Loomer

 Harm van den Dorpel

Jan 23 - March 7, 2015

Harm van den Dorpel was born in Zaandam, the Netherlands, in 1981. He studied Interactive Design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy and Artificial Intelligence at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, where he later taught New Media from 2008-2012. And his work has been the subject of numerous solo shows at institutions such as the Abron Art Center in New York; the New Museum (NY); American Medium (NY); and The Moving Image fair in Istanbul. What’s more, he’s been included in a number of important exhibitions of late including: Private Settings at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); Image Employment at MoMA PS1 (2013); Free (2010) at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Collect the Wwworld at Link Art Centre, Brescia, Italy; and New Wave at the Internet Pavilion within the Venice Biennale, 2009.

 

My Bloody Valentine has a 2.53’ song called Loomer on their Loveless album. Webster’s defines it as either be someone ‘who weaves” using a mechanical device, or loom; or “a particularly momentous occurrence,” as in: “to assume form as an impending event.”

 

For Loomer, his first solo show in Los Angeles, the artist will be presenting a number of photo-based collages, Perspex sculptures, heat-shrink-wrap objects, videos and websites, many of which span the past five years.

 

 

Works in the exhibition:

 

The videos/websites (in consecutive order):

 

Showreel

2009

Video from screen capture of software

19m 50s Dimensions variable, 16:9 aspect, Stereo sound (optional)

5 + 1AP (website with domain name http://dubaibiennale.com is the AP)

 

 

 

 

Considered an “early work,” Showreel began with the domain, dubaibiennale, where the artist developed a screen capture system that would “auto post” random images to a blog that he created. After running for several months he ended up with 5,000 images, which he later condensed and orchestrated into a single work. Nevertheless, he discovered various associations that occurred naturally as he combing through the material (such as a dinosaur linking to a crab, linking to a gang-member’s hand-sign, etc.) The artist also designed the soundtrack.

 

 

 

Strategies

2010

Video from screen capture of software

5m 5s, Dimensions variable, stereo sound (optional)

5 + 1AP (website with domain name http://stra.tegi.es/ is the AP)

 

 

 

Commissioned by the Contemporary Art Museum in Rome for a show that dealt with collage. Strategies consists of virtually hundreds of collages that the artist made for the show. Meanwhile, as he was making the collages (which turn up again repeatedly in his photo-based collages, he was also reading ten different books on Kindle (including Hacker manifestos, art manifestos and linguistic theory—including works by Derrida). Kindle allowed him to both, highlight and cut-and-past, quotes as he read through each book, and those in turn surfaced in Strategies. The artist designed the sound track as well.

 

 

 

The Four Master Tropes

2011

Annotated YouTube video

4m 52s, dimensions variable, 16:9 aspect, stereo sound (optional)

Unique (http://thef.ourm.aste.rtrop.es)

 

 

 

The Four Master Tropes is a live-streaming website that hangs on a wall much like a painting, yet receives its feed in real time from YouTube. The approach and logic of the work is very similar to Strategies, however it uses two primary sources for its imagery: jpegs culled from aeviantArt.com and photos from his studio. The text meanwhile, is pulled from YouTube annotations, which the artist can alter or augment at will. Thus the work always remains a work in process and offers a direct link between the artist and the collector. The soundtrack was composed of free, generic musical sources.

 

 

 

Deep Tissue

2014

Website

loop (variable duration), dimensions variable, 16:9 aspect, stereo sound (optional)

Unique (http://deeptis.su/e)

 

 

 

A much newer work, Deep Tissue is also more personal than previous efforts. Like Four Master Tropes it’s a live-feed from a website and in many ways it was designed to “answer” his most well-known site, “Disassociations,” which consists of images of his own work. Disassociations used an algorithm to “train’ the website based on viewer interaction and clicks. But Deep Tissue features many of the same imagery from that site but features text that was written by the artist ahimself. Again, the artist composed the soundtrack.

 

 

 

Didactic Poetry

2015

Website

loop (variable duration), dimensions variable, 16:9 aspect, silent

Unique (http://didacticpoetry.com)

 

 

 

In 2014 the artist received what he describes as a “beautiful email” from someone who seemed to enjoy his work. Yet rather than writing him back, the artist created instead a website in response. The website, which runs as a live feed, features a snippet of the original email plus small annotations/remarks by the artist.

