These sculptures, often exhibited in site-specific assemblages resembling landfills or garbage piles, are endangered units of time otherwise destined for burial, but instead rescued, taken out of circulation, and painted gold (Fort Knox-style) in reclamation of their value.
The Time Capsules series has led to a broader body of work revolving around the pollution produced in the wake of upgrade culture. The most recent of these works was exhibited in my solo exhibition at Bard CCS, entitled Noise Pollution. Click here for images and a PDF of the ASDF-designed catalogue.
The newest in a series of works about the performativity of spectatorship, this two-channel video installation merges Richard Serra and Nancy Holt's Boomerang with my own YouTube response video to the work. The former is a longtime favorite of mine and I made this piece specifically for a VVORK-curated show called The Real Thing, at MU.
After performing Google Image searches for defunct technologies, the images are traced directly off the computer screen, onto office paper, using a mechanical pencil. The search results indexed highlight the objects we choose to recall, our means of organizing them, and the visual rhetoric of these products' presentation. Meanwhile, the monitor follows the camera obscura, overhead projector, and other mechanical devices previously used to assist in drawing. See a photoset.
Assisted Living is a futuristic parody of Martha Stewart's TV show focused on coping with the health & environmental challenges of living a life prolonged and polluted by technology. As hostess, I devise craft projects and recipes for these 150-year-olds, taping the show on-site before a "live studio audience." The show incubated at Wooloo's New Life Berlin festival.
This large-scale series of prints began with a collection of tiny web-based images offering a visual representation of the sonic qualities of the sound files to which they linked. The series is a continuation of my interests in archives, the list as a visual form, and word/sound/image relationships. See the original list.
This is the music video I made for Tanlines' first single, New Flowers (Young Turks). They made the song in response to my poem "Flowers for the People," which was included in my artist book, Poems I Wrote While Listening to The Doors...
Designed and master-printed by Robert Bolesta, this artist book includes 52 of my best high school poems: my first creative work! The book offers evidence of my longstanding obsession with music, genre, psychology, and personal narratives as well as a previous obliviousness to the internet, despite the fact that network culture has ultimately had a huge impact upon my practice. The book was released at an event at Light Industry that pushed my ongoing interest in public humiliation and the aesthetics of failure, featuring readings by poets Thom Donovan, Stephanie Gray, Christian Hawkey, and Dorothea Laskey, and filmmaker Esther Bell. The bands Tan Lines, Taigaa, and Aa also used the poems as lyrics for original songs, for which I made music videos.
Nasty Nets is an internet surfing club in which members create web-based work documenting and remixing their experiences online. The collective was recently included in Professional Surfer, an exhibition co-presented by Rhizome and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, which posited internet surfing as a creative act. In 2008, Rhizome sponsored our DVD, which premiered at the NY Underground Film Festival and went on to show at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Break-Up Album (Demo) is a four-channel "video album" (excerpts) about pain as a medium, the breakup album genre, and the notion of a demo: something that shows what an artist may (or may not) have to offer or be capable of, in hopes of getting "picked up."
Oh.Yeah.I.Love.You.Baby. is an album that remixes pop samples from my personal MP3 collection that feature these "greatest hits of lyrics." The samples are arranged to the tune of pop songs whose own lyrics exemplify the words' popularity. Listeners can also download the credited samples to make their own remixes.
Netacronyms (NSFW!) is a vaguely noirish, darkly humorous narrative in which the lead (and only) character speaks mostly in acronyms used in email, IM chat sessions, and text messaging. Failure ensues.
In this performance video, I attempted to instigate communication between a CD boombox, child's record player, and various defunct media: vinyl records, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and CDs. Like the garbage that piles up as we upgrade our phones and computers, the detritus accumulated in these efforts gets blindly swept aside in this ultimately fruitless effort.
In this video, I perform the act of listening to Michael Jackson's song, Black or White. The song's audio signals trigger shifts in the appearance of the video, thanks to the help of a "wobulator" built by Nam June Paik. The piece was inspired by Jackson's original video for the song, in which characters' faces morphed into each other--the first moment in which I remember taking a deeper interest in digital effects. Black or White traces my ongoing interests in media change and the performative aspects of spectatorship. The new question, here, is about the similarities and differences between the ways that people and machines "hear."
Marisa Olson's work combines performance, video, drawing & installation to address the cultural history of technology, the politics of participation in pop culture & the aesthetics of failure.
Her work has recently been presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou-Paris, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 52nd International Biennale di Venezia, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens, Greece), Edith Russ-Haus fur Medienkunst, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst/ Montevideo, the British Film Institute, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, the Sundance Film Festival, and elsewhere. She is also a founding member of the Nasty Nets "internet surfing club" whose new DVD premiered at the New York Underground Film Festival. Her work has been written about in ArtForum, Art in America, Folha de Sao Paolo, Liberation-Paris, the Village Voice, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. While Wired has called her both funny and humorous, the New York Times has called her "anything but stupid." Marisa studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College-London, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, and Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. Her critiques of contemporary art and digital visual culture have extended to writing for Flash Art, Art Review, Afterimage, Planet, and Art on Paper and to curating exhibitions and programs at the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, the Performa Biennial, SF Camerawork, and Rhizome.
She has previously taught Film Studies and New Media classes at UC Berkeley and NYU's ITP graduate program in the Tisch School of the Arts. She is now Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase and remains a Contributing Editor at Rhizome, after several years of collaboration.
Marisa was born in Germany and lives in New York.
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