Harm van den Dorpel’s broad practice includes sculpture, installation, works on paper, computer generated graphics and software. Rooted in the conceptual heritage of net.art, Van den Dorpel’s works often simulate neural networks. The role of technology in his works is a means to an end: a tool to increase the understanding of our experience. “I seek to produce works that explore not only the technological hardware we use in our daily lives, but how we use it, the modalities of interface that are created, enabled, facilitated and restricted by the advance of technology.”
Where traditional artistic mediums require the artist to create the work with their own hand, Van den Dorpel prefers to program software and trains it by looping continuous feedback through its output in order to produce works with unpredictable aesthetic outcomes. As many people nowadays equate artificial intelligence with neural networks, the artist wants to highlight other moments in this recent history of computation, approaching it as algorithmic archaeology.
Van den Dorpel is also an early explorer of Web3 and is the co-founder of blockchain-based art marketplace left.gallery. In 2015, he was the first artist to sell NFT's (non-fungible tokens) to a museum (see this article on ArtNews).
Harm van den Dorpel (1981, the Netherlands) lives and works in Berlin. His work is in the collections of a.o. the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, MAK Vienna, ZKM Karlsruhe. Selected (group) exhibitions include the New Museum in New York, MoMa PS1 in New York, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Museum Kurhaus Kleve, ZKM Karlsruhe, and the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. In 2015, Van den Dorpel started Left Gallery, an online gallery that commissions, produces, and sells downloadable files. His first solo exhibition at Upstream Gallery was Pattern and Presence (2018).