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

PORTFOLIO (10)
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, and has been commissioned and collected by the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Houston Center for Photography, Experimental Television Center, and PS122. This work's been reviewed in Artforum, Art21, Liberation, Folha de Sao Paolo, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. New York Magazine has called Marisa one of the Top Five video artists working online, Wired has called her both funny and humorous, the New York Times once called her "anything but stupid," and the Wall Street Journal considers her their "Walkman Historian" of choice.

Marisa actively contributes to the field, writing for many major art publications, ranging from magazines & exhibition catalogs to academic journals and chapters in books on the history and theory of media art. She has served as Editor & Curator at Rhizome, the inaugural curator at Zero1, and Associate Director at SF Camerawork, whose Journal she edited. In 2013 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, Marisa has also curated programs at the Guggenheim, New Museum, SFMOMA, White Columns, and Artists Space. She has served on Advisory Boards for Ars Electronica, Transmediale, ISEA, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Creative Capital, EYEBEAM, the Getty Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Marisa 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, Oberlin, VCU, UC-Boulder's Brakhage Symposium, Penn State, Visiting Faculty at Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, and Visiting Faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Ox-Bow program. She previously taught at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' new media graduate program and was Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase's School of Film & Media Studies. She is currently Visiting Critic at Brown University.

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


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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

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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 ...

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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 ...

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In the Future-Past Tense



The fantasy of the future and the utopian promises of new technologies have always gone hand-in-hand. If the history of technology's evolution tells the story of our culture, we can also trace our present-day novelties back to the root of our anxieties about the future and the problems these devices hoped to solve. With this correlation in mind, the interactive DVD novel The Imaginary 20th Century (2007) by Norman Klein, Margo Bistis, and Andreas Kratky, jumps back to the fin de siècle era between the 19th and 20th centuries. It was a time of wonder when new technologies and their representation were wedded in documents like panoramic films of public light shows and short actualities about newfangled transportation devices called roller skates. The novel tells the story of "the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and the story of a woman (Carrie), who in 1901, selects four men to seduce her, each with his own version of the new century" in a recombinatory visual narrative that overlaps 2,200 images culled from primary documents, architectural plans, photos, and other ephemera with an original score. The project speaks to the multiplicity of visions circulating about what the new century would hold, and it's an even more past-tense follow-up to Norman Klein's interactive novel, Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles, 1920-1986 (2003). Klein's work has clearly resonated with at least eleven people, because closing this week at Otis College of Art and Design's Ben Maltz Gallery is "The Future Imaginary," an exhibition that responds to The Imaginary 20th Century with the work of artists Deborah Aschheim, Jeff Cain, Tom Jennings, Jon Kessler, Ed Osborn, Lea Rekow, Douglas Repetto, Phil Ross, Kari Rae Seekins and Aaron Drake, and Susan Simpson. Each contribution embodies the special genre of ...

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Discussions (280) Opportunities (10) Events (4) Jobs (0)
DISCUSSION

Re: Surveillance Art


see also the surveillance camera players. i guess so much also
depends on how you define surveillance. would you include
packet-sniffing (a la RSG)? would you include "watchdog" parody (a la
RT Mark)? would you include google spiders? of course issues of
tactical media & open source could sneak in here, too...

there are many surveillance-related projects referenced here, around
steve dietz & jenny marketou's Open Source Art Hack exhibition:
http://netartcommons.walkerart.org/NAC/02/05/28/1934249.shtml

i also frequently find it helpful to search rhizome fresh texts by
keyword, parsing them for references to work. in this case:
http://rhizome.org/fresh/texts_by_keyword.rhiz?keyword=surveillance

~marisa

At 12:48 PM -0500 2/28/04, Rachel Greene wrote:
>Here are two names: Julia Scher and Heath Bunting
>
>
>On Feb 28, 2004, at 11:16 AM, Miguel wrote:
>
>>Hello, I am very interested in finding media art works that deal
>>specifically with the theme of surveillance.
>>
>>Can anybody help me on this subject?
>>
>>Thank you.
>>+
>>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>>-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
>>+
>>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
>>
>
>+
>-> post: list@rhizome.org
>-> questions: info@rhizome.org
>-> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
>-> give: http://rhizome.org/support
>-> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
>+
>Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
>Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php

_________________
Marisa S. Olson
Associate Director
SF Camerawork
1246 Folsom Street
SF, CA 94103

DISCUSSION

Schoolin @ AOV


Dear friends,

I'm excited to tell you about a show I've curated at AOV Gallery. It
features new work by some of my favorite artists and it opens Friday.
Hope you can make it...

