Harm van den Dorpel in New Art Anthology by Rhizome

April 1, 2019

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.

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