The Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund is a platform for the production, presentation and mediation of contemporary and experimental art. While focussing on media art, the HMKV is less concerned with its technological conditions or entertaining potential than with its status as a contemporary art practice that both formally and conceptually addresses the evolution of society in a world radically altered and increasingly dominated by new media and technology. Operating from a unique position in both North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany, the HMKV has engaged in numerous international collaborations, allowing it to develop a world-wide open network that continually feeds its variegated programme of exhibitions and events.
The HMKV’s exhibitions are widely recognised by regional, national and international audiences for their inclusive conception of media art in the wider context of contemporary art. Since 2000 the HMKV has been awarding an annual Grant for Female Media Artists on behalf of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, and since 2006 it has been housing the offices of medienwerk.nrw, a statewide network involved in research, teaching, production, presentation and archival activities relevant to media art. In 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013 the HMKV was nominated for the ADKV Art Cologne Award for Art Associations, and in 2011 it was awarded the prestigious JUMP Annual Sponsorship Award for Art Organisations funded by the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia (Kunststiftung NRW).
Since its inception in 1996 the HMKV has staged numerous exhibitions as well as film, video, music and performance programmes, workshops, lectures and conferences in various cities in Germany and abroad. Since 2003 its main exhibition venue has been the 2,200 square-metre PHOENIX Halle, a refurbished warehouse of the former steel mill Phoenix-West in Dortmund-Hörde built in 1895, and more recently it has invested two floors of the Dortmunder U, a redeveloped brewery building. Over the past 15 years the HMKV has staged 40 exhibitions, among which such internationally relevant projects as Zones of Desire (Dortmunder U, 1998), games – Computer Games by Artists (2003) ("Special
Exhibition of the year 2003" prize by the German section of AICA), History Will Repeat Itself (2007), Anna Kournikova: Art in the Age of Intellectual Property (2008), ‘Awake Are Only the Spirits’ – On Ghosts and Their Media (2009), Building Memory, Arctic Perspective (both 2010) (the latter voted among the Best Exhibitions 2010 by Artforum magazine in December 2010), and Sounds Like Silence (2012-2013) ("Special
Exhibition of the year 2012" prize by the German section of AICA).
To this day the HMKV has been staging two large-scale international media art exhibitions per year at the PHOENIX Halle, while in 2010 the 3rd and 6th floors of the Dortmunder U have been made available intermittently to the HMKV’s projects, allowing it to stage solo and group exhibitions simultaneously. From 2011 onwards the frequency of exhibitions is set to increase, as the Dortmunder U will be available all year round. Up to four exhibitions per year are thus planned to take place on the 3rd floor of the Dortmunder U, two of which may extend to the 6th floor.
The HMKV also expects to benefit from its proximity with other institutions located within the Dortmunder U such as the Museum Ostwall (MO). The museum’s collection, which is on display in the building, will thus provide an (art-)historical context for the HMKV’s contemporary media art exhibitions. Conversely, the museum will be able to access current artistic, historical and political discourses around media art. The HMKV’s vicinity to the Dortmund University of Technology (TU), the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Fachhochschule Dortmund) and the Centre for Cultural Education (Zentrum für Kulturelle Bildung) furthermore holds the promise of engaging collaborations, hopefully allowing it to extend its current activities. Another future asset is the use of the RWE Forum’s professionally-equipped cinema on the ground floor of the building for the presentation of film programmes and conferences.
2003 HMKV's exhibition "games. Computerspiele von
Künstlerinnen" is awarded awarded the "Special
Exhibition of the year 2003" prize by the German section of AICA
2004 Innovationspreis des Fonds Soziokultur für die Ausstellung "games. Computerspiele von Künstlerinnen"
2007 HMKV nominated for the Prize for Kunstvereine of ADKV and ART COLOGNE
2008 HMKV nominated for the Prize for Kunstvereine of ADKV and ART COLOGNE
2010 The US art magazine ARTFORUM counts "Arctic Perspective" among the "Best Exhibitions 2010"
2011 HMKV nominated for the Prize for Kunstvereine of ADKV and ART COLOGNE
2011 JUMP Annual Sponsorship Award for Art Organisations funded by the Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia (Kunststiftung NRW)
2012 HMKV's exhibition "Sounds Like Silence" is awarded awarded the "Special
Exhibition of the year 2012 prize" by the German section of AICA
Critics' Association) (25 January 2013)
2013 HMKV nominated for the Prize for Kunstvereine of ADKV and ART COLOGNE