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

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

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




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, 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 ...


Reappearance of the Undead


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 ...


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 ...


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

Re: RHIZOME_RAW: holy shit: MASS MoCA - it ain't art but if it is, we're co-authors

Hey, guys. I've been kind of following this story. There have been a
number of articles, but here are some key ones, I think:


Buchel's demands:

Op Ed:

And here's a nice piece by Nick Stillman, offering some art historical context:`2&fid=4&sid=8

I don't know... I've heard both sides of the story. It's intense.

On 7/26/07, marc garrett <> wrote:
> How did it get to this?
> marc
> > still trying to digest this...
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > The most elucidating part of MASS MoCA's defense is predicated on
> > affirmative defenses that should arouse suspicion and distrust on the
> > part of any visual artist toward any cultural institution. Out of the
> > twenty-nine affirmative defenses, MASS MoCA is claiming that Buchel's
> > counterclaims are barred because "the materials that are the subject
> > matter of [Buchel's] Counterclaims do not contain sufficient original
> > expression on the part of Buchel to be protected under the [U.S.]
> > Copyright Act."
> >
> > Alternatively, MASS MoCA argues that Buchel's counterclaims are barred
> > because MASS MoCA is "a joint owner of any copyright in the Materials
> > which are the subject matter of Buchel's counterclaims."
> >
> > More alarming is MASS MoCA's argument that they are the lawful owners
> > of the materials which are the subject matter of this dispute, and
> > thus allowed to display them publicly.
> >
> > But this isn't the end of this wonderful yarn of fiction. MASS MoCA
> > further argues that Buchel's work is not even art, but simply a
> > compilation of materials which, if accepted by the Court, would not be
> > granted protection under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA).
> > If in fact the Court decides that VARA does apply, MASS MoCA argues
> > that any modification to the "materials" which may have happened is
> > allowed by VARA under the "conservation or placement" exception,
> > and/or that the doctrine of "fair use" would allow MASS MoCA to
> > display Buchel's project without infringing the Copyright or VARA Acts.
> >
> >
> +
> -> post:
> -> questions:
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> -> give:
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at


Re: RHIZOME_RAW: code/switching/figure/ground

Hi. That's a SemaCode image, by Michelle Pred.

On 7/25/07, <> wrote:
> The ed. on the code switching exhibition ( 070725)
> strikes a nerve with me as representations of ordered chaos.
> These manifestations are popping up all over easily unnoticed yet when uncovered, startlingly inter-connective.
> The picture heading the article reminds me of the barcode used on self-printed airline tickets. If anyone has any info on what kind of code goes into making this I would REALLY appreciate your dropping knowledge.
> en attendant.
> +
> -> post:
> -> questions:
> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
> -> give:
> +
> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
> Membership Agreement available online at


Fwd: Call for Projects VIDA 10.0

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: monica capsula <>
Date: Jul 16, 2007 11:56 AM
Subject: Call for Projects VIDA 10.0

Dear all,

please find below the call for projects announcement of VIDA 10.0.

VIDA 10.0 is an international competition created to reward excellence in
artistic creativity in the fields of Artificial Life and related
disciplines, such as robotics and Artiftcial Intelligence.We are looking for
artistic projects that address the interaction between "synthetic" and
"organic" life".
In previous years prizes have been awarded to artistic projects using
autonomous robots, avatars, recursive chaotic algorithms, knowbots, cellular
automata, computer viruses, virtual ecologies that evolve with user
participation, and works that highlight the social side of Artificial Life.

I hope you find it to your interest and please distribute it to other
parties to who may be interested.


monica bello


*****Apologizes for the cross-posting****
****Let me know if you do not want to received my emails****

Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
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<br><br>---------- Forwarded message ----------<br><span class="gmail_quo=
te">From: <b class="gmail_sendername">monica capsula</b> &lt;<a href="m="></a>&gt;<br>Date: J=
ul 16, 2007 11:56 AM
<br>Subject: Call for Projects VIDA 10.0<br>To: <a href="mailto:monica@ca="></a><br><br></span>Dear all,<br><br><br>=
please find below the call for projects announcement of VIDA 10.0. <br><p>
VIDA 10.0 is an international competition created to reward
excellence in artistic creativity in the fields of Artificial Life and
related disciplines, such as robotics and Artiftcial Intelligence.We
are looking for artistic projects that address the interaction between
&quot;synthetic&quot; and &quot;organic&quot; life&quot;.</p>