Best,
Marisa
---------------------------

SCHOOLIN'
AOV Gallery
March 5 - April 11

School-related video, photography, and painting by
Jona Frank, Anthony Goicolea, Alison Pebworth, Naglaa Walker

Curated by Marisa S. Olson

Opening Reception Friday, March 5, 7-9pm
Hours: Thur-Fri, 5-8; Sat 12-5 & by appointment

AOV: 3328 22nd Street, SF 94110 - 415.431.8341

** I didn't want to clog your inbox with attachments, but click here
to see video stills from Anthony Goicolea's Classroom:
http://www.anthonygoicolea.com/NewAnthonySite/pages/classroom03.html

DISCUSSION

Killer Shots/Moving Targets at Camerawork


With apologies for cross-postings... I'm writing to let you know
about the two exhibitions opening Tuesday, at SF Camerawork. Key
details are below and you can find more online, including info on
lectures by Rebecca Solnit, Ed Kashi, and Glenda & Jesse Drew, at
www.sfcamerawork.org.
...

One year after going to war with Iraq,
SF CAMERAWORK PRESENTSS
Two exhibitions exploring the face of war
and the character of resistanceS

KILLER SHOTS: A Photographic Response to War
Curated by Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
February 17-March 20, 2004
Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 5-8 pm

Killer Shots: A Photographic Response to War begins with images from
the Vietnam War, often referred to as the first picture war, setting
the photographic yardstick for photographers who risk their lives
showing the atrocity of human violence. These photographs are
imbedded in our visual memory and, brought together, force us to
examine what we've learned about war and humankind over the past
thirty years.

Artists: Abbas, Eddie Adams, David Burnett, Larry Burrows, Horst
Faas, Lori Grinker, Jean Gaumy, Matt Harnett, David Leeson, Marta
Lopez, Alex Majoli, Steve McCurry, Don McCullin, Susan Meiselas, Joel
Meyerowitz, Jon Mills, James Nachtwey, Sebastiao Salgado, Larry
Towell, Nick Ut, Sal Veder, and Alex Webb.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
MOVING TARGETS: The Art of Resistance
Curated by Marnie Gillett and Chuck Mobley
February 17-March 20, 2004
Opening Reception: Tuesday, February 17, 2004, 5-8 pm

Starting with the foundation laid in Killer Shots, this companion
exhibition draws its inspiration from the strong protest movement
surrounding the US war in Iraq. The five Bay Area artists in this
exhibition take a measured look at the weighty causes and varied
consequences of war and offer an alternative view to traditional
photojournalistic interpretation.

Artists: Shingo Annen, Glenda Drew, Jesse Drew, Kenneth Hung, Ed
Kashi, and Claudia Leger.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
coming next:

POP_Remix*
Curated by Marisa S. Olson
May 11 - June 12, 2004
Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 11, 5-8pm

A contemporary, photo-based redux of Pop Art arguments about the
context of image-production, the work in this exhibition takes as its
marrow the material of moving image culture. Segments of popular
films, television programs, and screen-based video games are
deconstructed and repurposed as meditations on mainstream
image-making and its cultural import. Each project is at once
accessible-even fun!-by virtue of its relationship to pop culture,
while simultaneously revealing the deeper cumulative effects of our
relationship to its content. Ultimately, we are invited to consider
the impacts these popular lens-based genres have had upon the ways in
which we choose to look at the world.

Artists: Cory Arcangel, Anthony Discenza, Alex Galloway, Jennifer &
Kevin McCoy, Paul Pfeiffer

* This exhibition will be accompanied by an issue of Camerawork: A
Journal of Photographic Arts, featuring major essays by Philip
Sherburne, Mark Tribe, and Jose Luis de Vicente, among others.

_________________
Marisa S. Olson
Associate Director
SF Camerawork
1246 Folsom Street
SF, CA 94103

DISCUSSION

xhtml, xml, and html..?


hi, all. sorry if this is a conversation long pummeled here, and i've
just missed it (a disclaimer i feel the need to posit since, in some
ways, we all seem tired of html discussions), but i'd be interested
in some of the practitioners' takes on the state of html and the
creative, "artistic" significance of xhtml or xml. in particular
(though not exclusively), does this shift allow for the addition of
finer meta-level analysis/reading of info-organizational/navigational
practices?

just curious what people think...

