Tim Portlock’s current work combines special effects software and the visual conventions of 19th-century American painting to creatively simulate real-world American cityscapes. In recent years, his large format print images have depicted imagined landscapes populated with the empty buildings that surround his home in Philadelphia as well as developments in post-boom and bust Las Vegas. Other work utilizes large outdoor video projections onto buildings, creating temporary public art that incorporates new media and the visual language of murals while engaging with architecture and city space. Portlock comes to the Sam Fox School from Hunter College, CUNY, where he taught courses in emerging media as an associate professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies. In previous work in the Anglophone studies department at l’Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), he served as a creative and technical director on a number of projects—including “Virtual Montmarte” and “Virtual Sorbonne"—that utilized interactive 3D computer game technology to simulate spaces deemed to be historically significant. He received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 2011 and won a Festival of Murals Prize to commemorate the 1,000-year anniversary of Gdańsk, Poland.
Recent exhibitions include Ruffneck Constructivists at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, curated by Kara Walker and organized by Whitney Biennial 2014 curator Anthony Elms; the 2014 Visiting Curator Exhibition at The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, curated by Cecilia Alemani, the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Curator and director of High Line Art; and SPRING/BREAK Art Show, curated by Complex Magazine art critics Leigh Silver and Ellie Clark. Portlock also exhibited at PULSE New York, represented by the West Collection (2013); Broadstone Studios in Dublin as part of Photo Ireland (2012); the Tate Modern as a member of the artist collective Vox Populi (2011); Christie’s London, represented by Philagrafika (2012); the International Guerrilla Video Festival in Dublin (2009); and This is Not a Gateway, a group exhibition of outdoor video projections in London (2009). Prior to this period, Portlock exhibited at the 404 Festival for digital art in Argentina and Italy, ISEA Japan, and Ars Electronica in Austria, where his work is part of the permanent collection. Portlock has been an artist in residence at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), 18th Street Arts Center (Santa Monica), the International Center of Photography (New York), and the Abrons Arts Center (New York).