Hakan Topal (Born in Turkey) is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. He is an Assistant Professor of New Media and Art + Design at Purchase College, SUNY and a graduate faculty in the School of Visual Arts’ Fine Arts Department. Trained as a civil engineer (B.S.), he continued his studies in Gender and Women’s Studies (M.S.) and Sociology (M.A.). He received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research with a concentration in urban sociology and sociology of arts. His dissertation was titled Negotiating Urban Space: Contemporary Art Biennials, The Case of New Orleans. 

He was the co-founder of international art collective, xurban_collective (2000-12) and exhibited his collective and individual art works and research projects extensively, in institutions such as the 8th and 9th Istanbul Biennials; apexart, New York; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), Vienna; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; MoMA PS1; Platform, Istanbul and the 9th Gwangju Biennial. Topal represented Turkey in various international exhibitions including the 49th Venice Biennial Turkish Pavilion. His texts and projects have been featured in various international journals, books, and catalogs. He is the co-editor and publisher of the book, The Sea-Image: Visual Manifestations of Port Cities and Global Waters. He is currently working on projects that deal with concepts such as new ecologies, catastrophe (Turkey, USA, Japan) and phantasmagory in the Islamist world.