Aram Bartholl

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Aram Bartholl
photo by Eva Paulsen 2011
Born Aram Bartholl
27 December 1972
Bremen, Germany
Nationality German
Education Berlin University of the Arts
Known for contemporary art, digital art, conceptual art

Aram Bartholl (born December 27, 1972 in Bremen, Germany) is a Berlin-based conceptual artist known for his examination of the relationship between the digital and physical world.[1] He is also known for works dealing with digital security.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Aram Bartholl graduated from Berlin University of the Arts in 2001 with an engineer's degree in architecture. His graduate thesis "Bits on Location" won the 2001 Browserday competition.[4] During Bartholl's studies, he held a nine-month internship position at the Rotterdam-based architecture office MVRDV. From 1996 to 2000, Bartholl was part of the artist group "Freies Fach" which was known for its discourse on urban matters and for its public interventions [5]


Aram Bartholl is variously identified as a media artist,[6] a conceptual artist,[7] a post-digital artist, and an interdisciplinary artist.[8] Bartholl’s work has been associated with that of Mathieu Tremblin and Benjamin Grosser.[9] He meticulously examines the implications of digital media and the changes in environment and circumstance that have resulted,[10] and attained global recognition for his seminal work, Map (2006), an augmented reality-based installation that bridges the real world and the virtual.[11]

In Bartholl's play on video game adaptations, he connects the virtual and real world in a new way.[12][13]

Notable Works[edit]


Map by Aram Bartholl at the show Hello World, Kasseler Kunstverein2013

In 2006, Bartholl created a public art installation called Map. Bartholl installs a large physical representation of the Google Maps pin in the exact location that Google Maps identifies as the enter of a city.[14][15] Locations thus far have included Taipei, Berlin, Arles, Tallinn and Kassel. Each sculpture remains in place for about three months, usually coinciding with a local art festival or exhibit.[16]

The series was designed to raise viewers' awareness of the increasing overlap between the virtual and the physical, and to highlight mapping services' influence on perceptions of location. Bartholl's physical representations of the Google Maps pin urges viewers to reevaluate the information given by digitized maps, the meaning of the “center” of a city, the politicization of boundaries, and other issues related to maps and the digital versus the physical world.[17]

Dead Drops[edit]

Dead Drops

Bartholl's ongoing Dead Drops project, started in 2010, set up an offline peer-to-peer file-sharing network at five public locations in New York using dead drops: USB sticks cemented into walls.[18]


Bartholl's work has been shown internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Solo shows:


In 2007 Bartholl received an honorable mention by the Transmediale for the piece "Random Screen" [20] and with the concept for the performance piece "Sociial" he won the 17th Video Art Award Bremen 2007 [21] For his Second Life related project "Sandbox Berlin" Bartholl received grants from the Cultural Department of the Senate of Berlin and in 2008 received the German Art Fund KUNSTFOND 10-month working grant.[22] In spring 2009 he was artist in residence at the V2 Institute for the Unstable Media residency program AIR and developed with help of the staff the "Tweet Bubble Series" during that period.


Aram Bartholl was previously represented by the galleries [DAM] Berlin | Frankfurt and xpo gallery Paris. He was a member of the Internet-based Free Art and Technology Lab a.k.a. F.A.T. Lab founded by Evan Roth and James Powderly from 2009 until its discontinuation[23] in 2015.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Chris Caeser (9 July 2009). "'World of Warcraft' exhibit may raise some brows". The Orange County Register. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Dead Drops: what to do if you see a USB stick sticking out of a wall". The Guardian. 8 March 2015. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Reisßmann, Ole (3 March 2014). "Kunst gegen Überwachung Wir basteln uns ein tragbares Funkloch". Spiegel Online. Retrieved 13 December 2016. 
  4. ^ Dauerer, Verena (6 December 2001). "Wenn der Gullydeckel piept". TAZ. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Biographie 'Freies Fach'
  6. ^ Voon, Claire. "Fire Up a Wifi Router Hidden Inside a Rock". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "Aram Bartholl". Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  8. ^ Moakly, Paul (24 October 2012). "Street View and Beyond: Google's Influence on Photography". Retrieved 6 January 2017. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Jonah Brucker-Cohen (29 September 2006). "Aram Bartholl Sees in FPS Mode". Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Auteur Focus". 22 August 2008. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2014-12-10. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Dead Drops: Bizarre new artwork embeds USB sticks in buildings". Mail Online. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  19. ^ Aram Bartholl: Reply All exhibition + “The Speed Book,” Berlin Archived January 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. in Wired (magazine) by Bruce Sterling, January 13, 2012
  20. ^ Transmediale honorable mention
  21. ^ Video Art Award Bremen 2007.
  22. ^ Kunstfonds grant Archived September 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "FFFFFAREWELL.AT". Retrieved 13 December 2016.