In previous years prizes
have been awarded to artistic projects using autonomous robots,
avatars, recursive chaotic algorithms, knowbots, cellular automata,
computer viruses, virtual ecologies that evolve with user
participation, and works that highlight the social side of Artificial
Life.<div><div><blockquote type="cite"><div style="margin: 0px;"><a hre=
f="" target="_blank"=
onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)"></a></div><div style="=
margin: 0px; min-height: 14px;"><br></div><div style="margin: 0px; min-he=
ight: 14px;"><br></div><div style="margin: 0px;"><img src="cid:4323DFEE=

</div></blockquote></div><br>I hope you find it to your interest and please=
distribute it to other parties to who may be interested.<br><br><br>best,<=
br><br><br>monica bello<br><br><br><br><a href="http://00capsula00.word=" target="_blank" onclick="return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,ev=

</a><br><br>*****Apologizes for the cross-posting****<br>****Let me know if=
you do not want to received my emails****<br></div>



Interview with Silicious

+Commissioned by Rhizome+

Interview with Silicious, by Petra Cortright

Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist Kathleen Daniel (aka Silicious)
combines painting/ animation, music, costume design, and performance
in her video art, which is as-yet still emerging in the fine art
world, but has garnered her cult status online. Daniel was born in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, and describes herself as eclectic. She has a
humorous, imaginative vision that is evident in her voice, and she
sites a challenging upbringing and youth fantasies as inspirations in
her work. She says, "I sing for the poor souls closest to the street;
the ones who suffer the most." Here she was interviewed by artist
Petra Cortright, who incorporates questions posed by fellow fans Olia
Lialina & Tom Moody.

PC: You are American, but now live in Germany. What was your
motivation for moving abroad? How has it affected your work?

KD: Yes, I am an American, living in Germany. I came here because
nothing was happening for me in my country (USA), which is too
corporate, though not a problem if you're not relying on a 9 to 5.
Living in Germany has not affected my work, because my mind trips 24/7
and living here is nothing but a meatball - nothing major is happening
that would change my inner being. My goal is to hype my music and
animation to the next level, then return to the States - or at least
become international.

PC: What programs or technology do you use to create your work?

KD: Because some are given to me I don't want to mention them, but to
name a few, Frame Forge and Blender 3D and for music: Cubase. As an
artist, I do a lot of work in an image-editing program, where I can
express myself. Years ago I had an oil-painting exhibition in San
Mateo, California, that was written in the San Mateo Weekly.

PC: On average do you usually start with the visuals and then set them
to music, or vice-versa? Or do you find yourself working on both
simultaneously? (This question comes from Tom Moody).

KD: Most of the time I do music first, then the visuals, because I
draw on the music to do the visuals. Humor is my forte, and at
present I'm working on an animated sitcom and any time I do a lot of
dialog - the music is last because I draw on the mood of the
characters to create the music.

PC: The subject matter of your imagery is unique and provocative (for
example the tiled background of your YouTube page is a woman
strangling herself and vomiting) as well as surreal and heavily
fantasy-based. What are some main sources of inspiration that the
imagery is derived from, if any?

KD: Salvador Dali is my inspiration, but I have always been slightly
weird in expressing myself artistically. I was a hippy and took acid
and magic-mushroom trips and still have that mentality today - without
the acid and mushroom. A free-spirited, laid-back, freakadelic.

PC: What are other YouTube channels or artists you are interested /
influenced by right now - any recommendations? (This question comes
from Olia Lialina).

KD: I don't spend a lot of time looking at videos on YouTube. Some
producers send me videos to comment on, but my taste is so weird none
stand out, and so none come to mind. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure
there are some dynamite videos out there, I just haven't seen them. I
run in, answer my mail and get off, because it is distracting and I
need to keep focused.

Addendum: Regarding the question [above], it bothered me that I


Rhizome 2007-08 Commissions Announcement

Please forgive the repeat announcement; we're just pushing this
through to our RSS feed.

+ + +

Rhizome is pleased to announce increased funding for its Commissions
Program. This year, eleven emerging artists/ collectives have been
awarded commissions, for a total of $23,000, in support of new works
of Internet-based art. The commissioned works will be presented on and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as
archived in Rhizome's online archive, the ArtBase.

The commissioned artworks were selected by Rhizome members and a jury
composed of Suhjung Hur, Curator, Art Center Nabi; Rudolf Freiling,
Curator of Media Arts, SFMoMA; Marc Garrett, CoFounder and CoDirector
of Furtherfield; Christina Ray, Founder and Director of Glowlab and
the Conflux Festival; and Lauren Cornell and Marisa Olson of Rhizome.
Rhizome members awarded three of the eleven commissions including our
first ever Community Award, a new category created to support projects
that enhance participation and communication on This
award went to (Tyler Jacobsen & Kim Schnaubert) for
zHarmony (see below for details).

