Cut the Crap. (Yes, everyone loves pigeons now.) After that, we did a workshop where the students were asked to make a convincing yet extremely silly campaign about random objects. They ended up with crazy and unique ideas. They will take these methods along in their assignment to make a campaign for the ‘Stadslab’ in Heerlen.

HUH at Museumplein, Amsterdam ( dec. 3 2019)

On the third of december at 08:00 A.M, the Iamsterdam sign was removed from the museumplein in the Dutch capital. To refill the void that came to be and to make the transition to the empty square a bit more bearable, the enormous orange HUH was placed there instead two hours later. It resulted in the awakening of the media machine; an army of journalists came to see and report on this guerilla stunt. It was published at NOSTelegraaf, PownewsRTL NieuwsParoolNRCAT5, Dumpert (including some creative hatred), Hart van Nederland, I was interviewed at Radio5, etc, etc. Many of them -unjustly- stated that it was meant as a protest against the removal.

Regardless of some fake news, the intervention was a big success. Hundreds of tourists took pictures with a huge HUH on the background for hours – as if Iamsterdam was still there.

In the news and NRC cover (October, 2018)

A Fool Around was published in the NRC Design special of 2018. During DDW, VPRO interviewed me for their radio show Nooit Meer Slapen. De Volkskrant wrote a Fool Around too. 

The Design Academy Eindhoven made a podcast about my research for Cut the Crap, that I also presented at the Arena during DDW. 

Long live a shrinking economy? (March, 2019)

A publication in the Dutch newspaper about the political perspective on economical growth (read back here).

Graduated! (June, 2018)

I graduated cum laude from the Design Academy Eindhoven. Wiersema! has been officially launched. 

The road to graduation (feb-june, 2019)

I transported the Bread Suit looking like a dead body, emerged myself into the world of pigeons, made the biggest paper mache of my life and wrapped a huge HUH into orange canvas.

HUH part I (2018)

A first attempt at fooling around by taking it into a huge H-U-H into offices. They were confused. 

Patata potato (february 2018)

For Papa Populi I collected people’s political wishes on potatoes and spread the movement. I also ate a lot of tortilla. 

yes-no-yes-no and stereotyping myself (2018)

Experiments as part of my studies: a video of an endless line “welles-nietes-3x vaker welles-3x vaker nietes – etc”, as part of a research on nonsense debates and street protests. Second video: an interview with myself, reflecting on how I had been stereotyping myself in my methods as a designer.