Remind Me Later

Solo Show
8. July – 28. September 2016
Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Germany

Perhaps you are reading this text on your mobile device?.

Do you have your phone under control or does it have a grip on you in its grip?

The consequences of technological developments on our social lives and relationships is a central theme in the work of Aram Bartholl.

In the current exhibition, Bartholl looks into the digital everyday live. ‘Remind me later’ is a very well known term for us instantly recognisable to us as users. As a form of reflex and self-defence against the constant stream of new automatic updates, we immediately the click tap othe ‘Remind me later’ button has become a habitual immediate reaction.

Digitalisation can undoubtedly connect us, but can also produce alienation. Meet with friends? Spend time outdoors in nature? Remind me later. Often, the mobile phone is more captivating of attention than the person sitting opposite. The limitless possibilities of communication have more to offer than real life? Really?

Aram Bartholl investigates the social side effects of digitalisation, and examines their influence on our analogue lives. In doing so, his work often incorporates outdoor space and blends perceptions of the real and the virtual. His work in Arnsberg continues in this vein, with humour and great sensitivity.

Aram Bartholl was born in Bremen in 1972 and lives in Berlin. He is guest professor at the Kunstakademie in Kassel and at UCLA in Los Angeles.


Dead Drops at Palais de Tokyo

Solo Show
24. June – 23. September 2015

Four Dead Drops are installed in different places of the museum. Visitors are invited to bring a laptop to connect to them.

“From the very beginning, I always encouraged people to leave their art on there. Especially for the MoMA dead drops, I made this blog post like, ‘If you want to be able to claim you had art in the MoMA, you can just go now and put something on there’.” Aram Bartholl
Dead Drops is a participative project started in 2010 by German multi-media artist Aram Bartholl. A dead drop or dead letter box is a term from the field of espionage and designates a method used to transmit information or items at a secret location. This anonymous peer to peer file-sharing network is based on USB keys cemented into a wall or other support in public space. The GPS coordinates of the site are then posted on the Dead Drops website. Each dead drop is installed empty except for a simple text file explaining the project. Users are invited to share documents, pics, digital works, films or whatever suits their fancy. A  computer with a USB port is the only thing needed to connect to the not interconnected network. After having installed and referenced the first five dead drops in New York and on the web, Bartholl’s project unexpectedly took off, spreading internationally. As of May 2015, over 1520 Dead Drops had been submitted to deaddrops.com. Aside from its crazy concept, the project tries to rematerialise the dematerialised world of computers. Following the revelations by Edward Snowden, at a time when clouds and the debate on internet censorship and privacy have become hot topics, this project is now more then ever front and center on the political stage.
Born in Germany in 1972, Bartholl focuses on interrelations between the digital world and our physical surroundings. He obtained his degree in architecture from the University of arts in Berlin, where he lives and works. His artistic work has been shown in numerous festivals and exhibitions in museums and galleries. In 2011, five Dead Drops were part of the “Talk to me” exhibition at the MoMA in New York and a new facet of the project saw the day in 2013 with the installation of a DVD Dead Drop at Museum of the Moving Image in New York as well. Palais de Tokyo is the first French institution to welcome Dead Drops.

Cited from “Somewhere between Cyber and Real: An interview with Aram Bartholl”, by Jillian Steinhauer, 2012, http://hyperallergic.com

Point Of View

Solo Show
20. February – 10. April 2015
Babycastles, New York

‘Point Of View’ questions the current paradigm shift of perspective. What is the role of the hand held screen framing our everyday life? How has gaming shaped the representation of our digital self?

Over the past 100 years the screen has moved constantly closer to our eyes. Most people today spend significantly more time looking at smart-phone screens than at computer screens or TVs (not to mention the cinema screen Games have been an important driving motor for the development of digital culture in the past four decades. The first person view popularized by early computer games like Doom and Duke Nukem has now entered the  real world with the growing popularity of head-mounted cameras. GoPro and Google Glass users generate a constant stream of pictures with their hands in view like a digital avatar. A whole range of digital glasses are poised to enter the market. The Oculus Rift promises the classic idea of cyberspace an immersive reality, while people in public extend their body with a selfie stick. Is the view leaving our body now? Will the picture frame finally disappear?

Let’s enjoy the last years of looking at each others screens in public transportation or over the shoulder in Let’s Play gaming videos. The point of view is changing.

Aram Bartholl 2015

Workshop on opening night: Build your own POV head band for your phone!


