Hito Steyerl

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Born September 17, 1966(1966-09-17)
Munich, West Germany (today Germany)
Lives in Berlin, Germany
Website Mastodon
Web UbuWeb, Aaaaarg, Wikipedia, IMDB
Collections Van Abbe, MoMA, Reina Sofia, Artic, Tate

Hito Steyerl (1966, Munich) works as a filmmaker, philosopher, and cultural critic. She roots her investigative practice in the proliferation of digital images and the large-scale implications of such circumstances. Steyerl’s work takes the form of essays, lectures, installations, video, and photography.

Considering such topics as the ways in which money enters and influences the art world, post-structural philosophy, free ports, and military propaganda, Steyerl’s practice is both acutely political and timely. In addition to teaching, she co-founded the Research Center for Proxy Politics, together with Vera Tollmann and Boaz Levin. Operating from 2014 through 2017, the organisation hosted lectures and discussions on various topics, including the potential for resistance within a networked society and the role of art in emergency situations.

Steyerl's works were shown at the 3rd Berlin Biennale (2004), Manifesta 5 (2004), documenta 12 (2007), the Shanghai Biennale (2008) and in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2015.

She studied in Tokyo, Munich, and Vienna before moving to Berlin, where she lives and works today. (2017)

Films, installations[edit]

  • Deutschland und das Ich, 1994, 42 min.
  • Land des Lächelns / Land of Smiles, 1996, 2 min.
  • Babenhausen, 1997, 4 min.
  • Die leere Mitte / The Empty Center, 1998, 62 min.
  • Normalität 1-10 / Normality 1–10, 1999, 32 min.
  • Europas Traum / Europe’s Dream, 2001, 80 min.
  • Euroscapes, 2003. Shown at 3rd Berlin Biennale, 2004.
  • November, 2004, 25 min. [1]. Shown at Manifesta 5 in San Sebastian.
  • Journal #1—An Artist's Impression, 2007, 21 min.
  • Red Alert, 2007. Shown at documenta 12.
  • Lovely Andrea, 2007, 30 min. Shown at documenta 12.
  • Do you speak Spamsoc, 2008.
  • Red Alert 2, 2008.
  • In/Dependence, 2008, 6 min.
  • After the Crash, 2009, 7 min.
  • The Building, 2009.
  • In Free Fall, 2010, 32 min.
  • Strike, 2010, 1 min.
  • Abstract, 2012, 5 min.
  • Adorno's Grey, 2012, 14 min.
  • Guards, 2012, 20 min.
  • How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013, 16 min.
  • Is the Museum a Battlefield?, 2013, 36 min.
  • Liquidity Inc., 2014, 30 min.
  • Factory of the Sun, 2015, 23 min. Presented in the German pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015.
  • The Tower, 2015, 8 min. 3-channel video installation, environment, HD video, color, sound. Shown at 9. Berlin Biennale 2016.
  • ExtraSpaceCraft, 2016, 12'30". 3-channel video installation, environment, HD video, color, sound. Shown at 9. Berlin Biennale 2016.
  • Hell Yeah We Fuck Die, 2016. Shown at the Sao Paolo Biennale, 2016.
  • City of Broken Windows, 2018.
  • with Giorgi Gago Gagoshidze, Miloš Trakilović Mission Accomplished: BELANCIEGE, 2019.
  • This Is the Future, 2019.
  • SocialSim, 2020.
  • Animal Spirits, 2022. Commissioned for Steyerl's solo exhibition at MMCA Seoul.

Lectures (video)[edit]

  • How Not to Be Seen, The Photographic Universe II, Parsons the New School for Design, New York, Apr 2013. [2]

Monographs, catalogues[edit]

