29 May 2013


Hey folks. This blog is on a semi-permanent hiatus. As one of my old mentors used to say, "the cobbler's children are the last to get shoes." Sometimes we get so busy making art and writing about Other People's Internets that we don't have time to update our own internets... But my fingers are crossed that I'll soon be able to pull down that "Under Construction" sign on my website and have a nice clean News page there to replace this rarely-updated site. Stay tuned. I'll post an updated link when my fingers are uncrossed.

02 November 2011

Like and Don't Like

In my hiatus from blogging, I neglected to post a ton of stuff. I'm in the process of overhauling my website, so the level of documentation there should step-up, but for now here's some info on a recent performance and a contest I'm co-jurying that might interest you.

This summer I performed in the awesome series, LIKE, curated by Gene McHugh, at VOGT Gallery. My night was the first in a string of sweaty summer spectacles and I really enjoyed sharing the bill with my buds Rick Silva and Jeremy Bailey.

In my case, I did a live version of my piece, Performed Listening: Boomerang.

I enjoyed it a lot and see myself doing similar live pieces in the future...

In other news, I am co-juror (with Geoff Cox and Constant Dullaart)of IACOSE's 2011 NoTube contest. The project humorously raises a lot of questions because the stated agenda is to find the most valueless video on YouTube. The criteria for submission of found videos is that there be:

1) No reason to make it
2) No reason to publish it
3) No reason to watch it

Site visitors then vote on the videos they like. BUT! The more "LIKES" or votes, the more perceived value, and the less likely the video is to make it to the final round... IOCOSE explains it all in this contest trailer:

25 October 2011

REFERENCE Gallery Solo Show

Here are some installation shots from my Oct-Sept 2011 show at REFERENCE:

Click-through to the photo set to see larger pix. More words on these images coming someday... :)

07 September 2011

Poly Styrene music video

If there were anything to notice, one might have noticed that I've not blahgged in over a year. I'm just kind of sick of blogging, believe it or not. When I stepped back as Editor/Curator/Staff Writer at Rhizome (I had a zillion titles from 1999-2009), I realized my RSS addiction was out of control and I needed to unplug. The same thing kind of happened a few years after we founded Nasty Nets. The thing about blogging, in general, is that I just don't like talking about myself. (I know, surprising coming from a sometimes new media self-portraitist!) But I am honored to talk about this project of someone else's that I got to play a small roll in...

"Ghoulish" - POLY STYRENE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO from Lauryn Siegel on Vimeo.

Lauryn Siegel directed Poly Styrene's final music video (R.I.P.), a posthumous tribute to Michael Jackson, called Ghoulish. I got to play an MJ-impersonating auditioner (something I've sorta done before) and learn a bunch of new dance moves! The whole shoot was a super fun and pro experience (full credits at the Vimeo link), and something I loved being a part of. I'm obviously a Michael Jackson fan, but Poly was a personal hero, and I'm happy to see her work getting this final push of attention, starting with the NY Times article that launched the video, and continuing with SPIN, Vice, et al... Congrats to all involved!

30 August 2010

TEEN AGE at Catherine Clark Gallery + 01SJ Biennial

I'm in a group show at Catherine Clark Gallery, in San Francisco, entitled Teen Age: Parents Just Don't Understand. The show is curated by Ken Goldberg and Catherine Clark. The show is organized in conjunction with the 01SJ Biennial. More details here.

20 June 2010

Double Bind at the Berkeley Art Museum

I've got a BAM/PFA solo show through August 31st, curated by Richard Rinehart. It features my new two-channel piece, Double Bind. Here's a little statement on the piece:

A double bind is commonly known as a paradox or conflicting set of demands. But it also has a specific meaning in the world of cybernetics, where it refers to messages that conflict with each other at different levels of meaning, making it difficult for the recipient to determine the nature of the paradox, to confront the inherent dilemma, or to escape the conflict.

