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.
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.
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, 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
Rhizome.org 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 Rhizome.org. This
award went to conglomco.org (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:http://rhizome.org/commissions/2007/
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.
by UBERMORGEN.COM (ALESSANDRO LUDOVICO and PAOLO CIRIO)
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
JelloTime.com 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.
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
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.
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 conglomco.org (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.
From: The Yes Men <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Jun 14, 2007 9:27 PM
June 14, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXXON PROPOSES BURNING HUMANITY FOR FUEL IF CLIMATE CALAMITY HITS
Conference organizer fails to have Yes Men arrested
Text of speech, photos, video: http://www.vivoleum.com/event/
Press conference before this event, Friday, Calgary:
More links at end of release.
Imposters posing as ExxonMobil and National Petroleum Council (NPC)
representatives delivered an outrageous keynote speech to 300 oilmen
at GO-EXPO, Canada's largest oil conference, held at Stampede Park in
Calgary, Alberta, today.
The speech was billed beforehand by the GO-EXPO organizers as the
major highlight of this year's conference, which had 20,000
attendees. In it, the "NPC rep" was expected to deliver the long-awaited
conclusions of a study commissioned by US Energy Secretary
Samuel Bodman. The NPC is headed by former ExxonMobil CEO Lee
Raymond, who is also the chair of the study. (See link at end.)
In the actual speech, the "NPC rep" announced that current U.S. and
Canadian energy policies (notably the massive, carbon-intensive
exploitation of Alberta's oil sands, and the development of liquid
coal) are increasing the chances of huge global calamities. But he
reassured the audience that in the worst case scenario, the oil
industry could "keep fuel flowing" by transforming the billions of
people who die into oil.
"We need something like whales, but infinitely more abundant," said
"NPC rep" "Shepard Wolff" (actually Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Men),
before describing the technology used to render human flesh into a
new Exxon oil product called Vivoleum. 3-D animations of the process
brought it to life.
"Vivoleum works in perfect synergy with the continued expansion of
fossil fuel production," noted "Exxon rep" "Florian Osenberg" (Yes
Man Mike Bonanno). "With more fossil fuels comes a greater chance of
disaster, but that means more feedstock for Vivoleum. Fuel will
continue to flow for those of us left."
The oilmen listened to the lecture with attention, and then lit
"commemorative candles" supposedly made of Vivoleum obtained from the
flesh of an "Exxon janitor" who died as a result of cleaning up a
toxic spill. The audience only reacted when the janitor, in a video
tribute, announced that he wished to be transformed into candles
after his death, and all became crystal-clear.
At that point, Simon Mellor, Commercial & Business Development
Director for the company putting on the event, strode up and
physically forced the Yes Men from the stage. As Mellor escorted
Bonanno out the door, a dozen journalists surrounded Bichlbaum, who,
still in character as "Shepard Wolff," explained to them the
rationale for Vivoleum.
"We've got to get ready. After all, fossil fuel development like that
of my company is increasing the chances of catastrophic climate
change, which could lead to massive calamities, causing migration and
conflicts that would likely disable the pipelines and oil wells.
Without oil we could no longer produce or transport food, and most of
humanity would starve. That would be a tragedy, but at least all
those bodies could be turned into fuel for the rest of us."
"We're not talking about killing anyone," added the "NPC rep." "We're
talking about using them after nature has done the hard work. After
all, 150,000 people already die from climate-change related effects
every year. That's only going to go up - maybe way, way up. Will it
all go to waste? That would be cruel."
Security guards then dragged Bichlbaum away from the reporters, and
he and Bonanno were detained until Calgary Police Service officers
could arrive. The policemen, determining that no major infractions
had been committed, permitted the Yes Men to leave.
Canada's oil sands, along with "liquid coal," are keystones of Bush's
Energy Security plan. Mining the oil sands is one of the dirtiest
forms of oil production and has turned Canada into one of the world's
worst carbon emitters. The production of "liquid coal" has twice the
carbon footprint as that of ordinary gasoline. Such technologies
increase the likelihood of massive climate catastrophes that will
condemn to death untold millions of people, mainly poor.
"If our idea of energy security is to increase the chances of climate
calamity, we have a very funny sense of what security really is,"
Bonanno said. "While ExxonMobil continues to post record profits,
they use their money to persuade governments to do nothing about
climate change. This is a crime against humanity."
"Putting the former Exxon CEO in charge of the NPC, and soliciting
his advice on our energy future, is like putting the wolf in charge
of the flock," said "Shepard Wolff" (Bichlbaum). "Exxon has done more
damage to the environment and to our chances of survival than any
other company on earth. Why should we let them determine our future?"
About the NPC and ExxonMobil:
About the Alberta oil sands: http://www.sierraclub.ca/prairie/tarnation.htm
About liquid coal: http://www.sierraclub.org/coal/liquidcoal/
I believe that there has been an unfortunate miscommunication here.
As I mentioned in our email exchanges on May 23 and June 3, no
announcement can be considered for inclusion in the Digest until it is
posted to the list. I've kept a close watch and the message to which
I'm replying is your first post to the list.
