Jacob Koster


Jacob Koster is a researcher who explores socially engaged art and social movement practice, as well as aesthetics and the philosophy of art, the legacies of modernism, and the critical inheritance of the Frankfurt School.

He collaborated with Renzo Martens on the Institute for Human Activities, an art project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, experiencing first-hand the life cycle of an activist art project. He co-organized the Institute’s exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the 7th Berlin Biennale.

Jacob studied Economics and Philosophy before gaining a PhD in Art History and his practice draws on multiple disciplines. He also worked as a researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium.

His writing has appeared in ArtReview, Compact, and Sublation Magazine. He is currently researching a new account of social practice using the concept of prefiguration.


  • What was Aesthetics?

    29 May 2024  – 31 July 2024

    Long considered a moribund discipline, aesthetics has made a surprise comeback. In its current form, however, aesthetics has little to do with the Enlightenment notions on which it was originally based. This seminar led by Jacob Koster asks what aesthetics was before it was subjected to a radical critique since the mid-19th century.