Harm van den Dorpel in New Art Anthology by Rhizome
About 100,000 digital paintings are tiled in the online gallery of Death Imitates Language, representing the cumulative output of a computer-driven composition system initiated by artist Harm van den Dorpel in 2016. Beginning with a single, original pair of images—a nongendered “Adam & Eve”—the system “breeds” images together iteratively to create possible new compositions. Van den Dorpel then reviews the results, excising some aesthetic expressions and encouraging others, like a breeder selecting favorable traits; some images are also produced physically for gallery exhibition. Even in physical form, the works resist classification as singular objects: transparent, layered, and fluid in composition, they appear as frozen moments from larger dynamic systems and ecologies.