The Wretched of the Screen, 2012, Log.
Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War, 2017, Log, HTML.
  • editor, with Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Spricht die Subalterne deutsch? Postkoloniale Kritik und Migration, Münster: Unrast, 2003, 296 pp; repr., 2012. TOC. [4] (German)
  • editor, with Maria Lind, The Green Room: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art #1, Berlin: Sternberg, and Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art/Bard College, 2008, 231 pp. Introduction. [7] Exh. catalogue. (English)
  • Hito Steyerl, ed. & intro. Marius Babias, Cologne: Walther König, 2010, 196 pp. Texts by T.J. Demos and Bert Rebhandl. Exh. held at n.b.k. Berlin, 29 Aug-18 Oct 2009. [8] (German)/(English)
  • Hito Steyerl: Seven Seconds from the Exhibition, intro. Tone Hansen, Høvikodden: Henie Onstad Art Centre, 2010, 93 pp. Essays by Pablo Lafuente, Hito Steyerl, and Maria Muhle. Exh. held 20 May-15 Aug 2010. [9] (English)
  • Ricochet #3. Hito Steyerl, ed. Michael Buhrs, Munich: Museum Villa Stuck, 2010, 48 pp. Text by Michael Buhrs, interview with Steyerl. Exh. held 22 Jul-26 Sep 2010. [10] (German)/(English)
  • The Wretched of the Screen, intro. Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Berlin: Sternberg (e-flux journal), 2012, 198 pp. (English)
    • Los condenados de la pantalla, trans. Marcelo Expósito, Buenos Aires: Caja Negra, 2014, 204 pp. (Spanish)
    • Sŭk'ŭrin ŭi ch'ubangjadŭl [히토 슈타이얼, 〈스크린의 추방자들〉], Seoul: Workroom, 2016, 296 pp; rev.ed., 2018, 328 pp. [11] [12] (Korean)
    • Χίτο Στέγιερλ, Της οθόνης οι κολασμένες, trans. Κριστιάνα Κυρίτση and Στέφανος Ρέγκας, Athens: Topovoros, 2018, 128 pp. Publisher. (Greek)
  • Hito Steyerl, Chicago: Art Institute Chicago, 2013, [10] pp. Exh. brochure; exh. held 1 Nov 2012-27 Jan 2013. (English)
  • Hito Steyerl, New York: Artists Space, 2015. Online anthology of 15 essays published in transversal and e-flux. Exh. held 8 Mar-24 May 2015. (English)
  • Left To Our Own Devices, Berlin: KOW, 2015, 14 pp. Exh. booklet. Text by Alexander Koch. Exh. held at KOW, 17 Sep-5 Dec 2015. (English)/(German)
  • Duty-Free Art, Madrid: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 2015, 173 pp. Exh. held 11 Nov 2015-21 Mar 2016. (Spanish)/(English)
  • Jenseits der Repräsentation / Beyond Representation. Essays 1999-2009, ed. Marius Babias, Cologne: Walther König (n.b.k. Diskurs 4), 2016, 272 pp. With contributions by Thomas Elsässer, Simon Sheik. TOC. [13] (English)/(German)
    • Dincolo de reprezentare: eseuri, 1999-2009, trans. Andrei Anastasescu, Cluj: IDEA Design & Print, 2017, 168 pp. Publisher. (Romanian)
  • Duty Free Art: Art in the Age of Planetary Civil War, London: Verso, 2017, 244 pp. (English)
    • Duty Free Art : Kunst in Zeiten des globalen Bürgerkriegs, Zürich: Diaphanes, 2018, 256 pp. (German)
    • Arte duty free: el arte en la era de la guerra civil planetaria, trans. Fernando Bruno, Buenos Aires: Caja Negra, 2018, 286 pp. (Spanish)
