Simon Denny

b. 1982, Auckland, New Zealand


Simon Denny
Simon Denny, The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom, 2013-15. Photo: David Bebber


Simon Denny adapts content from the tech industry, media history and management theory in order to produce visual responses to prominent structures and individuals shaping contemporary culture. Denny is fascinated by ideas of value and progress, both in visual culture and the real-world economy. He carries out rigorous research, unpicking the various threads at play. He avoids straightforward satire or celebration, and instead seeks to reveal the complex and surprising ways people shape technology, and technology shapes us.

Denny’s installation The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom (2013–) features central protagonist Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), the German-born New Zealand-based founder of file-sharing and streaming services Megaupload and Megavideo. In January 2012, Dotcom was indicted for facilitating content piracy, and in a raid on his Auckland mansion by local and US authorities, 110 of his personal assets were seized, including several bank accounts, $175 million dollars in cash, computer servers, luxury vehicles and artworks. Denny came across this list of items in online court papers, and from this starting point constructed an installation assembled from stand-in objects. These versions of Dotcom’s possessions map the particularities of his brash taste, while allowing Denny to frame complex issues of digital ownership within artistic strategies of impersonation and appropriation.