Marisa Olson
Since the beginning
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America

ARTBASE (7)
PORTFOLIO (3)
BIO
Marisa Olson is an artist, writer, and media theorist. Her interdisciplinary work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Tate(s) Modern + Liverpool, the Nam June Paik Art Center, British Film Institute, Sundance Film Festival, PERFORMA Biennial; commissioned and collected by the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Houston Center for Photography, Experimental Television Center, and PS122; and reviewed in Artforum, Art21, the NY Times, Liberation, Folha de Sao Paolo, the Village Voice, and elsewhere.

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.

Collectible After All: Christiane Paul on net art at the Whitney Museum


The Whitney Museum artport has been an important institutional presence in net art and new media since its launch in 2002. Created and curated by Christiane Paul, artport features online commissions as well as documentation of new media artworks from the museum's exhibitions and collections. This year, artport as a whole was made an official part of the Whitney Museum collection; to mark this occasion, participating artist Marisa Olson interviewed Paul about the program's history and evolution over thirteen years.

 Douglas Davis, image from The World's First Collaborative Sentence (1994).

Collections like artport are a rare and valuable window onto a field of practice that, in some senses, was borne out of not being taken seriously. From mid-80s Eastern European game crackers to late-90s net artists, the first people working online were often isolated, by default or design, and were certainly marginalized by the art world, where few curators knew of their existence and fewer took them seriously, advocated for them, or worked to theorize and articulate the art historical precedents and currents flowing through the work. Help me fast-forward to the beginning of this century at one of the most important international art museums. Many of the US museums that funded new media projects did so with dot-com infusions that dried-up after 2000. Artport officially launched in 2001; the same year, you curated a section devoted to net art in the Whitney Biennial. What was the behind-the-scenes sequence of events that led to artport's founding?

I think artport's inception was emblematic of a wave of interest in net art in the US around the turn of the century and in the early 2000s. This more committed involvement with the art form interestingly coincided with or came shortly after the dot com bubble, which inflated from 1997–2000, had its climax on March 10, 2000 when NASDAQ peaked, and burst pretty much the next day. Net art, however, remained a very active practice and started appearing on the radar of more US art institutions. To some extent, their interest may have been sparked by European exhibitions that had begun to respond to the effects of the web on artistic practice earlier on. In 1997, Documenta X had already included web projects (that year the Documenta website was also famously "stolen"—that is, copied and archived—by Vuk Cosic in the project Documenta: done) and Net Condition, which took place at ZKM in 1999/2000, further acknowledged the importance of art on the web.

US museums increasingly began to take notice. Steve Dietz, who had started the Walker Art Center's New Media Initiatives early on, in 1996, was curating the online art Gallery 9 and digital art study collection. Jon Ippolito, in his role as Associate Curator of Media Arts at the Guggenheim, was commissioning net art in the early 2000s and in 2002, Benjamin Weil, with Joseph Rosa, unveiled a new version of SFMOMA's E-space, which had been created in 2000. This was the institutional netscape in which I created artport in 2001, since I felt that the Whitney, which had for the first time included net art in its 2000 Biennial, also needed a portal to online art. The original artport was much more of a satellite site and less integrated into whitney.org than it is now. Artist Yael Kanarek redesigned the site not too long after its initial launch and created version 1.1. Artport in its early days was sponsored by a backend storage company in New Jersey, which was then bought by HP, so HP appeared as the official sponsor. I think it is notable that sponsorship at that point did not come from a new tech company but a brand name that presumably wanted to appear more cutting edge.


booomerrranganggboobooomerranrang: Nancy Holt's networked video


Nancy Holt, Boomerang (1974), still from video.

In her time on this planet, Nancy Holt came to be known as a great American Land Artist, and certainly her brilliant installations, like Utah's Sun Tunnels and collaborations with her partner Robert Smithson and their peers, are profoundly significant, but it was her work in film & video that has had the greatest personal impact on me.

I somehow didn't see Boomerang, her 1974 video performance usually credited to her collaborator Richard Serra, until I was a Ph.D. student in Linda Williams's Phenomenology of Film seminar at UC Berkeley's Rhetoric program, but the time delay was more than made up for by the work's formative resonance. In the video, made during Serra's residency at a Texas television station, a young Holt is seen sitting in an anchor's chair before a staid blue background. Despite brief station ID graphic overlays and one minute of silence in the midst of the ten-minute piece (announced as audio trouble and reminding viewers of the work's live TV origin), the work is in many ways sound-centric.