    • Duty free art: l'arte nell'epoca della guerra civile planetaria, trans. Nicoletta Poo, Milan: Johan & Levi, 2018, 209 pp. (Italian)
    • Toldfri kunst: kunst i den verdensomspændende borgerkrigs tidsalder, trans. Peter Borum, Copenhagen: Information, 2020, 244 pp. Publisher. (Danish)
    • De l'art en duty free: l'art à l'époque de la guerre civile planétaire, trans. Armelle Chrétien, Dijon: Les presses du réel, 2021, 304 pp. Publisher. (French)
    • Myeonse misul [면세 미술: 지구 내전 시대의 미술], Seoul: Workroom (워크룸 프레스), 2021, 232 pp. (Korean)
    • Dyūtī furī āto kasareru mono naki geijutsu: hoshi o ōu naisen jidai no āto [デューティーフリー・アート:課されるものなき芸術 : 星を覆う内戦時代のアート], Tokyo: Firumuātosha (フィルムアート社), 2021, 382 pp. (Japanese)
    • Umění bez daně. Umění v éře planetární občanské války, trans. Vít Bohal, Prague: VVP AVU, 2023, 200 pp. Publisher. [14] (Czech)
  • Hito Steyerl: Factory of the Sun, Copenhagen: Billedkunstskolernes Forlag, 2017, 59 pp. Exh. catalogue. (Danish)/(English)
  • with Clemens Apprich, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, and Florian Cramer, Pattern Discrimination, Lüneburg: meson press & University of Minnesota Press, 2018, xii+123 pp. (English)
  • Hito Steyerl: The City of Broken Windows, eds. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev and Marianna Vecellio, Milan: Skira, 2019, 208 pp. Publisher. (Italian)
    • Hito Steyerl: The City of Broken Windows, Milan: Skira, 2019, 208 pp. Publisher. (English)
  • Rūam botkhwām khō̜ng Hito Chataiyœ̄n: praden chai chai khō̜ng yuk rūamsamai nai khwāmkīeodō̜ng khō̜ng #theknōlōyī #sinlapa læ # kānthahān [รวมบทความของฮิโตะ ชไตเยิร์ล : ประเด็นชั่ยๆ ของยุคร่วมสมัยในความเกี่ยวดองของ #เทคโนโลยี #ศิลปะ และ #การทหาร], trans. อธิป จิตตฤกษ์, เก่งกิจ กิติเรียงลาภ และพนา กันธา, and จุฑา สุวรรณมงคล, Krung Thēp: Sō̜i (ซอย), 2563 [2020], 363+[27] pp. Publisher. (Thai)
  • Formations en mouvement: textes choisis, eds. & intro. Florian Ebner and Marcella Lista, trans. Armelle Chrétien, Christophe Jouanlanne, and Nicole Viaud, Paris: Éditions du Centre Pompidou, and Leipzig: Spector Books, 2021, 340 pp. Publisher. (French)
  • Hito Steyerl: This Is the Future, ed. Adelina Vlas, Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, and Munich: Delmonico Books/Prestel, 2019, 196 pp. Essays by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Brian Droitcour, Adelina Vlas. Exh. held 24 Oct 2019-23 Feb 2020. (English)
  • Hito Steyerl: I Will Survive, eds. Florian Ebner, Susanne Gaensheimer, Doris Krystof, and Marcella Lista, Düsseldorf: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Paris: Centre Pompidou, and Leipzig: Spector Books, 2020, 281+230 pp. Exh. held at Kunstsammlung NRW, 26 Sep 2020-10 Jan 2021, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, 3 Feb-7 Jun 2021. Publisher. Publisher. (German)/(English)
    • Hito Steyerl: I Will Survive: Espaces physiques et virtuels, Leipzig: Spector Books, 2021, 281+230 pp. Publisher. (French)/(English)

