Cornelia Sollfrank is a conceptual artist, interdisciplinary researcher and educator. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and Fine Art at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg (1987-1994). Since 1998 she has taught at various universities and art schools and wrote on issues in the nexus of media, art and (gender)politics. In 2011 Sollfrank completed her practice-led research at the University of Dundee (UK) and published her PhD thesis with the title Performing the Paradoxes of Intellectual Property. In addition to her work in the artistic and academic field, Sollfrank gathered experience in the private sector by working as product manager for Philips Media for two years (1995/1996).
Since the mid 90s, Cornelia Sollfrank has investigated the worldwide communication networks and transferred artistic strategies of the classical avant-gardes into the digital medium. Her special interest lies in experimenting with new models of authorship, in continuing various forms of artistic appropriation and in deconstructing myths around geniality and originality. In the core of this strand of works is the concept of her net.art generator (since 1998) – a computer programme, which re-combines and collages material from the Internet. This project has directly influenced her practice-led research into the field of intellectual property. Related art projects are copyright © 2004 cornelia sollfrank (2004), Legal Perspective (2004), I DON'T KNOW – A conversation between Cornelia Sollfrank and Andy Warhol (2006), MuseumShop (2007) and DÉJÁVU® (2009).
Against the backdrop of gender-specific and institution-critical approaches, a further thematic priority of Sollfrank’s work lies in the creation of forms of organisation (collective, network, collaboration) and communication structures as artistic practices. She was founding member of the collectives frauen-und-technik (Women and Technology, 1992) and -Innen (1994) and initiated and run the world-wide cyberfeminist network Old Boys Network(1997-2001), including the co-organisation of three international conferences on Cyberfeminism (1997, 1999, and 2001).
Whilst Sollfrank maintains an active international practice, she also works to support the development of critical Internet culture in Germany. She founded [echo] – the mailing list for art, criticism and cultural politics in Hamburg (2003) and was co-founder and editor of the online magazine for art and criticism THE THING Hamburg (2006). In 2005/06, she conceived the culture-political intervention Tamm-Tamm–Artists informing Politicians involving more than 100 artists, based on a dialogical principle.
Since 2012 Sollfrank conducts research in the field of art and commons. Her project Giving What You Don't Have is a series of filmed interviews which introduce relevant projects.