Marisa Olson's Double Bind (2010) is a two-channel internet video project involving two clips simultaneously and perpetually linked to each other as YouTube response videos. While the webcam-recorded clips clearly represent the before-and-after actions of Olson wrapping and unwrapping her head in pink vinyl bondage tape, their recursive linking and synced looping problematize their chronology. This perpetual feedback loop takes the word 'tape' as a double entendre, as it plays back the tropes of early feminist video art, while venturing into the stickier, tapeless world of digital memes. Despite the cause and effect narrative structure embedded in the work, there is a glaring lack of motivation beyond the recitation and unraveling of these pre-recorded histories.

Like much of Olson's interdisciplinary work, Double Bind embodies a desire to both participate-in and critique cultural phenomena. The artist's parallel research practice explores the ways in which the internet and other social media enable such forms of critical parody. In this case, she takes on what she perceives as the relative "prohibition" of art history (its own form of pop), and explores the public platform of the internet as a viable site for cultural critique.

Both channels of Double Bind will be presented side-by-side on a dedicated webpage, for Olson's exhibition. However, behind this screen the videos will be subject to the unanticipatable comments and response videos of a viewing public predominantly unaware and unconcerned about the work's status as art or its participation in art historical discourse. The artist explains that relinquishing control over the reception of her work in this way is just as pleasurable to her as any of the more classical forms of masochism implied in the videos. Essentially binding herself to broader digital culture, the true impulse in Olson's critique is a desire to pierce the confines of the white cube so as to engage more directly with participatory media. Double Bind therefore positions us between the false dilemmas of high and low culture or utopic and dystopic views of media culture.

08 May 2010

May Flowers

I just realized I never posted the video above. I made it for Tan Lines single, New Flowers, which they made in response to one of my high school poems! It's in a nice show in Poland, this month. Below are some other shows opening in the next two weeks.

Tate Modern, London, UK
No Soul For Sale, Broadcast Yourself, curated by Embassy Gallery

Galerie Dana Charkasi, Vienna, Austria
Curated By_ 2010, FILMIKI, curated by Pawel Althamer

Artboom Festival, Krakow, Poland
Made in Internet, curated by Marcin Ramocki

Espace Gantner, Bourogne, France
Surfing Club touring exhibition

M21, Athens, Greece
Full/Operational/Toolbox, Index of Potential, curated by KERNAL

Fisher Gallery, Oberlin College
SOUNDINGS, Cinema 062 Media Arts Festival
I had a slightly-expanded role in this one. Funfun!!

23 January 2010

Long Time No Post

Hi, there. I'm way overdue on updates so below are notes on some recent & upcoming things.


Noise Pollution at Bard CCS - Sculpture, drawing, and installations, curated by Gene McHugh

Whew! Age at PS122 - PBS' Art21 had a nice preview of it

Double Bind - Berkeley Art Museum (Stay tuned for more details on this new two-channel video project.)


Drawing Contemporaries, at Eyebeam, NYC (video)

Saturn Returns (premiered at IMAGES Festival, Toronto) toured to Galerie Saw (Ottowa, Canada), and featured me (obvs!), Michael Bell-Smith, Jacob Ciocci, Oliver Laric, Takeshi Murata, Seth Price, and others, curated by Brett Kashmere

X: Multiples, at Christina Ray Gallery, NYC (nee Glowlab)

NETMARES & NETDREAMS v 2.2, curated by Kari Altmann - There was a beach theme and I showed my Facebook-inspired video, Unlocking My Sandbox. (Originally a javascript animation!)

You Turn Me On and On and On, EMBASSY Gallery, Edinburgh - A show of artists' instructions for future works.

Surfing Club, Plug-In (Basel) and Espace Multimédia Gantner (Bourogne, France)


LACMA's book, Words Without Pictures, to which I contributed an essay entitled, "Lost Not Found: The Circulation of Images in Digital Visual Culture" has apparently sold out, thanks to nice reviews in Artforum, Art Journal, and several other Art-periodicals! A 2nd Edition of the book is being published by Aperture, for distribution by Thames and Hudson.

