Constant Dullaart (Netherlands, 1979) works primarily with the Internet as an alternative space of presentation and (mis)representation. His often-political approach is critical of the control that corporate systems have upon our perception of the world, and the way in which we passively adopt their languages. His practice includes websites, performances, installations and manipulated found images, presented both offline and in the public space of the Internet.
Dullaart explores the Internet's opacity and highlights the extent to which onscreen data is controlled, enhanced, distorted, and often presented as unmediated content. His Jennifer in Paradise series (2013 - present) redistributes the image of a woman reclining on a beach in Bora Bora, originally taken in 1988 by John Knoll, the co-creator of Photoshop, which subsequently became used as the programme's demonstration image. Once the most Photoshopped photograph, high-resolution versions of the image are now impossible to find online. In redistributing a restored version of the image with a steganographically-encrypted payload, revealed only when one purchases the piece or obtains the password, Dullaart acts as a 'digital archaeologist', both commenting on the nature of onscreen manipulation and alluding to a time before this was ubiquitous.
Terms of Service (2012), part of a series of works dealing with the advertising company's search interface, is a work that transforms the Google search box into a literal face which recites Google's terms of service. Created by Dullaart as a response to the continuously changing terms and conditions of several Internet services, which one implicitly agrees to when using these seemingly public and transparent web services. Yet they are always too long to read, and do not give any information about how the provided information is selected. During his TOS performance at the New Museum (New York, 2012) Dullaart rewrote a standard TOS text to emphasize that the audience had an agreement with him as a performer and with the New Museum and the City of New York as a performance. He also publicly gave away his Facebook account password, as a reaction to the way in which the social networking site was influencing his social life.
Premiered at Rotterdam Film Festival in 2013, Crystal Pillars features a video diary filmed in the five years prior to the 2012 New Museum performance, which documents the artist's real life social encounters during his time on Facebook. Dullaart reflects on abandoning this online identity through a voiceover comprised of his own thoughts, the words of Mark Zuckerberg, Lil B, Christopher Poole, Henna Hyvärinen and Facebook's 2012 public prospectus.
Recent solo exhibitions include Jennifer in Paradise, Futura, Prague; The Censored Internet, Aksioma, Ljubljana (2015); Stringendo, Vanishing Mediators at Carroll / Fletcher, London; Brave New Panderers, XPO gallery, Paris (2014); Jennifer in Paradise, Future Gallery, Berlin; Jennifer in Paradise, Import Projects, Berlin (2013) and Onomatopoeia, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2012). Group exhibitions include Then They Form Us, MCA, Santa Barbara; When I Give, I Give Myself, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2015); Casting a Wide net, Postmasters, NYC, USA; Online/Offline/Encoding Everyday Life, Transmediale, Berlin (2014); Online Mythologies, Polytechnic Museum, Moscow (2012); Genius without talent, de Appel, Amsterdam (2012); A Painting Show, Autocenter, Berlin (2011) and Off the Record, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2009). Dullaart lives and works in Berlin and Amsterdam.