Book chapters, articles[edit]

  • "Kultur und Verbrechen", transversal, Vienna: eipcp, Oct 2000; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 84-88. (German)
    • "Culture and Crime", transversal, Vienna: eipcp, Oct 2000; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 208-211; repr., e-flux Notes, May 2022. (English)
  • "Expo 2000: A Bourgeois Utopia", in Gallery (Dante) Marino Cettina: Future Perspectives, eds. Marina Grzinic, et al., Umag, 2001; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 212-221. (English)
    • "Expo 2000: eine bürgerliche Utopie", in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 89-99. (German)
  • "Haunting Humanism", in Wie wird man fremd?, ed. Jour fixe initiative Berlin, Freiburg: Unrast, 2001, pp 153-171.
  • "Ones and Zeros", in First Story: Women Building New Narratives for the Twenty-First Century, vol. 2, ed. Ute Meta Bauer, Cologne: Walther König, 2002. (English)
  • "Reise und Rasse", in Im Handgepäck Rassismus: Beiträge zu Tourismus und Kultur, eds. Martina Backes, Tina Goethe, Stephan Günther, and Rosaly Magg, Freiburg: Informationszentrum Dritte Welt, 2002, pp 19-42. (German)
  • "Die Artikulation des Protestes", transversal, Vienna: eipcp, Sep 2002; repr. in Transversal. Kunst und Globalisierungskritik, ed. Gerald Raunig, Vienna: Turia+Kant (republicart), 2003, pp 19-28; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 25-31. [18] (German)
  • "Postkolonialismus und Biopolitik", in Spricht die Subalterne deutsch? Postkoloniale Kritik und Migration, eds. Hito Steyerl and Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Münster: Unrast, 2003, pp 38-55. (German)
  • "Framing Globalities", in Gouvernementalität, eds. Encarnacion Gutierrez-Rodriguez and Marianne Pieper, Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2003, pp 32-37.
  • "The Empty Center", in In Stuff It: The Video Essay in the Digital Age, ed. Ursula Biemann, Zurich: Voldemeer, and Vienna: Springer, 2003, pp 46-54. (English)
  • "Gaps and Potentials: The Exhibition "Heimat Kunst": Migrant Culture as an Allegory of the Global Market", New German Critique 92: "Multicultural Germany: Art, Performance and Media", Spring-Summer 2004, pp 159-168. [21] (English)
  • "Dokumentarismus und Dokumentalität", in Die Visualität der Theorie vs. Die Theorie der Visualität, eds. Nina Möntmann and Dorothee Richter, Frankfurt am Main: Revolver, 2004, pp 141-160. (German)
    • "The Violence of Images: Documentarism and Documentality", in Concerning War: A Critical Reader, eds. Maria Hlavajova and Jill Winder, Utrecht: BAK, and Frankfurt am Main: Revolver, 2006; 2nd ed. as Concerning War: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, 2010. [22] [23] [24] (English)
    • "Dokumentation och dokumentalitet", trans. Daniel Holdenmark and Michael Ranta, in Konst, makt och politik, ed. Simon Sheikh, Stockholm: Raster, 2007, pp 214-237. (Swedish)
  • "Euroscapes", in 3 Berlin Biennale für zeitgenössische Kunst, ed. Ute Meta Bauer, Cologne: Walter König, 2004, pp 22-27.
  • "Fiktion Europa", in Das Neue Europa, eds. Marius Babias and Dan Perjovshi, Vienna: Generali Foundation, 2005, pp 65-73. (German)
  • "Mimesis und Anpassung", in Filmriss, ed. Willi Bischof. Münster: Unrast, 2005, pp 29-38. (German)
  • "White Cube and Black Box", in Mythen, Masken und Subjekte. Kritische Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland, eds. Susan Arndt, Maureen Maisha Eggers, Grada Kilomba, and Peggy Piesche, Münster: Unrast, 2005, pp 135-144. (German)
  • "The Institution of Critique", transversal, Vienna: eipcp, Jan 2006; repr. in Art and Contemporary Critical Practice: Reinventing Institutional Critique, eds. Gerald Raunig and Gene Ray, London: MayFly Books, 2009, pp 13-19; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 223-227. (English)
  • "Die Gegenwart der Subalternen", intro. in Gayatri Spivak, Can the Subaltern speak? Postkolonialität und subalterne Artikulation, Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2007, pp 5-15; repr., Translate, Vienna: eipcp, 9 Dec 2007. Excerpt. [25]
  • "Notes about Spamsoc", Pages 7, Mar 2009, pp 59-67; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 167-172. [26] (English)
    • "Bemerkungen über Spamsoc", in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 40-46. (German)
  • "Is a Museum a Factory?", e-flux 7, New York: e-flux, Jun 2009; repr. in Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen, 2012; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 228-237. (English)