~marisa

_________________
Marisa S. Olson
Associate Director
SF Camerawork
415. 863. 1001

DISCUSSION

New Media Education and Its Discontent


hi, all. trebor scholz posted this interesting piece to the sarai
reader list. thought some here might be interested...

i'm particularly interested in the discussion of "the apparent
tension between teaching theory and
production." it does seem (given my own experiences as a perpetual
phd student) that so many of the programs have this polarized,
alienating curricular dichotomy going and i have found myself
frustrated at the lack of middle ground. when i was in the uk, it
impressed me that art practice programs had theoretical research
components built into their degrees, whereas the two are so separated
in the US. in the context of the media arts, there seems to be a bit
more of an impetus to "present" both, but my sense is that many of
the people steering the programs are doing so under the mark of
intimidation by the so-called "new" media and, also--more
importantly, that there is a general lack of synthesis between
criticism/theory and practice. so that courses will focus on the
"right" new media readings, and possibly introducing critical theory
vets (jameson, baudrillard, foucault, etc.) in this light, but
without engaging with an application of those ideas to a reading of
any real art work. and, on the other hand, there are nuts & bolts
practice courses that (perhaps sprouting out of the
anti-intellectualism scholz mentions) snub theory as divorced from
their engagement with director or perl, and focus simply on
production.

the rapid development of the technologies (hard and soft) associated
with "new media" is a bittersweet thing. book production timelines do
not jive with software upgrades. this we know. but, still, it would
be great if the "production" (and hiring!) of scholars equally
engaged in practice and criticism (not that i don't seem criticism as
a sort of practice, and vice-versa!) and comfortable merging the two
would catch up to the work.

