September 7, 2019 – October 20, 2019 all-day
'rite of access' at Stroom Den Haag

On September 7, ‘rite of access’, a showroom full of downloadable internet art, opens at Stroom Den Haag. The initiator of rite of access is left gallery, an online platform that produces and sells digital art. The virtual platform moves into the physical space of an art institution to radically shake up current ideas about access to art.

left gallery stems from the net.art movement, an art movement that has been using the Internet as the main medium since the 1990s. left gallery is a platform leader when it comes to the use of bitcoin and blockchain technology to produce and sell works of art. For example, in 2015 the work Event Listeners by co-founder Harm van den Dorpel was purchased with bitcoin by the Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Vienna. This was the world’s first registered transaction in which a work of art was purchased by a museum with crypto currency.

App Store meets Contemporary Arts Center
With rite of access, left gallery examines the accessibility of public art by imposing certain conditions on its visitors. Although the physical space at Stroom is freely accessible, the digital works are only activated with a purchase. The works vary from flight simulator and screensavers to apps and VR; the prices range from € 1 to € 1000.

Within rite of access, “soft transactions” are also possible to temporarily unlock the works, such as “liking” the left gallery on Facebook, or registering for the newsletter. rite of access thus works like a physical paywall: it applies the earnings models of contemporary media to contemporary art.

rite of access opens on Saturday 7 September 2019 at 17:00 at Stroom Den Haag, Hogewal 1-9 and can be visited until 21 October 2019.

With contributions from: William Habib Kherbek, Margarethe Kollmer, Ryan Kuo, Dorine van Meel, Viktor Timofeev, Adriana Ramic, Harm van den Dorpel, Laurel Schwulst, Micah Schippa, Aarati Akkapedi, Simon Denny and others.

Curators are: Harm van den Dorpel, Emer M. Grant, and Lua Vollaard.

About left gallery
left gallery was founded in 2015 by artist / programmer Harm van den Dorpel and anthropologist Paloma Rodriguez Carrington. The name of the platform is derived from ‘we left the gallery’, out of dissatisfaction with the current art market.

About Stroom Den Haag
Stroom Den Haag is an institute for visual arts with a wide range of activities. The program is based on the belief that art offers new insights and makes an important contribution to the debate about city, culture and society.

‘rite of access’ is possible thanks to the financial support of Mondriaan Fund and the municipality of The Hague.