Dries Depoorter is a media artist and a freelance digital creative living online in Belgium. He has a background in electronics and has studied Media Arts in Ghent. Most of Dries' work is about the internet, privacy, online identity and surveillance. At the Trailerpark Festival 2016 Dries exhibited three works hereof Seattle Crime Cams, TinderIn and JayWalking.
Conversation with Dries Depoorter
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I’m having a residency for 1 year in Amsterdam (sept 2016 - sept 2017) but I’m also a lot in Ghent (Belgium).
But since 2 years ago, I have to traveled a lot and that’s great, but it’s always good to have a few days in my studio in Amsterdam or Ghent.
When did you become an artist and what was your first project?
My first project was called 24hsoundwave (2010) and it was a project where I was wearing a long a professional sound recorder with me for 24 hours.
So it records conversations that I had this day. I upload the 24h to a website where everyone can listen back to it. But I muted all the private parts out of the 24h long sound file;. These are the files you can buy. There are files from 10 euro but also 550 euro. You can only buy them once and you got a license with it so you can do whatever you want with it.
Back when I explained the project I never used the term privacy. This was one of the first projects of the four that I was giving away private information about myself. A few months later I released a project named Here which is a website where you can see where I am through Google Streetview. It was working with my iPhone constantly sending out my location. I did it for 4 months so everyone know where I was.
After four projects around myself I focused more on privacy in general. I then made Tinder In, which is a project where I placed people’s Tinder and LinkedIn profile side by side.
Did you study art in school, if so where?
I studied media arts in Kask in Ghent.
The art students were really into art history and I’m not. There was too much talking and I was already hooked on creative coding.
I had a background in electronics. When I was in art school I discovered a lot of similar artists online. I shared my work with them and respected their feedback more than my art teachers
What inspires you? Any particular artists?
What are some of the ideas behind your work?
Most of the time I’m working with coding and most of the time it’s about privacy, surveillance and online identity.
But I don’t stick with these themes. Most of the time it’s a fresh idea that hits me and I want to make it as fast as possible before someone else on the internet gonna makes it before me.