Upstream Focus - Harm van den Dorpel

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Upstream Gallery presents Upstream Focus, a series of single work exhibitions in our private viewing space. Every week we will highlight the work of one artist, both online as well as offline. The fifth Upstream Focus are Harm van den Dorpel’s Bars (2019) and Trebles (2018). In this document we will delve deeper into these works and the artist.

Bars, 2019 UltraChrome HD print on HahnemĂźhle paper 100 x 100

Trebles, 2019 UltraChrome HD print on HahnemĂźhle paper 100 x 100

For the series Decompressions (Structures of redundancy) each unique work, of which Bars is one, is a composition evolving from primitive Turing machines. Van den Dorpel: “The more I lose myself in coding, the more I encounter historical computer science and AI relics. The algorithm used here is my contemporary interpretation of Cartesian genetic programming, which was invented in 1999.�

Harm van den Dorpel Harm van den Dorpel’s broad practice includes sculpture, installation, works on paper, computer generated graphics and software. Rooted in the conceptual heritage of, 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.” Van den Dorpel’s recent work has built on cognitive concerns and sense of possibility, increasingly placing language at the centre —both as a means of communication as well as a technology in its own right. Harm van den Dorpel (1981, the Netherlands) lives and works in Berlin. 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).

Further reading Art Basel | Miami (2018) Artist Talk with Harm van den Dorpel. Video here. Harm van den Dorpel at Art Rotterdam (2019) here. Short screen capture of Event Listeners, OSX Screensaver by Harm van den Dorpel, 2015. See here.

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