Hiorthøy was born and raised in Trondheim, Norway, and studied at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art (1991–96) as well as the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (1999-2000). During his tenure at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Hiorthøy spent a year abroad in 1994 to attend the School of Visual Arts in New York. There he worked extensively with Cinematographer Mott Hupfel. Currently, he lives and works in Berlin, Germany. A fictionalized version of Hiorthøy is a character in Erlend Loe's novel L.
Hiorthøy began making music while attending the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art; he worked in the academy's sound studio until he left school and purchased his own equipment. After various “collaborations and accidents”, his music was eventually introduced to Joakim Haugland of the Smalltown Supersound record label. Haugland asked Hiorthøy to work with the label, and in 2001 Hiorthøy released his debut album, “Hei”. He has subsequently released several albums, EPs, and 7 inch records with Smalltown Supersound.
Hiorthøy’s musical style is difficult to classify; the Smalltown Supersound website offers the following description: "On his records Kim Hiorthøy combines weird beats, lo-fi/leftfield electronics, field recordings, electro-acoustic sounds and samples, resulting in a sound all his own.” His live sets, however, differ from his recordings, with louder, faster beats and a techno undertone.
Graphic design and film
While exploring music at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Hiorthøy simultaneously began his work in graphic design. He started to publish fanzines and design record sleeves for local bands, and as time passed he began to work more seriously in a variety of creative mediums. To date, Hiorthøy has released several collections of photography, drawing and design, and has provided cover artworks for such record labels as Rune Grammofon, Smalltown Supersound, Smalltown Superjazzz and the rock group Motorpsycho. He is currently represented by STANDARD, an Oslo-based gallery aimed at promoting contemporary Norwegian artists. Some of his other creative achievements include film directing, film photography, and illustration for children’s books.
In a 2004 interview with KultureFlash.com, Hiorthøy described the relationship between graphic design and music: “I regard them as very different things, even though the place in my head that decides if something works or not is the same for both”.
- "Tree Weekend", 2000, Die Gestalten Verlag
- "Du kan ikke svikte din beste venn og bli god til å synge samtidig", 2002, Oktober
- "Katalog", 2003, Smalltown Superbooks
- "Tago Mago", 2007, Bergen Kunsthall on the occasion of the exhibition
- Erlend Loe - "Fisken", 1994
- Sissel Lie - "Pusegutten en en drittsekk!", 1995
- Erlend Loe - "Kurt blir grusom", 1995
- Sissel Lie - "Pusegutten og den lille gule", 1996
- Erlend Loe - "Den store røde hunden", 1996
- Sissel Lie - "Pusegutten er eldst og tykkest", 1997
- Bjørn Sortland - "Den solbrente mammaen som blei bytta mot ti kamelar", 1997
- Erlend Loe - "Kurt for alle", 1998
- Erlend Loe - "Kurt quo vadis?", 1998
- Lunde, Stein Erik - "Eggg", 1998
- Sissel Lie - "Pusegutter tåler nesten alt", 1999
- Tore Renberg - "Hando Kjendo : søndag", 1999
- Bjørn Sortland - "Den solbrente mammaen som kledde seg naken for å bli kunst", 1999
- Kim Fupz Aakeson - "Da gud fikk en hobby", 1999
- Tore Renberg - "Hando Kjendo : torsdag", 2000
- Erlend Loe - "Kurt 3", 2001
- Erlend Loe - "Kurt koker hodet", 2003
- Jaga Jazzist - "What We Must", 2005
- "Hei", 2000 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "Melke", 2001 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "Hopeness EP", 2004 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "For the Ladies", 2004 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "Live Shet", 2004 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "This Record Can Not Set Me On Fire", 2006 (12"), Smalltown Supersound
- "I'm This, I'm That", 2006 (7"), Smalltown Supersound
- "My Last Day", 2007 (CD), Smalltown Supersound
- "Dogs", 2014 (CD, 12"), Smalltown Supersound
- "Kim Hiorthøy Biography". Standardoslo.no. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "The Milk Factory Interview with Kim Hiorthøy". Themilkfactory.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "Smalltown Supersound Artists". Smalltownsupersound.com. Retrieved 2007-09-02.
- "Artworker of the Week 37, Kim Hiorthøy". Kultureflash.net. Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2007-09-02.