Sound and Image in Electronic Harmony


semiconductor_nanowebbers.jpg
Image: Semiconductor: Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt, 200 Nanowebbers, 2005

On Saturday, April 11th, New York's School of Visual Arts will co-present the 2009 Visual Music Marathon with the New York Digital Salon and Northeastern University. Promising genre-bending work from fifteen countries, the lineup crams 120 works by new media artists and digital composers into 12 hours. If it's true, as is often said, that MTV killed the attention spans of Generations X and Y, this six-minute-per-piece average ought to suit most festivalgoers' minds, and the resultant shuffling on and off stage will surely be a spectacle in its own rite. In all seriousness, this annual event is a highlight of New York's already thriving electronic music scene and promises many a treat for your eyes and ears. The illustrious organizers behind the marathon know their visual music history and want to remind readers that, "The roots of the genre date back more than two hundred years to the ocular harpsichords and color-music scales of the 18th century," and "the current art form came to fruition following the emergence of film and video in the 20th century." The remarkable ten dozen artists participating in this one-day event will bring us work incorporating such diverse materials as hand-processed film, algorithmically-generated video, visual interpretations of music, and some good old fashioned music-music. From luminaries like Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter, and Steina Vasulka to emerging artists Joe Tekippe and Chiaki Watanabe, the program will be another star on the map that claims NYC as fertile territory for sonic exploration. - Marisa Olson

READ ON »


Tagalicious


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The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) in Athens, Greece, has committed itself to curating a number of recent exhibitions of internet art. Their current show, "Tag Ties and Affective Spies," features contributions from both net vets and emerging surfers, including Christophe Bruno, Gregory Chatonsky, Paolo Cirio, JODI, Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, Les Liens Invisibles, Personal Cinema and The Erasers, Ramsay Stirling, and Wayne Clements. The online exhibition takes an antagonistic approach to Web 2.0, citing a constant balance "between order and chaos, democracy and adhocracy." Curator Daphne Dragona raises the question of whether the social web is a preexisting platform on which people connect, or whether it is indeed constructed in the act of uploading, tagging, and disclosing previously private information about ourselves on sites like Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook. Dragona asks whether we are truly connecting and interacting, or merely broadcasting. While her curatorial statement doesn't address the issue directly, the show's title hints at the level of self-surveillance in play on these sites. Accordingly, many of the selected works take a critical, if not DIY, approach to the internet. The collective Les Liens Invisibles tends to create works that make an ironic mash-up of the often divergent mantras of tactical media, culture jamming, surrealism, and situationism. In their Subvertr, they encourage Flickr users to "subverTag" their posted images, creating an intentional disassociation between an image's content and its interpretion, with the aim of "breaking the strict rules of significance that characterize the mainstream collective imaginary..." JODI's work, Del.icio.us/ winning information (2008) exploits the limited stylistic parameters of the social bookmarking site. Using ASCII and Unicode page titles to form visual marks, a cryptic tag vocabulary, and a recursive taxonomy, their fun-to-follow site critiques the broader content of the web ...

READ ON »


Reappearance of the Undead


agatha_appears_lialina.gif

In 1997, internet art hall-of-famer Olia Lialina made a "net drama" called Agatha Appears that was written for Netscape 3 and 4 in HTML 3.2. One of the main features of the interactive narrative was the travel of the eponymous avatar across the internet. Let's just say the girl got around. But the magical illusion of the piece was that she appeared to stay still, even when links in the narrative were clicked and the viewer's address bar indicated movement to another server. But in time, both the browser and code in which the story was written became defunct and the piece unraveled as the sites previously hosting the links and files upon which Agatha was dependent disappeared or cleaned house. Such a scenario is common to early internet art (and will no doubt continue to plague the field), as ours is an upgrade culture constantly driving towards new tools, platforms, and codes. Many have debated whether to let older works whither or how it might be possible to update these works, making them compatible with new systems. For those who are interested, some of the best research on the subject has been performed by the folks affiliated with the Variable Media Initiative. Meanwhile, luddites and neophiles alike are now in luck because Agatha Appears has just undergone rejuvenation. Ela Wysocka, a restorer working at Budapest's Center for Culture & Communication Foundation has worked to overcome the sound problems, code incompatibilities, and file corruption and disappearance issues, and she's written a fascinating report about the process, here. And new collaborating hosts have jumped in line to bring the piece back to life, so that like a black and white boyfriend coming home from war, Agatha now offers us a shiny new webring as a token of ...

