Hito Steyerl is a German filmmaker, artist and writer whose work explores the complexities of the digital world, art, capitalism, and the implications of Artificial Intelligence for society. Steyerl studied cinematography and documentary filmmaking at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tokyo, the University of Television and Film in Munich, and holds a Ph.D in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna. The most formative parts of her education, however, include working as a stunt-girl and bouncer.
Hito Steyerl is interested in the proliferation and circulation of images in our globalized world. She often works with the format of the video essay, combining a heterogeneous range of material, including interviews, found footage, fictional dramatizations, pop-music sound tracks, and first-person voiceovers. Her work focuses on the intersection of media technology, political violence, and desire by using humor, charm, and reduced gravity as political means of expression. Her sources range from appropriated low-fi clips and sounds to mostly misquoted philosophical fittings. These elements are condensed in rambling essayistic speculation in both text and imagery. Through her oversensitivity to analogies, Steyerl both collects and creates stories describing realities that are stranger than fiction and reflected upon in galloping thought experiments. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions including documenta 12, Taipei Biennial 2010, and 7th Shanghai Biennial. Her written essays have proliferated more on- than offline in journals such as e-flux and eipcp. She has published filmic and written essays centred around questions of globalization, urbanism, racism and nationalism. She is also involved in the movement of feminist migrants and women of colour in Germany.
Steyerl teaches New Media Art at University of the Arts in Berlin. As well as being a visiting professor for Cultural and Gender Studies, at University of Arts, Berlin, she has lectured at Goldsmith’s College, London and at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, among other institutions. A collection of her essays was published in The Wretched of the Screen (2012).