Assembled Texts by Harm van den Dorpel


If rationality and consistent thought are the preferred distinguishing marks of man, then even if it is admitted that man, as a whole, also has passions, the supremacy of rational thought over them may well seem an unquestionable idea. This is all the more so, since it is quite obvious that gaining some such control is a basic condition of growing up, and even, at the extreme, of sanity. But to move from that into making such control into the ideal, rules out a priori most forms of spontaneity. And this seems to be absurd.

I would suggest to find your deepest impulse, and follow that. The notion that there is something that is one's deepest impulse, that there is a discovery to be made here, rather than a decision; and the notion that one trusts what is so discovered, although unclear where it will lead—these, rather, are the point. The combination—discovery, trust, and risk—are central to my sort of outlook, as of course they are to the state of being in love.



Although this is not print, I write in a manner that facilitates transmission in other forms such as print, spoken word, and via a screen reader. So terms such as "this article" are preferable to "this website," and I avoid terms like "click here," which makes no sense when using a screen reader, for instance. In determining what language is most suitable, it is helpful to imagine I'm writing the content for print. So my work is no longer a finished corpus, some content enclosed in an object or its margins, but a differential network, a fabric of traces referring endlessly to something other than itself, to other differential traces. The content in these traces is a glimpse of something, an encounter like a flash. It's very tiny—very tiny, content. Unfortunately, it is still assumed that a work of art is its content, that it should refer to something beyond itself.


Release early, release often, delegate everything you can, be open to the point of promiscuity.



It's often surprising to see how certain things that seem completely obvious, aren't taken for granted by others. This could be indicative of a slight autistic tendency. However, while this used to frustrate me in the past, through time I've gradually grown more pleased about it. It comforts me to imagine that other people have this same experience. In the end, publishing and broadcasting are a social activity. In order to achieve progress, a reversed process is required: we have to take a step back.


In order to gain deeper insights into the inner workings and logic of a system we are required to disassemble it, to break it down into parts and to apply reverse engineering. This is not a reactionary, but a progressive attitude. Fields such as software engineering and product design have effectively constructed strategies of description, but furthermore, aid in shaping reality. It's about solving an equation with too many variables. Every single parameter depends on all the others, and my interference amplifies as a feedback loop. Complexity, inconsistency and contradiction do not necessarily call for a solution. It's ok. Just try to connect the personal with the universal; approach the general by being subjective. The most valuable moments emerge when the coincidental and the intuitive balance the rational—an irrationality without being esoteric.