my two cents...
~marisa

>Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2003 16:41:17 -0400
>From: trebor scholz <treborscholz@earthlink.net>
>To: Sarai List <reader-list@sarai.net>
>
>
>New Media Education and Its Discontent
>
>"S home are the people for whom I take responsibility."
>--------------Vilem Flusser in "The Freedom of the Migrant"
>
>The Brazilian philosopher Vilem Flusser wrote much about the exile freely
>taking responsibility. I am in the fortunate position to enjoy teaching in a
>technology-based university department in the United States. I chose to take
>responsibility for the (new media) education of my students. And yet I
>experience conflicts among which student anti-intellectualism ranks first.
>
> A few anecdotal examples: one student reports how her high school teachers
>incessantly lied to her in their "interpretation" of world history and how
>that stirred up suspicion of "the intellectual." Another student claims that
>because of the availability of material online he feels less inclined to
>study the conclusions that other people draw from these texts as he himself
>can make up his mind. A graduate student recounts experiences he had as a
>critical technical practitioner in the early 90s when intellectuals applied
>the knowledge in their field to what he calls his own and quickly received a
>lot of visibility while not really understanding the issues due to a lack of
>technical insight. Students ask what it means to be intelligent and raise
>concerns that the class overlooks the type of knowledge that their
>grandmothers have, a very local and emotional insight. Maybe not
>surprisingly most distrust intellectuals in this country, calling them
>elitist, out of touch with this world, and view them as irrelevant.
>Completely quiet until then, one graduate student suddenly erupts in a
>candid impromptu lecture about the history of anti-intellectualism in the
>United States (he surely was trained to defend his position throughout his
>high school years). He traces it back to President Andrew Jackson, who
>received "sporadic education," wiped out Indian tribes and did not hesitate
>to shoot verbal contenders. Jackson hated people who knew more than he did.
>Coincidentally they were the Jews, homosexuals and immigrants of the time.
>John Quincy Adams, the sixth US president said of Jackson that he "cannot
>spell more than one word in four." The brave student then linked Jackson's
>presidency to the history of the extreme right in the United States and the
>prevalence of anti-intellectualism in this country up to this day. The
>California recall-election is a good example in which the candidate with the
>most "personality" may win over those with intellect and experience in
>politics. The last presidential elections also proved this point.
>
>The debate about anti-intellectualism has become more vocal in classrooms
>across America for the past 10 years. "Anti-intellectualism," in my
>encyclopedia, is described as "hostility towards, or a mistrust of
>intellectuals, and their intellectual pursuits. This may be expressed in
>various ways, such as an attack on the merits of science, education, or
>literature." The definition continues: "In another sense,
>anti-intellectualism reflects an attitude that simply takes
>'intellectualism' with a grain of salt--inasmuch as intellectuals may be
>vain or narcissistic in their self-image, so too may they be understood by
>'common people.'" And let's add some more from this source (leaving aside
>how problematic the term 'common people' obviously is):
>"Anti-intellectualism is found in every nation on earth, but has become
>associated in particular with the United States of America. It existed in
>the US before the nation itself; the New England Puritan writer John Cotton
>wrote in 1642 that 'The more learned and witty you bee, the more fit to act
>for Satan will you bee.' Anti-intellectual folklore values the self-reliant
>and 'self-made man,' schooled by society and by experience, over the
>intellectual whose learning was acquired through books and formal study."
>
>Concretely, anti-intellectualism manifests itself in the class room by not
>reading assignments, not contributing to class discussion, complaining about
>a high work load, skipping class, giving low evaluations to instructors with
>high standards, not bothering to do extra work, by dispassionately
>condemning intellectual debate as "boring." Incidents of racism and
>xenophobia in the classroom can be seen as part of the same problem.
>
> bell hooks describes the "pleasure of teaching" as an "act of resistance
>countering the overwhelming boredom, uninterest, and apathyS" In her book,
>"Teaching to Transgress," hooks describes teaching as a site for resistance,
>a place where the teacher must practice being vulnerable, and wholly
>present. I agree with her- the teacher's vulnerability brings a sense of a
>real, conflictual person to the classroom that encourages students to
>develop a similarly genuine expression of their position, free of sarcasm
>and false irony. This approach is more about learning than teaching- it is a
>process full of productive conflict in which the instructor is also
>transformed. Isn't it more fulfilling to be skilled than unskilled, to know
>than to not know, to inquire than to be self-satisfied, to strive than to be
>apathetic? What does learning mean? What does it mean to be in a place like
>a university where you have the opportunity of knowledge being presented to
>you, and time to reflect and navigate your own orientation?
>
> Media Study Departments bring together the most relevant sources of
>knowledge-- from cultural theory, and literature to technical skill, from
>the vocational to the conceptual. It is important to create an understanding
>of the importance of conceptual work in students. New media education faces
>other issues like the apparent tension between teaching theory and
>production, between those who "think for a living" and others who are on the
>"cutting edge" of technological innovation. In my classroom I experience
>much careerism, which I see both, as a result and a cause of student
>anti-intellectualism. Increasingly, career-minded students see college as an
>imposition between high school and the good life. The focus for many
>undergraduate students is on acquiring software and programming skills,
>which they value as the only stepping-stones to a corporate job. At the same
>time new media educators all over the country find it increasingly painful
>to prepare the next generation for their career as HTML slaves. In this
>"tech prep" atmosphere, emphasizing employability, art becomes increasingly
>"applied art." On the other hand, there is a severe problem for those
>talented graduates who decide not to seek shelter in the "industry." They