READ ON »



Discussions (281) Opportunities (10) Events (4) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

ON and Off at The Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery


fyi...

ON AND OFF
October 6

DISCUSSION

Deadline extended: Rhizome Curatorial Fellow


Hello. Because I know that these things tend to revolve around school
schedules, I've extended the deadline for this by one week, to Wednesday,
9/20. Please forward to students, colleagues, etc...

JOB OPPORTUNITY:
Curatorial Fellow
(part-time, unpaid)
RHIZOME.ORG

Rhizome.org is a leading new media arts organization and an affiliate of
the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently celebrating our tenth
anniversary, Rhizome's programs support the creation, presentation,
discussion and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies
in significant ways. These include online publications and discussion
lists, exhibitions (online & offline), performances, screenings, public
talks and events, the ArtBase archive, artists' commissions, and other
educational programs. For more information about Rhizome, visit:

http://rhizome.org/info/

Rhizome seeks a Curatorial Fellow to assist with the research, planning,
and production of exhibitions and public programs, as well as writing and
editing content for Rhizome's website and publications. This position is a
unique opportunity for a person interested in pursuing a career in the new
media arts field to further their engagement with the community and hone
their professional skills.

The Curatorial Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit
to 15 hours of work per week, for an academic year, beginning in September
2006 and ending in the summer of 2007. These hours may include occasional
evening and weekend events. This position is unpaid, but academic credit
may be arranged.

Reporting directly to Rhizome's Editor & Curator, the Curatorial Fellow
will work on all phases of the exhibition and editorial processes,
including researching new projects, writing copy, and assisting with the
implementation of current programs. The Curatorial Fellow will also
develop crucial experience in development and communications. The Fellow's
primary responsibilities may include:

* Becoming a Site Editor and assisting with the management of reBlog content
* Writing and editing occasional Rhizome News articles and other texts
* Researching editorial ideas and writers
* Liaising with artists, public program participants, and venues
* Assisting in the promotion of events
* Co-coordinating the Rhizome ArtBase, including researching art works
* Planning, production, and on-site coordination of public events

As the Curatorial Fellow advances, there may be opportunities to curate an
exhibition or event, and to write feature articles. In general, the Fellow
will play an important role in helping to strategize and execute strong,
dynamic programs and editorial content.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Candidates should have a level of familiarity with new media and its
histories and discourses. They should also possess a Master's degree or be
enrolled in a graduate rpogram. At least one year of arts administration
experience is required and preference will be given to candidates with
prior curatorial and/or editorial experience. At a minimum, the candidate
should have very strong writing, editing, and analytical skills, and very
high internet literacy. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software is also
required and basic Photoshop skills are preferred.

TO APPLY:
Please email a cover letter, resume or c.v., three references, and three
writing samples (url's or attachments) to Marisa Olson at
marisa(at)rhizome.org. Review of applications will begin immediately and
all materials should be submitted by Wednesday, September 20, for
consideration.

+ + +
Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

OPPORTUNITY

Rhizome seeks Curatorial Fellow


Deadline:
Tue Aug 22, 2006 21:15

Please forward...

JOB OPPORTUNITY:
Curatorial Fellow
(part-time, unpaid)
RHIZOME.ORG

Rhizome.org is a leading new media arts organization and an affiliate of
the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Currently celebrating our tenth
anniversary, Rhizome's programs support the creation, presentation,
discussion and preservation of contemporary art that uses new technologies
in significant ways. These include online publications and discussion
lists, exhibitions (online & offline), performances, screenings, public
talks and events, the ArtBase archive, artists' commissions, and other
educational programs. For more information about Rhizome, visit:

http://rhizome.org/info/

Rhizome seeks a Curatorial Fellow to assist with the research, planning,
and production of exhibitions and public programs, as well as writing and
editing content for Rhizome's website and publications. This position is a
unique opportunity for a person interested in pursuing a career in the new
media arts field to further their engagement with the community and hone
their professional skills.

The Curatorial Fellow must be based in New York and must be able to commit
to 15 hours of work per week, for an academic year, beginning in September
2006 and ending in the summer of 2007. These hours may include occasional
evening and weekend events. This position is unpaid, but academic credit
may be arranged.

