Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV)

The Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV) in Dortmund is a platform for the production, presentation and communication of contemporary and experimental (media) art. ‘Media art’ is understood as contemporary art that is concerned both in content and concept with the present-day world, which is strongly characterized and radically altered by new media and technology. Since its inception in 1996, the HMKV has staged numerous exhibitions, programmes of film, video, music and performance, workshops, lectures and conferences in various cities in Germany and abroad. The HMKV therefore occupies a unique position in North Rhine-Westphalia – and in Germany.
In 2013, HMKV’s exhibition SOUNDS LIKE SILENCE was elected as “Special Exhibition 2012” by the German Section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics).

From the PHOENIX Halle to the Dortmunder U

Since 1996, the HMKV has realized numerous exhibitions and events characterized by a broad understanding of media art. From 2003–2010 its main exhibition venue was the 2,200 square-metre PHOENIX Halle, a refurbished warehouse of the former steel mill Phoenix-West in Dortmund-Hörde. Over the past years the HMKV has staged internationally relevant projects such as 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 and Arctic Perspective (both 2010, the latter voted among the Best Exhibitions 2010 by Artforum magazine in December 2010).

After moving to the Dortmunder U in 2010, the HMKV has increased the frequency of its exhibitions. In the U, the 3rd and 6th floors are used for up to six solo and group exhibitions every year. The Kino im U is used for the presentation of film programmes and conferences, while workshops and seminars are held at the Centre for Cultural Education (U2_Kulturelle Bildung) and sound art is exhibited in the „Lautsprecher“ space on the 4th floor. The HMKV’s activities in Cultural Education make use of the tools of the digital age in a playful and participatory manner in order to create new ways of understanding how our world, our perception and actions are shaped by the media we use.
23.000 visitors saw HMKV’s exhibitions in 2012. The exhibition SOUNDS LIKE SILENCE, acclaimed by AICA, drew to a close with a new record of more than 10.000 visitors.

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 exhibitions have been shown in numerous cities worldwide i.e. irational.org. Tool, Techniques and Events 1996-2006 2007 in Glasgow (CCA: Center for Contemporary Arts), in 2008 in Novi Sad (Museum for Contemporary Art, Vojvodina) and 2012 in Leuven (Artefact Festival, STUK); 2007-2008 History Will Repeat Itself was exhibited in Berlin (KW Institute for Contemporary Art), 2008 in Warschau (Center for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle) and Hong Kong (Goethe-Institut, Videotage und Hong Kong Film Archive). „Wach sind nur die Geister“ – Über Gespenster und ihre Medien was brought to Torun (Center of Contemporary Art ‚Znaki Casu’) in 2010. Since 2000, the HMKV manages North Rhine-Westphalia’s Grant for female Media Artists.

From 2013–2019 the HMKV hosts the office of medienwerk.nrw.


Hartware MedienKunstVerein (HMKV)
Hoher Wall 15 (Office)
44137 Dortmund

Dr. Inke Arns
Artistic Director
Phone +49.(0)231.496642-0

Exhibition venue:
Dortmunder U – Centre for Art and Creativity
44137 Dortmund