    • "¿Es el museo una fábrica?", trans. Marcelo Expósito, in Steyerl, Los condenados de la pantalla, 2014. (Spanish)
    • "Ist das Museum eine Fabrik", in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 107-115. (German)
  • "In Defense of the Poor Image", e-flux 10, New York: e-flux, Nov 2009; repr. in Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen, 2012, pp 31-45; repr. in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 147-153. An earlier version was improvised in a response given at the conference Essayfilm: Ästhetik und Aktualität in Lüneburg organised by Thomas Tode and Sven Kramer in 2007. (English)
    • Chinese trans., [2011]. (Chinese)
    • "En defensa de la imagen pobre", trans. Marcelo Expósito, in Steyerl, Los condenados de la pantalla, 2014. (Spanish)
    • "V bran revne podobe", trans. Miha Šuštar, ŠUM 3, Ljubljana: Društvo Galerija Boks, Oct 2014, pp 251-261, HTML. (Slovenian)
    • "In Verteidigung des armen Bildes", in Steyerl, Beyond Representation, 2016, pp 17-24. (German)
    • U obranu loše slike, eds. Ana Hušman, Ivana Meštrov, and Dubravka Sekulić, trans. Marko Maras, Zagreb: Knjižnice grada Zagreba, Art radionica Lazareti, Studio Pangolin, 2020, 21 pp. Publisher. (Croatian)
  • "A Thing Like You and Me", in Hito Steyerl: Seven Seconds from the Exhibition, 2010; repr. in e-flux 15, New York: e-flux, Apr 2010; repr. in Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen, 2012. (English)
  • "In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment", in On Horizons: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art, eds. Maria Hlavajova, Simon Sheikh, and Jill Winder, Rotterdam: Post Editions, and Utrecht: BAK, 2011; rev. as "In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective", e-flux 24, New York: e-flux, Apr 2011; repr. in Steyerl, The Wretched of the Screen, 2012. Commissioned by Simon Sheikh for the 2nd Former West Research Congress in Istanbul, which took place 4-6 Nov 2010. [28] (English)
    • "En caída libre. Un experimento mental sobre la perspectiva vertical", trans. Marcelo Expósito, in Steyerl, Los condenados de la pantalla, 2014. (Spanish)
    • "En chute libre: une tentative de réflexion sur la perspective verticale", Inframince 15: "L’image n’est pas le territoire: données, points de vue et cartographie", eds. Caroline Bernard and Nicolas Giraud, Arles: École nationale supérieure de la photographie, 2020. [29] (French)
  • "Kobanê Is Not Falling", e-flux, 10 Oct 2014; repr. in New World Academy Reader, 5: Stateless Democracy, eds. Renée In der Maur and Jonas Staal, et al., Utrecht: BAK, 2015, pp 223-227. (English)
  • "Beginnings", e-flux 59, New York: e-flux, Nov 2014. (English)
  • "On Games", New Left Review 103, Jan/Feb 2017. [30] (English)
  • "Ripping reality: blinde Flecken und beschädigte Daten in 3D", in Sichtbar machen. Politiken des Dokumentarfilms, eds. Elisabeth Büttner, Vrääth Öhner, and Lena Stölzl, Facultas, 2017. Publisher. (German)
  • "Die dokumentarische Unschärferelation: was ist Dokumentarismus?", in Nähe auf Distanz. Eigendynamik und mobilisierende Kraft politischer Bilder im Internet, eds. Isabelle Busch, Uwe Fleckner and Judith Waldmann, De Gruyter, 2020, pp 101-110. [31] (German)
  • "Common Sensing?", New Left Review 144, Nov/Dec 2023. [32] (English)

Conversations, interviews[edit]

  • "Hito Steyerl. „Die Realität hat sich erweitert, und ich folge ihr“. Ein Gespräch von Katja Kwastek", Kunstforum 242: "Postdigital", 2016, pp 122-131. Excerpt. (German)
  • Anuradha Vikram, "Internet. “Bias Is Not a Bug. It's a Feature”: An Interview with Hito Steyerl on Representation in the Digital Age", in A Companion to Contemporary Art in a Global Framework, eds. Jane Chin Davidson and Amelia Jones, John Wiley & Sons, Oct 2023. [35] [36]

On Hito Steyerl[edit]

  • Too Much World: The Films of Hito Steyerl, ed. Nick Aikens, Berlin: Sternberg Press, Eindhoven: Van Abbemuseum, and Brisbane: Institute of Modern Art, 2014, 274 pp, ARG. Exh. held at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 12 Apr-22 Jun 2014; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 13 Dec 2014-21 Mar 2015. (English)
  • Text\Werk. Lektüren zu Hito Steyerl, eds. Lilian Haberer, Philipp Hohmann, Anna Polze, Julia Reich, and Jolanda Wessel, Berlin: Hatje Cantz, Jul 2022, 255 pp. Publisher. (German)