I wrote an article on "The Early Videos of Terry Fox," which is in the forthcoming book, The History of West Coast Video Art, published by University of California Press

ASDF's Wikipedia Reader was commissioned by the Art Libraries Society of New York for the Contemporary Artists Books Conference at Printed Matter's 2009 NY Art Book Fair. It was organized through David Senior at the Museum of Modern Art Library.

In other news...
According to the Wall Street Journal, I'm now a Walkman Historian!!! (Check-out Andy Jordan's article & video!)

I've also continued evangelizing about animated gifs, as in this Toronto Globe and Mail article.


I was recently inducted into Project Blackbird, a semi-secret Internet Lulz Think Tank centered at the Eyebeam Center for Art & Technology, where fun things are always happening. On November 21st I moderated a PERFORMA 09 panel there, called Performing the Web, which featured net art pioneers JODI and fellow Project Blackbird members Jeff Crouse and Aaron Meyers.

I was also invited to speak at this CAA panel on The Culture of Dispersion

Please come to the CUNY Grad Center for the Humanities on March 17, when I'll be on a panel with Michael Mandiberg and Patrick Davison (1, 2), entitled Mashups, Memes, and HOWTOs: New Forms of Online Video. I'm actually quite excited about my talk, which introduces my research into the history, theory, art, and politics of Participation.

Also upcoming:
Alfred University - March 22*
University of New Mexico - March 26
Pacific Northwest College of Art - March 30
Brown University - April 15
School of the Art Institute of Chicago - April 28
Columbia College - April 29
Oberlin College - May 11-12**

* As artist in residence at Alfred's Institute for Electronic Arts
** My Oberlin visit is in collaboration between The Margin Release Series and the Exhibtion Studies initiative in the Cinema Studies Department.

And then this summer I'll be a visiting artist at Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts (aka the Summer MFA program), and I'll be teaching a class entitled Performance Objects at Ox-Bow.

Also, here are videos from an artist talk at DorkbotPDX, while I was an Artist-in-Residence at PNCA (Portland, OR), and a talk at the Sego Art Center (Provo, UT) on The Art of Conspicuous Consumption--which moves from Renaissance portraiture through Pro Surfer net art! :)


Lately I've been most excited about organizing performances, situations, discussions and other one-time events... I recently curated [the world premiere!] of Nao Bustamante's "filmformance," Silver & Gold, for Rhizome at the New Museum.

Keep your eyes out for videos of these events on Rhizome's Vimeo channel, where all New Silent events go to live forever--including the Craft Hackers and Experimental Geography programs I organized. Here's one from the panel I organized around the installment of the Unmonumental show that Lauren Cornell and I curated.

(Drumroll, please....)

As you may know, I was teaching in the ITP Graduate Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts for a couple years. This year I took a new position as Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase. It's an exciting, expanding program and I'm already loving it. In addition to teaching classes in net art, video, performance, and visual theory, one of my first official duties was helping to organize the New Media Lecture Series at the Neuberger Museum of Art. I invited Oliver Laric and Marina Zurkow and Gabriella Coleman are speaking soon. There's also a great Tania Bruguera show up now... You should come see it and say hi!

29 April 2009

Solo Show at Bard CCS plus ISCP

Gene McHugh has curated a solo exhibition of my work at Bard CCS. Entitled, Marisa Olson: Noise Pollution, the show is up through May 24th. You can see images, read the curatorial statement and an interview between myself and David Horvitz, and download ASDF's catalogue, right here.

The work revolves largely around the pollution that piles up as a result of upgrade culture. Along the same lines, I'll be showing a new sculpture (a rocket-like stack of gold tv's), entitled The Terrestrial Race in "Financial District," an exhibition at ISCP curated by Miguel Amado and opening May 8th. Here I'm interested in the ways in which international governments are competing with each other by forcing their citizens to upgrade the terrestrial broadcast signal (and thus their tv's and other gear), in a way that I think mirrors the space race.