Hurt me plenty

Solo Show
13. September – 1. November 2014
DAM Gallery, Berlin

In his solo show Aram Bartholl exhibits a new series of works inspired by the questions and developments engaging humankind’s ‘entry’ into the digital realm and the role of the first person as ‘shooter’. Bartholl deconstructs stereotypes about pixel imaging with unique large-scale works that are subtly combined with a series of pieces about issues of privacy, surveillance and net neutrality. With this exhibition, Bartholl proposes a new discourse that challenges the current debates about surveillance versus the seemingly antiquated ideas and images of ‘cyberspace’.

Introduction by Olia Lialina, Professorin New Media at the Merz Akademie Stuttgart.


Hurt me plenty – opening speech by Olia Lialina
press release DAM gallery, by Tina Sauerländer PDF
aqnb.com “Aram Bartholl, Hurt me plenty (2014)” by Jean Kay
makezine.com ‘Aram Bartholl’s First-Person Shooter Art Exhibition’ by Andrew Salomone
Breitband Deutschlandradio, ‘Vorsicht Ironie’ by Moritz Metz  (mp3, at 20:13 min)
kotaku.com ‘Yes, Even Duke Nukem Is Art‘ by Luke Plunkett


Hello World

Solo Show
30. September – 13. October 2013

Aram Bartholl prefers to funnel Internet into “real” life. At the museum entrance, he has reproduced the backdrop of first-person shooter game Counterstrike. “A lot of people play this kind of game and know its layout quite well”, said Bartholl. That is why he wanted to bring these spaces into real life – which particularly excited him as an architect. “These buildings only exist on servers and software. I think they should be built.”

The piece “Are you Human” shows a captcha code on large, rusty iron loops on the floor. These are the codes that users must often input on websites to post a comment to an article.

Captcha codes can not be read by machines. By entering the code, users alert the program or the website that they are a human and not a bot that sends spam. “It was important for me to experiment with it on a big scale and give real weight and materiality to an otherwise fleeting Internet signature,” Bartholl said.

Many “officials” from the art scene are still wary of web art. But this seems to be slowly changing. “At first Internet was not so overtly visible in public,” said the exhibition’s curator Olaf Val, from Kassel Art Association. “Now one can see Internet subjects on the news every day. And the consequence is that the artists involved with it are also taken more seriously.” Val said he hopes that in the future, increasing numbers web artists are able to exhibit their work.

The public is certainly interested. Visitors at the Kassel exhibition are not only computer and Internet nerds but hail from all age groups interested in art. Nevertheless, one part of the exhibition leaves some visitors clueless. Bartholl curated a parallel exhibition, in which 14 artists participated. It is a room with 14 routers. Each router shows a piece of Internet artwork (a website, a video, or an animation). But it only works if you have a smartphone, as visitors must log into the router to see the artwork. This is a perfect example of Bartholl’s intent: show how digital and real world converge. But it is also a reminder that not everyone is so well-connected to the digital world. Visitors without a tablet or a smartphone only see small, black squares on a wall.

Bartholl’s works are closely in tune with the times. He must constantly create something new, because Internet and the way people interact with it changes so quickly. The artist has even chased after a Google-camera car while waving. As a result he makes a few cameo appearances on Google Streetview, while the houses behind him are pixelated.

Edward Snowden and the NSA affair have also inspired Bartholl. He has printed an encrypted key in big letters on a canvas. To the left is a portrait of US president, Barack Obama, wearing Google glasses. Only one word protrudes from the speech bubble: “PRISM.”

from: http://www.dw.com/en/out-of-the-internet-and-into-the-gallery/a-17085144

Retweet if you want more followers

Solo Show
17. May – 26. June 2013
xpo gallery, Paris

Aram Bartholl’s work creates an interplay between internet, culture and reality. The versatile communication channels are taken for granted these days, but how do they influence us? According to the paradigm change of media research Bartholl not just asks what man is doing with the media, but what media does with man. The tension between public and private, online and offline, technology infatuation and everyday life creates the core of his producing.

For the show Retweet if you want more followers at xpo gallery, Paris exhibition Aram Bartholl created a series of new works questioning the Internet immanent ubiquitous scream for attention. The constant stream of codes, signs and change force the user to filter, decode and recalibrate every day. Screen scape of high speed time lines, hidden code, endless video or 3D space invade our minds for ever while large parts are blocked. The impossible to remember what link was hot last week is ignored by the calm, hypnotic glow of the screen which makes us smile. Retweet this now!