 

 

 

Sculpture (in consecutive order)

 

Cocoon (empty submitter)

2015

Shrink foil, lamp

Unique

 

 

 

Cocoon (full packaging)

2015

Shrink foil bubble wrap

Unique

 

 

 

Untitled Assemblage (shell)

2012

UV Print on PETG, hand cut with jigsaw, screws and bolts

approx. 100 x 100 x 100cm

Unique

 

 

 

Thank Bag You

2015

Hand cut paper bag

Unique

 

Collages (in consecutive order, clockwise)

 

At the center of van den Dorpel’s practice is the internet, both as source material and as focus. While he often produces photo-collages, sculptures and objects they invariably contain images and text that were originally uploaded to any one of the numerous websites designed by van den Dorpel. (The websites themselves are technically his primary artform). Furthermore, the objects themselves ultimately become photographs which in turn are uploaded again before reappearing in new object-based works later on. So all images follow a circuitous, Escher-like path that perhaps, never ends. But as the artist says, “I have no connection to the physical work. None. I see all the physical work as just accidental ‘debris’”

 

TS_Enlarged

2009-2015

2 Framed digital prints on paper

100 x 70cm (x4)

Unique

 

Couch

2009-2015

4 Framed digital prints on paper

100 x 70cm (x4)

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Beach Blast 2

2009-2015

2 Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Unique

 

Drawing of woman with inverted ovals

2009

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Bosjes in bos en lommer

2009 - 2015

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Urn and perfume

2009

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Real collage

2009

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

[a]*

2010

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Encapsulation (i)

2009 - 2015

Shrink wrapped framed digital print

100 x 70cm

Unique

 

Very Beta Still (01/2015)

2015

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Unique

 

Scanned Buddha Drawing

2014

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Special Occasion

2008

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

 

Improved watercolour

2008

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Heimwee

2014

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Vogelverschrikkers

2010 - 2015

Framed digital print on paper, spray paint

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Brace

2014

Framed digital print on paper

100 x 70cm

Edition of 5 + 1AP

 

Encapsulation (ii)

2015

Shrink wrapped framed digital print

100 x 70cm

Unique

 

In the artist’s words:

 

I am lying down in my bed, attempting to write texts about my upcoming solo exhibitions. The texts serve multiple purposes, of which the most important two are: a: provoke people to come see the show, write about it, buy the work, etc. and, b: help people understand what the exhibition is ‘about’.

 

Although I am writing the text myself, it is common to pretend to write it in the third person: ‘the artist’, ‘Van den Dorpel’, ‘he’, so it looks like I’m not exalting myself too much but appear humble, and to suggest that somebody else is writing it. An outsider perspective gives more authority, and protects the artist from explaining his own work - defence is so tempting.

 

I graduated art school in 2006, yet still hesitate to talk with people about what I do. At obligatory gatherings I rather tell that I’m a computer programmer, which is more tangible. Not that my work is not about something - I think it is about many things - but that what it is about, seems to run ahead of myself, and I will never quite catch up with it. (I suspect it is always about the same thing).

 

Often people approach explanations of my work in terms of ‘found imagery’, which is ‘culled’ from the internet. This emphasizes the ‘as-found nature’ of my source material. Because these images are from the internet, and I make an object in space using them, I’m labeled ‘post internet’, but this is not sustainable. Using existing images from the internet is not saying much about the work at all. It’s 2015. Appropriation is a default. It is a meaningless gesture in itself.

 

Fragments of images, texts, thoughts, sequences I combine, with a faint belief, that the result could somehow be something new, or at least new enough to me. Or at least new enough to you. And every time, when I manage to give a conceptual explanation of the result of this enduring association-mining, I must divert, or it dies.

 

Making art compensates a melancholic desire. There is this romantic notion that every object of desire is unattainable, because once acquired, once understood, it disappears by morphing into the banal. Although having access to financial means greatly reduces worries, it makes me sad that I have become a professional now. It sort of spoils it. I should not have married my mistress.

 

Absolute potential: performance artists are not theatre actors, and sound artists are not musicians. What is to become of me if not a computer programmer anymore?