The Rhizome Commissions program is supported, in part, by funds from
the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the National
Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City
Department of Cultural Affairs. Additional support is provided by
generous individuals and Rhizome members.

08 Commissions Online At:

Descriptions and proposal urls are below.

Add Art ---- Member Selection
By Steve Lambert with Evan Harper at Eyebeam OpenLab
AddArt is a Firefox extension which replaces advertising images on web
pages with art images from a curated database.

by Jack Stockholm
Eavesdropping is a networked audio system designed for guerilla
performance to raise awareness of our ambient communication in public
spaces. This project highlights the intentionality and exhibitionism
of bringing our private actions into the public sphere.

Ebay-Generator will generate songs based on the public data mined from
Ebay sellers and buyers. Users' rating, sold objects, times and
frequency of transactions and other data will be automatically
transformed into a structured text, which a supercollider-application
will use to generate music and lyrics.

by Rafael Rozendaal will be a website with a single flash animation. You
will see a green plate with a red Jello dessert. When you touch the
jelly with your mouse, it 'wobbles'. It will shake and make a strange
sound, the more you pull it, the more it will shake. I really want to
emulate the feeling of jelly, something between solid and liquid. A
feeling that is very familiar in real life that might seem strange on
a computer screen.

by Melanie Crean with Chris Sugrue and Paul Geluso
Phrenology will investigate the perception of space, whether real,
virtual or imagined, though writings created by incarcerated women in
a workshop the artist will teach at Bedford Hills Correctional
Facility . The piece will consist of a series of 360 degree
photographic panoramas that interconnect through text included in the
environments. Viewers will be able to move through the different
environments to read the women's writing in a form of spatial poem,
accompanied by an experimental sound track based on the text.

Remote Instructions
by Lee Walton
Remote Instructions is a web-central project that will utilize both
the communication capabilities of the web and spectatorship of its
users. From a central hub, Lee Walton will collaborate with strangers
globally via the web and orchestrate a series of video performances
that will take place in real cities, neighborhoods, villages and towns
around the world. A Remote Instructions website will be created to
host video projects and promote networking among collaborators.

Second Life Dumpster
by eteam
In Second Life each avatar has a trash folder. Items, that get deleted
end up in that folder by default. The trash folder has to get emptied
as often as possible, otherwise the avatars performance might
diminish. But, where do deleted things end up? What are those things?
Second Life Dumpster will explore these questions by starting and
maintaining a public dumpster in Second Life for the duration of one

ShiftSpace - An OpenSource Layer Above Any Website
by Dan Phiffer and Mushon Zer-Aviv
While the Internet's design is widely understood to be open and
distributed, control over how users interact online has given us
largely centralized and closed systems. ShiftSpace is an Open Source
platform that attempts to subvert this trend by providing a new public
space on the web. By pressing the [Shift] + [Space] keys, a ShiftSpace
user can invoke a new meta layer above any web page to browse and
create additional interpretations, contextualizations and
interventions using various authoring tools.

VF, Virta-Flaneurazine-SL, Proposal for Clinical Study ---- Member Selection
by Will Pappenheimer and John Freeman
Virta-Flaneurazine-SL is a potent programmable "mood changing" drug
for Second Life (SL). A member of the "Wanderment" family of
psychotropic drugs; when ingested it automatically causes the bearer
to aimlessly roam the distant lands of SL for up to a full day. As the
prograchemistry takes effect, users find themselves erratically
teleporting to random locations, behaving strangely, seeing
digephemera and moving in circuitous paths. Many users report the
experience allows them to see SL freed from its limitations as a fast
growing grid of investment properties.

The Wrench
by Knifeandfork (Sue Huang and Brian House)
The Wrench will recast Primo Levi's The Monkey's Wrench into a mobile
phone text-message exchange between participants and an
artificially-intelligent agent. Taking place over the course of a
week, the dialogue is not pre-determined; it employs Knifeandfork's
nonlinear narrative software engine. The system is intended to present
a convincingly human agent within a realtime plot progression. The AI
will have specific, dynamic narrative goals for each interaction,
designed to intertwine the lives of the character and participant
through the ubiquitous yet restrictive communication channel of

zHarmony ---- Member Selection
by (Tyler Jacobsen & Kim Schnaubert)
zHarmony is an addition to Rhizome that will combine the Compatibility
Matching System of online relationship services like eHarmony with
Rhizome's existing database of artists. zHarmony will produce a unique
artist profiling system that can automatically match artists with
like-minded collaborators (or groups of collaborators) based on
multiple points of compatibility.