Olson has served as Editor & Curator at Rhizome, the inaugural curator at Zero1, and Associate Director at SF Camerawork. She's contributed to many major journals & books and this year Cocom Press published Arte Postinternet, a Spanish translation of her texts on Postinternet Art, a movement she framed in 2006. In 2015 LINK Editions will publish a retrospective anthology of over a decade of her writings on contemporary art which have helped establish a vocabulary for the criticism of new media. Meanwhile, she has also curated programs at the Guggenheim, New Museum, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, and Bitforms Gallery. She has served on Advisory Boards for Ars Electronica, Transmediale, ISEA, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Creative Capital, the Getty Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the Tribeca Film Festival.
Olson studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, and Rhetoric & Film Studies at UC Berkeley. She has recently been a visiting artist at Yale, SAIC, Oberlin, and VCU; a Visiting Critic at Brown; and Visiting Faculty at Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and Ox-Bow. She previously taught at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' new media graduate program (ITP) and was Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase's School of Film & Media Studies. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at Eyebeam & is currently Visiting Critic at RISD.
Today, the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley Center for New Media, and Long Now Foundation will host what author Bruce Sterling calls a "Dead Media hootenanny." The Funeral for Analog TV will be a full day of revelry, capped-off by the kind of pseudo-event perhaps not seen by the Bay Area since Ant Farm's Media Burn. Attendees of the festive wake are encouraged to bring their analog TV sets to pile on an electronic heap which will simulate a snow crash at the end of the night. Though the US Congress recently extended the deadline by which all broadcasting television signals must legally be converted to digital HD, Sterling says the event is moving ahead as originally scheduled "because we prefer to bury a fresh corpse rather than wait for the walking dead to fall over." As the organizer of the Dead Media Project, Sterling knows a thing or two about the carcasses left behind as a result of technological upgrades. He joins a lineup of people that includes media historian Paul Saffo, artist collective Neighborhood Public Radio, and sound artist Author & Punisher in marking this rite of obsolescence. The organizers point out that it's only fitting that the funeral service be held in the Bay Area, given that the system for broadcasting and receiving TV signals was invented there. But if you can't make it to the West Coast to hear the eulogy, fear not. The event's penultimate "scattering of the ashes" will be an online rebroadcasting of the program. - Marisa Olson
Calgary-based Brazilian-American artist Rick Silva is a man of at least as many talents as identities. Perhaps this can be chalked-up to the fact that he studied under and often collaborates with pseudonymous hypertext pioneer Mark Amerika. But last week he unveiled a collaboration with himself in which he's finally ready to disclose that he is the artist previously known as Abe Linkoln. Antlers Wifi merges the stylistic affinities with which both names have been associated. Linkoln anticipated the "pro-surfer" net art movement with Screenfull.net, his first collaborative work with Jimpunk, the motto of which was "we crash your browser with content." He's continued to push this aesthetic over the last five years while helping to establish "blog art" as a genre, and Triptych.tv (with Jimpunk and Mr. Tamale) is evidence of his ongoing interest in web-based group remix blogs. But Antlers Wifi is a step in a solo direction, bringing a copy/paste aesthetic to original animations. If Linkoln is the product of Amerika, then Silva is the product of Stan Brakhage, with whom the artist also studied. He refers to the site's multi-layered digital collages as "poems about light and nature" and indeed they have all the flickery appeal of Brakhage's performatively-composed films. The project is an interesting move on the heels of Silva's high-def Rough Mix, which playfully compared the practices of scratching images as a filmmaker and scratching records as a DJ. It also conveyed a deep interest in nature appropriate to someone who came of age in the mountains of Colorado. The videos posted at Antlers Wifi build upon each other while leaning on the time-based format of the blog. Now in its second week, Silva anticipates archiving his posts on a ...
This year's Artefact festival is organized around the notion that "images inevitably show and hide at the same time." Given the theme of "Behind the Image/ The Image Behind," the fest will feature the usual assemblage of great performances, panels, lectures, and installations. From the 10th through the 15th of February, Leuven's STUK Museum will be headquarters for deep discussion of the semiotics of digital images, the cultural snapshots that looking at code provides, and the patterns by which both are circulated. These form vs. content questions are part of the event's goal of "covering and uncovering media," as a means of exploring the nuances of contemporary digital visual culture, and the politics of representation and sharing in this realm. The lineup of speakers attests to a continuum of modification practices ranging from secret messages encoded in images to remixing other people's images, and the organizers hint explicitly at the connection between these transitional forms of textuality and the ideological transitions in representational strategies that coincide with technological development. That's right--this is a no fluff conference! Smart practitioners Taryn Simon, Ines Schaber, Harun Farocki, Pia Linz, Kristin Lucas, Peter Weibel, and ShiftSpace will be among those present to crack into these deep discussions. Not to worry, the evening programs are full of fun events to stimulate your eyes and ears after days of thinktankery. - Marisa Olson
In the New York art world, there's a funny distinction between "uptown" and "downtown." If "uptown" is Broadway, "downtown" is Off-Off-Broadway. The 92nd Street Y has famously presented an uptown lecture series for years, bringing in artists, musicians, authors, and others worth taking note of. But their downtown Tribeca branch is the place to go see cool bands or comedians rapidly sprouting up from the underground. It's within this context that the fine geeks at Dorkbot have curated an evening next Wednesday entitled "You're Doing it Wrong: Creative Misuse of Technology." Following from the group's mission to present "people doing strange things with electricity," the night will begin with live performances by The Draftmasters + Daniel Iglesia, who will invite you to don 3D glasses in viewing and listening to their pen plotter-generated sound and video projection, and Jeremy Bailey, who will run a deadpan demo of SOS, "his latest ill-conceived homebrew productivity software." These live activities will be followed by five short screenings, including Tom Sachs's Space Program, billed as "an incredibly detailed mis-re-imagining of a NASA space mission;" Paul Slocum's You're Not My Father, a compilation of internet users' reenactment of a clip from the 80s sitcom Full House; and Daniel Greenfeld's Mini-disasters, small-scale reenactments of famous transportation-related disasters. The lineup offers something for geeks of every stripe and a collective glimpse at the aesthetics of failure. - Marisa Olson
The question of the relationship between performance and its documentation is an interesting, if longstanding one. These relations have continued to shift with the emergence of newer and newer media, so that the telephonic or radio broadcast, camera, and internet transmission become implicated in the content they capture and deliver, often begging a chicken vs. egg-style question of whether the performance or the recording is paramount. The "Stage II" exhibition at New York's The Project gallery returns attention to the site of performance, even as it displays the residual ephemera of artists' actions. The work of artist Dave Allen stimulates a visceral connection with audiences in tapping into sound art's classic obsession with silence to deliver Silence Recordings, Hansa Studios, Berlin (2001), which fills the gallery space with the seemingly-silent recordings of vacant artist studios and empty concert halls. Lucky Dragons is a band and art collective whose work encompasses music, drawing, public collaboration, and more. For "Stage II," they present Showing (2009), a sculptural installation that proves the artists need not be physically present to make noise. An arrangement of their homebrew instruments featuring rocks, wood, and analog electronics sits in waiting for viewers to move them, generating a shift in their electrical field and a resultant shift in the shape of the sounds they are set to make. While these two projects provide perfect bookends for the exhibition, the show also includes work by Larry Krone, Rashaad Newsome, and Superamas, each of whom is engaged in the practice of splicing together object relationships, filmic clips, or cultural reenactments to establish a new interdependence between artist, viewer, stage, and document. - Marisa Olson