Hito Steyerl, a filmmaker and a writer based in Berlin, is perhaps best known for her video essays, which delve into pressing contemporary issues such as globalization, feminism, militarization, and, arguably most central to her practice, the mass proliferation and dissemination of images and knowledge through digital technology. “I am a filmmaker and writer… it just sort of happened that people started calling me an artist,” Steyerl told London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2014. “But I consciously try not to comply with it too much.” Steyerl’s work is fundamentally documentary in form, featuring extensive research, composite imagery, interviews, montage, and first-person voiceovers. Nevertheless, her videos are underlined by a clear awareness of the inherent subjectivity of the medium—that is, of the uncertainty of both moving and still images.
Steyerl studied film at Tokyo’s Academy of Visual Arts and at the University of Television and Film in Munich; she hold a PhD in philosophy from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She currently teaches new media art at Berlin’s University of the Arts. Steyerl’s work has been exhibited at dOCUMENTA, Manifesta, the Teipei Biennial, and the Shanghai Biennial, among other European and American institutions.