03 February 2009


Hiya! Here's a roundup of stuff happening in the next few months...

I'm currently in LA to sit on the curatorial committee for the Beall Center for Art & Technology. I'm sticking around for CAA, so if you're reading and you're around, let me know!

On February 26th, the Akademie der Kunste, Berlin, opens Recycling_Sampling_Jamming, where curator Sabine Himmelsbach will present my work.

I'll show a new piece called Performed Listening (Boomerang) in The Real Thing, opening February 27 at MU, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The show is curated by VVORK and revolves around the ideas about representation laid out in the great Henry James short story (1892) of the same name. It includes some of my favorite artists, like Cory Arcangel, John Baldessari, Pierre Bismuth, Claude Closky, Aleksandra Domanović, Claire Fontaine, Gelitin, Matthieu Laurette, Seth Price, Dexter Sinister, Lawrence Weiner, and others.

From March 1-7, I'll be in Buenos Aires, where I'm speaking at the NET.ART (SECOND EPOCH) conference at the Centro Cultural de España.

From March 14-15, I'll be in Boulder, CO, at the 2009 Brakhage Symposium, where Steve Seid has asked me to give a "semi-academic, semi-performative" lecture in connection with a screening he's organized around the subject of weirdness with some great artists: Brian Bress, Ryan Trecartin, Desiree Holman, Mike Kelley/Paul McCarthy, Shana Moulton, Half-Lifers, Ben Coonley, eteam, and others.

On March 17, I'll wear green to my talk at City College of NY.

On March 19, Michael Mandiberg and I will go down to Philadelphia's Moore College of Art to talk about our solo & collaborative work.

On March 21st I'm organizing a panel at the New Museum, as part of Rhizome's New Silent Series, that revolves around Experimental Geography, the ICI exhibition and Melville House book curated & edited by Nato Thompson. Mr Thompson, Lize Mogel, and Damon Rich will sit on the panel and discuss the creative use of landscape hacking, cartography, locative media, and radical urbanism as a means of engaging with the politics of contested spaces.

On March 30th 26th, I'll give a visiting artist talk at Yale University.

Moving into April, on the 2nd I'll give a talk in Provo, Utah, at the Sego Art Center, in connection with the exhibition Forms of Melancholy, curated by my Nasty Nets colleague C. Coy.

Finally, Brett Kashmere has included my work in a screening called "Saturn Returns" at the Images Festival in Toronto April 2-11. He says, "the program focuses on artists who grew up during the 80s, and whose work utilizes music in a central way." That's me! The screening's organized in connection with the launch of a new journal he's editing, called INCITE! Journal of Experimental Media & Radical Aesthetics.

That's it. Email me if you'd like more info on any of these events.

14 December 2008

Sundance Film Festival

Nasty Nets is having an installation at the Sundance Film Festival called "endless pot of gold cd-rs" and we're doing a night of performance there on January 17th, called "Night of a Thousand Megabytes." More details.

I'll also be sitting on an artist panel at Sundance, chaired by Creative Capital director Ruby Lerner, at noon on Friday, January 16th.

Speaking of fun things happening in Utah at that time, Nasty Nets member C. Coy is curating a show at the Sego Art Center, called "Forms of Melancholy" that includes a bunch of awesome net artists. I'll be writing a catalogue essay for that and will post it here with more info in a bit.

Meanwhile, happy new year to everyone! I'm looking forward to some fun stuff in 2009 including a solo show at the Bard CCS and a performance run at PS122. More to come!

