press release

Bit Rot is the very first large-scale solo exhibition in Europe by artist and novelist Douglas Coupland. The exhibition presents Coupland’s ‘mindscape’, combining his own work with loans from his personal collection, as well as a new work stemming from his recent residency at the Google Cultural Institute. An eponymous paperback collection of new and existing short stories and essays written and compiled by the artist will accompany the exhibition.

Throughout the exhibition Coupland shares his thoughts on globalization, terror, the Internet, pop-culture, social media and the resulting accelerated image economy. Taking its title from the phenomenon in which digital data spontaneously and quickly decomposes, Bit Rot creates an associative and visually playful constellation in which memory, loss, fame, violence, destruction, and creation are subjects for contemplation.

For many years Douglas Coupland has been intuitively collecting art works, images and objects, creating a collection perhaps only fully legible to himself. Each of the exhibited strands of work began as impulsive purchases but ultimately led to forms of clarity in regards to deeply rooted needs and wants. Now, for the first time, Coupland exhibits these collected works together with his own.

About Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland (1965) is a Canadian novelist, visual artist and designer. He has published fourteen novels, a collection of short stories, seven nonfiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. Coupland’s novels and visual work synthesize high and low culture, web technology, religion, and changes in human existence caused by modern technologies. In 1991 he published his first novel, Generation X, which eventually became an international bestseller. Defining a generation with his debut, Coupland has ever since been capturing the Zeitgeist like no other.

Bit Rot - Publication
Published by Witte de With, Bit Rot is a paperback collection of short stories especially written for the exhibition. Emphasizing the importance of literature as an artistic medium, Coupland readdresses the issues at stake in the exhibition through the medium of writing. Bit Rot will be launched during the opening of the exhibition on 10 September 2015.

“My books have always, to some extent, contained ideas for installations and works […]. Pieces in the exhibition become materializations of words, and some of the words in this book are a dematerialization of objects in the exhibition.”

—Douglas Coupland, introduction to Bit Rot, 2015