>become new media artists and apart from hard-to-get positions in academia
>there are few places that will finance them. In the North of Europe the
>situation differs somewhat as grants may cover the new media artist's
>livelihood.
>
>Career-minded students often think that the cutting edge medium will get
>them "that job," with the "new and hip" constantly being in transition. "I
>don't know why we look at work in the Internet- it is already 10 years old."
>Students make similar demands of texts: "I don't know why we read this, it's
>written in 1995- that's dated now." And universities often buy into this
>perceived industry standard instead of focusing on general skills such as
>independent critical thinking that get students much further.
>
> How could we develop a curiosity for (art) history that then leads to, for
>example- web based art or graphics programming? The pure application of
>software programs or programming creates the most boring people says John
>Hopkins, quoted by Geert Lovink in his recent book "My First Recession"--
>"it's like amateur photo-club members comparing the length of their
>telephoto lensesS" Many in the programming communities are distrustful of
>the humanities because in their view they have little to contribute to their
>field. In addition it is an almost impossible challenge for a single human
>being to keep up with the development of all those tools. Lovink writes,
>"universities still consider the computer/ new media industries as somehow
>emulating a film-industry model, with a stable set of skills each person
>goes out into the world with after graduation." He suggests that instead,
>the most important task is to loosen up to a transient world of employment/
>work/ play and disabusing students of the notion that there is an
>"industry." It needs problematic, off-track courses, Lovink argues, because
>they usually provide skills that last much longer than the software
>applications or programming languages of the day. What is in the long-term
>interest of students may not be immediately clear to them and it takes
>courage on the side of the instructor to insist on their vision.
>
> I have been asked about the difference between European and US American
>academia. Comparing teaching at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany with my
>teaching in American universities I see indeed vast differences. The German
>educational system is heavily based on student's initiative. In Britain,
>where I studied for an M.F.A., most of learning took place within the
>student group. English tutors contributed inspiring cross-disciplinary
>anecdotes and encouraged a spirit of self-criticism. I taught art history,
>new media art practices and critical theory at universities in the North and
>South West of the United States and now on the East Coast. I experienced
>American students as often not willing to overcome the initial hindrances
>that are needed to make discourse joyful.
>
>Reading a text is like entering a room of people talking and unless we learn
>about their previous exchanges we will never be in the know but instead get
>frustrated. Knowledge is nothing innate, nothing we are born with or which
>we inherited. Often mistakenly introduced into this debate are the likes of
>Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison who had little schooling yet high
>intellectual achievements.
>
> All too often students judge texts based on their unwillingness to do the
>initial work that is necessary to enjoy theory. Rather than talking about
>building self-esteem (enough already) we need to talk about hard work and
>discipline (even if that may sound Protestant). How useful are Paulo
>Freire's notions of a pedagogy of dialogue and informal teaching in the
>context of today's US new media education that already is quite informal and
>horizontal? I see the disinterest in study caused by a widespread
>delegitimization of reading and print culture, and partially by popular
>culture that glorifies triviality, and mindlessness. Stanley Aranowitz in
>"Education and Cultural Studies" (ed. Henry A. Giroux) writes: "School
>should be a place where the virtues of learning are extolled (a) for their
>own sake and (b) for the purpose of helping students to become more active
>participants in the civic life of their neighborhoods, their cities, and the
>larger world." It is hard to bring everyday political events home, to make
>students realize how deeply linked our lives are to those of the people at
>the other side of town, or in Rwanda, Kosovo, Srebrenica, Afghanistan or
>Iraq. The trivial, localized focus of TV news reporting certainly does not
>help in internationalizing students, in opening up their views to a larger
>horizon. This false localism stops students from aiming with their artworks
>at larger international (new media) art audiences. By the same token this
>localism or regionalism should not prevent new media departments from
>developing international relationships.
>
> In the American consumer-driven educational system, mainly part time or
>untenured faculty's academic careers rely on student evaluations, which is
>where the system in itself is deeply at fault. How can an instructor be
>courageous under these constraints? The meaning of teaching can be found in
>the Latin word "professio," which means declaration. To be a professor means
>to declare your beliefs, which may not by any means go down well with
>students. This stance purposefully creates tension, which comprises true
>learning, a friction that makes it clearer for a student where s/he stands.
>Teaching, in the sense of Edward Said's notion of the public intellectual,
>cannot mean to please, it cannot aim at consumer sovereignty, and it cannot
>mean that the customer is easily and completely satisfied. The consumer
>model implies that the university offers "services." Courses are shaped to
>satisfy students who think of themselves as consumers who conveniently with
>next to no effort (as in shopping), graduate. If this is what teaching is
>about, it fails its mission. Students should open themselves up to
>successful learning. And the "success" in "successful learning," according
>to Bertold Brecht stands for being educational, creating change in the real
>live world. Students should get "electrified" by the widely unexplored field
>of new media.
>
>Trebor Scholz
>
> ---
>Net Cultures: Art, Politics, and the Everyday
>http://molodiez.org/net/syllabus.html
>
>Fibre Culture New Media Education
>http://www.fibreculture.org/newmediaed/index.html
>
>Geert Lovink "The Battle over New Media Art Education. Experiences and
>Models." in "My First Recession. Critical Internet Culture in Transition"
>V2_/NAi Publishers, 2003
>
>
>
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_________________
Marisa S. Olson
Associate Director
SF Camerawork
415. 863. 1001