Exhibitions & installations

 Oliver’s artwork has appeared in cities across the world, including Tokyo, Mexico City, Helsinki, and San Francisco.

PUBLIC SPEAKING & WORKSHOPS

Oliver gives talks and workshops about intimacy in public spaces and Humanitarian Design.
He would love to speak at your event.

Bring Oliver to your city, get in touch


Intimacy and affection in public
Design to prevent suffering

 

Oliver Blank is an English artist and designer. His artwork is about intimacy and affection in public, and his design projects focus on the prevention of suffering.

Coaxing his audience out of the quotidian, Oliver’s artwork induces unforgettable experiences that instil a shared romance and sense of community. Past installations include composing orchestral music for long forgotten buildings and hosting a phone-line that collects messages for lost loves and forgotten friendships. Oliver’s artwork has appeared across the world in countries including Japan, Mexico, Spain, Finland, and the USA, and venues including Tate Gallery, London's Design Museum, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Most marvelous. Melancholy, haunting and delicious.
— Stephen Fry

Oliver loves making things: civic things for nonprofits, cloud-based things for developing countries, thoughtful things for museums, useful things for communities in crisis. Currently at Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google, in the past he has made things with Lego, Nokia, HP, Marvel Comics, and many others.

Oliver has collaborated with various NGOs and nonprofit organisations including IRC, UNICEF, UNHCR, Mercy Corps, and War Child. In 2015 Oliver led the design of Translation Cards: a tool enabling field workers and refugees to communicate more effectively. The app received an award for innovation from the United Nations.

In 2016, Oliver convened a team of designers one day after the US election. Four days later they launched RageDonate: a site that allows people to channel their rage into giving. 

It’s never too late to find new heroes. Oliver Blank is now one of them.
— De:Bug Magazine (Germany)

Oliver gives public talks about humanitarian design and the role of affection in public artwork. A regular speaker and workshop leader at SXSW, Oliver is also a member of the advisory board of SXSW Eco, and a Practitioner-in-Residence at Berkeley, University of California. You may also have caught him on the BBC, The New York Times, or CNN.

Over the years Oliver has lived in Helsinki, London, Manchester, New Orleans, and San Francisco.

 

ARTIST CV

Public Art & Exhibitions

2017
Solution or Utopia?, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Lady & The Stone, The Battery, San Francisco, CA
Music For Forgotten Places, Museo Del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico

2016
Music For Forgotten Places, Museo Del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico

2014
The One Who Got Away, Columbus, Indiana
Waiting, Columbus, Indiana
The Bureau of Manufactured History, Indiana University Center for Art and Design, Columbus, Indiana
OHRDRONE: Drone Chamber 2  (with Toby Heys), Broken City Labs’ Civic Space, Windsor, ONT, Canada

2013
OHRDRONE: Drone Chamber 1  (with Toby Heys), Museum of Architecture and Design, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Music for Forgotten Places, Fiskars Village, Finland
The Kalevala  (with Anna Emilia Laitinen and Kalle Karjalainen), Online
The Bureau of Manufactured History (with James A. Reeves),  We Are City, Indianapolis, IN

2012
Music for Forgotten Places, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, A Coruña, Spain
Pyramid, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, A Coruña, Spain
Sampsa & The Swan (for Tracey Moberly’s Tweet Me Up), The Tanks, Tate Modern, London, England
Confessional Music (for Candy Chang's Confessions), The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

2011
60,000,000 to 1, Shush Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
CloqWork (with Akio Nagano), Online
Häiti Chérie (for Sasha Huber's Häiti Chérie), Kluuvi Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
JaNY's Theme  (for Sasha Huber's I LOVE JaNY), Logomo, Turku, Finland
Balloon Suite (for Jake Elliott's Balloon Diaspora), Online

2010
JaNY's Theme  (for Sasha Huber's I LOVE JaNY), Taidehalli Studio, Helsinki, Finland
Cope (with Päivi Vettenranta), Vertical Exile, Stockholm, Sweden
Cope (with Päivi Vettenranta), Human Culture, Imatra, Finland
A Tool Through Which To Experience The City, Online

2009
Minimal Bling (with Geraldine Juárez), The Free Art and Technology Lab (F.A.T.), Online
iRedux, Mind On Fire, Manchester, UK

2008
Fabrikan (with Roma Levin), Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), London, UK
Habitat , New Interfaces In Musical Expression (NIME), Genoa, Italy

2007
Plug (with Roma Levin), Great Brits: Ingenious Therapies, Milan, Italy
Hospitality (with Jeremy Keenan), Shunt Gallery, London, UK

2006
Climatized Objects (with Roma Levin), The Design Museum, London, UK
Climatized Objects (with Roma Levin), Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan, Italy


SELECTED TALKS, WORKSHOP, & PERFORMANCES

2017
Blum Center, University of California, Berkeley
Trade Craft, San Francisco, California
People Centered Internet, Palo Alto, California
Swissnex, San Francisco, California
SXSW, Austin, Texas

2016
Goat Salon, Mule Gallery, San Francisco, California
Museo Del Chopo, Mexico City, Mexico
SXSW, Austin, Texas
SXSW Eco, Austin, Texas

2015
Interact, The British Museum, London, UK
Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK
SXSW Eco, Austin, Texas


Residencies & Awards

Serenbe Artist Residency, Serenbe, Georgia, USA (2017)
Berkeley Practitioner in Residence, University of California, Berkeley (2017)
United Nations Humanitarian Summit Innovation Award, Istanbul, Turkey (2016)
Civic Space Artist Residency, Broken City Labs, Windsor, Ontario (2014)
Fiskars Artist Residency, Fiskars Village, Finland (2013)
We Are City Artist Residency, Indianapolis, Indiana (2013)
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Artist Residency, A Coruña, Spain (2013)