Reporting directly to Rhizome's Editor & Curator, the Curatorial Fellow
will work on all phases of the exhibition and editorial processes,
including researching new projects, writing copy, and assisting with the
implementation of current programs. The Curatorial Fellow will also
develop crucial experience in development and communications. The Fellow's
primary responsibilities may include:

* Becoming a Site Editor and assisting with the management of reBlog content
* Writing and editing occasional Rhizome News articles and other texts
* Researching editorial ideas and writers
* Liaising with artists, public program participants, and venues
* Assisting in the promotion of events
* Co-coordinating the Rhizome ArtBase, including researching art works
* Planning, production, and on-site coordination of public events

As the Curatorial Fellow advances, there may be opportunities to curate an
exhibition or event, and to write feature articles. In general, the Fellow
will play an important role in helping to strategize and execute strong,
dynamic programs and editorial content.

QUALIFICATIONS:
Candidates should have a level of familiarity with new media and its
histories and discourses. They should also possess or expect to complete a
Master's degree by 2007. At least one year of arts administration
experience is required and preference will be given to candidates with
prior curatorial and/or editorial experience. At a minimum, the candidate
should have very strong writing, editing, and analytical skills, and very
high internet literacy. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software is also
required and basic Photoshop skills are preferred.

TO APPLY:
Please email a cover letter, resume or c.v., three references, and three
writing samples (url's or attachments) to Marisa Olson at
marisa(at)rhizome.org. Review of applications will begin immediately and
all materials must be submitted by Wednesday, September 13, for
consideration.

+ + +
Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art


DISCUSSION

Faultlines Online Exhibition


Coinciding with the launch of Rhizome's Tenth Anniversary Festival of Art
& Technology is the opening of 'Faultlines,' a Rhizome-curated online
exhibition that is the first in Time Shares, our joint series with the New
Museum of Contemporary Art. Details below...

FAULTLINES
http://www.rhizome.org/events/timeshares/

Over the past decade, as the Internet has become a mass medium, a number
of large, dynamic communities have sprung up online. For instance, social
networking sites like MySpace and Xanga boast millions of subscribers
(mostly teenagers or young adults) and Second Life, which is both a game
and a virtual civilization where players can do anything from organize art
shows to buy condominiums, currently has upwards of 366,662 residents.
Rhizome, itself, was founded as a global, Internet-based community in
1996. Here, as in societies offline, community is expressed as a dynamic,
complicated, disharmonious and productive place. The works in Faultlines
consider the desires, fictions and anxieties embedded in online
communities and also reveal how "real-world" issues, such as commerce and
international politics, drive relationships in the virtual sphere just as
they do offline.

Artists: Mauricio Arango, Anil Dash, Takuji Kogo, Golan Levin with Kamal
Nigam and Jonathan Feinberg, Guthrie Lonergan, Warren Sack, Jon Thomson
and Alison Craighead.

Faultlines is a parallel program with ISEA2006/ZeroOne San Jose (01sj.org).

TIME SHARES
Organized by Rhizome and co-presented the New Museum of Contemporary Art,
Time Shares is a series of online exhibitions dedicated to exploring the
diversity of contemporary art based on the Internet. Every six weeks,
Rhizome and invited curators will launch a new exhibition featuring an
international group of artists.

+ + +

Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art

DISCUSSION

Rhizome 10th Anniversary Festival


It is with tremendous excitement that Rhizome launches our Tenth
Anniversary Festival of Art & Technology, this week. We've developed a
seven-month season of diverse programs, in partnership with some fantastic
organizations committed to supporting new media art.

You can check out the Festival, here:
http://www.rhizome.org/events/tenyear/

Though this Festival is really about looking ahead, this is a good moment
to reflect and say thanks. We're proud of what Rhizome's done and become,
in the last ten years. The organization has grown from a mailing list to
an active membership organization serving a wide audience with multiple
programs. We have our community, especially our members, to thank for
this.

Speaking of community, we also want to encourage you to participate in
Keylines, the Festival's collaborative writing project in which seed posts
on the topics of new media histories & genres, feminism, the environment,
politics, communities, and innovation have already been planted. We hope
you'll help these lines of discussion grow...

Other Festival highlights include Time Shares, a series of online
exhibitions co-presented with the New Museum of Contemporary Art to
emphasize our ongoing commitment to internet-based art, and a number of
offline exhibitions, performances, panel discussions, book launches, and
more.

A big thank-you to all the artists, writers, venues, and sponsors who've
leant their support to the Festival.

We'll be sending out individual announcements about programs as they come
up on the calendar.

With thanks,
The Rhizome Team

+ + +

Marisa Olson
Editor & Curator
Rhizome.org at the
New Museum of Contemporary Art