The Digest is a "filtered" version of Raw, so it only includes a small
percentage of the announcements that have been sent to the list and
receives no announcements that were not sent to the list. When they
are included, they appear in their entirety.
If you would like to re-post your message to focus solely on the
workshop information, without additional commentary, you can do so by
emailing it to email@example.com or posting it here:
I apologize for the confusion.
On 6/14/07, firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> wrote:
> Dear Marisa:
> I have now inquired repeatedly, but not seen any response on the DIGEST of our
> announcement for media workshop opportunities this summer. I had written you
> earlier, and asked you about it, and i am wondering why i have been a member for
> rhizome for years if i cannot make use of its information/communication service in this
> with regards
> Johannes Birringer
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
> > Sent: Sun 4/29/2007 3:59 PM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Subject: Re:+opportunities+ (for Digest)
> > [thank you for posting this announcement in the DIGEST]
> Interaktionslabor 5
> > Gottelborn Coal Mine - Saarland, Germany, July 16 -30, 2007
> Interaktionslabor Gottelborn, directed by Johannes Birringer, is accepting applications
> for its fifth
> international summer workshop. The 2007 lab focuses on wearables and interactive
> choreography/installation. Please send proposals until June 15.
> Full intensive: ?400 / Single day: ? 50,-
> Send resume to
OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
+ + DEADLINE: 1 SEPTEMBER 2007 + +
residency period 3 months
dates from September 2007
location Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands Media Art Institute is pleased to annouce an open call
for the fall 2007 round of its Artist in Residence (AiR) program.
The AiR programme at the Netherlands Media Art Institute aims to
support the exploration and development of new work in
digital/interactive/network media and technology based arts practice.
The residency provides time and resources to artists in a supportive
environment to facilitate the creation of new work that is produced
from an open source perspective. We encourage a cross disciplinary and
experimental approach. This is a practice based residency designed to
enable the development and completion of a new work.
Our focus for this open call is on open source interactive
* installation art, in which the following occurs:
* interaction between tools and/or software
* interaction between tools and artwork
* interaction between audience and artwork
The Netherlands Media Art Institute offers an open environment with
technical assistance and an active advisory board which will give
feedback and support in technical, conceptual and presentation issues.
There is access to studio and exhibition equipment, technical support
from the Institute's staff and production help from interns. The
technical staff is specialized and has good contacts with programmers
of the following software, a.o.: PD/PDP, Blender, Dynebolic, Linux. We
expect the artist to have knowledge and insight in the technical
realization of the concept.
It is integral to the mission of the AiR program that artists
participate in presenting their work in a public form appropriate to
their project. This can include gallery installations, demonstrations
of research in progress, panel discussions, on-line projects, or
multimedia performances, in addition to open studio events and
workshops. For this reason we ask that artists include in their
proposal possible examples of how they might like to present their
At this moment the Netherlands Media Art Institute provides in travel
costs. It doesn't provide accommodation for artists living outside of
Amsterdam. However, we are willing to help the search but cannot
guarantee a place for living.
Application form: http://www.montevideo.nl/en/onderzoek/aanvraagform.html
The application form can be send to:
Netherlands Media Art Institute
Artist in Residence
c/o Annet Dekker
1016 EV Amsterdam
The works that comprise Jody Zellen's works on paper from Of a Lost
Utopia are poetic meditations on the fragmented way she reads, retains
and responds to the daily newspaper, using both old and new
This most recent project consists of her hand-drawn tracings from
newspaper pages later scanned and digitally combined with digitized
news photos. The exhibition presents original drawings, digital
photographs, and an animated video in which the words and figures
depicted in the drawings collide and overlap, adding yet another level
of multivalent meaning to the work. Often the drawings include
tracings where images and texts from both sides of the newspaper
broadsheet are simultaneously exposed, revealing unintended
relationships and commentary.
Using the machine-made and mass-produced newspaper as its source, the
project begins as drawing, done by hand, and maintains that
hand-rendered quality as the work undergoes subsequent digital
transformations. Once the digital collages are completed, Zellen once
again takes them apart layer by layer and incorporates the individual
elements in a Flash-based animation, culminating in a DVD that becomes
a highly distilled "portrait" of the News, a deconstruction of both
medium and message. Zellen takes a given, in this case the newspaper,
and transforms it into something else. Beginning with the daily
ritual of drawing, she ends up with a digital animation that both
conveys a quality of tenderness embodied in the "touch" of the
hand-drawn line and the sparseness of the imagery, while also
critiquing mass media portrayal of global events. Zellen's images
re-constitute the digested newspaper as a collection of fragments,
depicting both beautiful and horrific events appearing poetically
beautiful while maintaining a specific criticality.
Jody Zellen is an artist living in Los Angeles, California. She
works in many media simultaneously making photographs, installations,
net art, public art, as well as artists' books that explore the
subject of the urban environment. She employs media-generated
representations of contemporary and historic cities as raw material
for aesthetic and social investigations. for more information visit
www.jodyzellen.com or www.paulkopeikingallery.com