25 November 2008

Craft Hackers Panel Discussion

Friday, December 12th at 7:30pm
at the New Museum
235 Bowery, NYC, 10001

Craft Hackers is a panel discussion among artists who use crafting techniques to explore high-tech culture and the relationship between needlework and computer programming. Panelists include Cat Mazza, who translates moving images into stills knit in yarn; Christy Matson, who uses Jacquard Looms (some of the earliest computers) to knit landscape images from computer games; Ben Fino-Radin, whose witty needlepoint sculptures translate the World Wide Web into yarn and plastic, one pixel at a time; and Cody Trepte, whose embroidery of retired computer punch cards rekindles an old-fashioned love affair with the hand of the artist.

Organized and moderated by Marisa Olson, Rhizome curator at large.

Rhizome is a leading new media art organization and affiliate of the New Museum. This is the next event in Rhizome's ongoing New Silent Series at the museum.

28 September 2008

Falling Forward

Hi. Here are some brief notes on stuff I'm doing in October/ November (in addition to the Athens and Philadelphia shows listed below). More to come...

I've co-curated an exhibition with Vera List Center director Carin Kuoni, entitled Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding. There are some great artists in it. The opening is on 10/15.

For the 20th Anniversary Exhibition of the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO), Mexico, Abe Linkoln and I have been asked to show our Blog Art project. It opens 10/20.

Christina Ray is making Glowlab an official gallery and is showing my work in her first show, 30 Grand (they've moved from Williamsburg to Soho and that's the address), opening 10/23.

On Nov 7-8 I'm headed to the bay area to speak at a conference on appropriation in art, at UC Berkeley, entitled Takeovers & Makeovers. My paper's called "Playing by the Rules: Parody and Parasitic Media in Contemporary Protest Art."

The Promiscuous Pop screening I was in at the British Film Institute is traveling to the Sao Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Brazil, and will run Nov 13-23 in conjunction with the SP Biennial.

FYI, I've also made a bunch of updates to my website's Projects page and, for RSS readers, note that I've added sidebar links to recent interviews with Regine Debatty on We Make Money Not Art and Astria Suparak in NY Arts.

20 September 2008

Philly Show and Net Art Essay

I'm having a solo show in one of the galleries at Vox Populi, a really awesome Philadelphia-based art space. I'm showing Break Up Album (Demo) and some related prints. It opens October 3rd.

I was also asked by LACMA (the LA County Museum of Art)--big supporters of photography--to write an essay for their series, Words Without Pictures. I wrote one called "Lost Not Found: The Circulation of Images in Digital Visual Culture" and there will be official responses posted by artists Jacob Ciocci (Paper Rad), Pradeep Dalal, and Matthieu Laurette. I didn't get to write about everyone I wanted to, but I mentioned a lot of "pro surfer" artists (of Nasty Nets ilk) and looked at their work from the perspectives of found photography and montage.

05 September 2008

Back-to-School Season

If you happen to find yourself in Athens, Greece, between now and the end of the year, stop by the National Museum of Contemporary Art where they are showing Abe and Mo Sing the Blogs, the project Abe Linkoln and I did for our Whitney Artport commission. (The one that made Johanna Fateman call my voice "freaky" and "sultry." --Haha, just have to keep reminding myself!)

Speaking of back-to-school, I've actually taken the semester off of teaching at NYU to finish-up my dissertation. (It's on "The Art of Protest in Network Culture, for UC Berkeley's Rhetoric & Film Studies program.) Michael Mandiberg and I are doing a collaborative self-surveillance endurance performance project about it called Marisa Olson Writes Her Dissertation: An Endurance Performance in 31 Acts. It's already been intense, but also productive. Here's a description:

Veterans of web-based autobiographical performance, Olson and "Coach Mandiberg" have teamed-up to get Marisa through her dissertation by framing it as an act of endurance. Every day for the month of September, Olson will spend all day (i.e. EST business hours) writing while webcam shots and screencaps of her desktop are automatically uploaded to the net every 60 seconds. This gesture of transparency is a continuation of Olson's research into the role of sousveillance in "The Art of Protest."