Marisa Olson
Since the beginning
Works in Brooklyn, 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; commissioned and collected by the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Houston Center for Photography, Experimental Television Center, and PS122; and reviewed in Artforum, Art21, the NY Times, Liberation, Folha de Sao Paolo, the Village Voice, and elsewhere.

Olson has served as Editor & Curator at Rhizome, the inaugural curator at Zero1, and Associate Director at SF Camerawork. She's contributed to many major journals & books and this year Cocom Press published Arte Postinternet, a Spanish translation of her texts on Postinternet Art, a movement she framed in 2006. In 2015 LINK Editions will publish a retrospective anthology of over a decade of her writings on contemporary art which have helped establish a vocabulary for the criticism of new media. Meanwhile, she has also curated programs at the Guggenheim, New Museum, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, and Bitforms Gallery. She has served on Advisory Boards for Ars Electronica, Transmediale, ISEA, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, Creative Capital, the Getty Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Kennedy Center, and the Tribeca Film Festival.

Olson studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, and Rhetoric & Film Studies at UC Berkeley. She has recently been a visiting artist at Yale, SAIC, Oberlin, and VCU; a Visiting Critic at Brown; and Visiting Faculty at Bard College's Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts and Ox-Bow. She previously taught at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' new media graduate program (ITP) and was Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase's School of Film & Media Studies. She was recently an Artist-in-Residence at Eyebeam & is currently Visiting Critic at RISD.

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

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

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

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

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

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

booomerrranganggboobooomerranrang: Nancy Holt's networked video

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

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

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

Sound and Image in Electronic Harmony

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 ...


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


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Oliver Grau <>
Date: Aug 16, 2007 7:51 AM


Second international conference on Image Science in Goettweig
April 24th - 26th 2008

to announce the second international Goettweig conference on Image Science.

Never before has the world of images changed so fast, have we been
exposed to so many different image forms and never before has the way
images are produced transformed so drastically. Images are advancing
into new domains: Television became a global zapping field of
thousands of channels; projection screens enter our cities, and cell
phones transmit micromovies in real time. We are witnessing the rise
of the image into a virtual spatial image. Science, politics and
entertainment profit from new dimensions in the creation of images and
their emotive effects. Since the 60s, arts and sciences are connected
in the fundamental research media art undertakes, whose roots lie in
partially unknown traditions.

A multitude of new possibilities in producing, projecting and
distributing individual images has led to the formation of new image
genres. The spiral movement of image history from innovation,
understanding and iconoclasm results in the 21st Century in a global
interweaving. These major transformations have hit society to a large
extent unprepared and as we gradually start to recognize the demand to
address the current knowledge explosion appropriately, we face the
challenge to expand our forms of visualization, our "orders and
systems of visibility", and to reflect critically and scientifically
on them. While our written culture has produced a differentiated and
dedicated paedagogy, our society still lacks a conscious education
concerning images - up to a degree that we can speak of visual

A central problem of current cultural policy, aside from poor
knowledge on image procedures, stems from serious lack of knowledge
about the origins of the audiovisual media. This stands in complete
contradistinction to current demands for more media and image
competence. The conference therefore explores the thinking space and
the utopias, which were initiated by artists again and again - now on
the expanded terrain of image science - and searches for the
inspirations these new worlds receive from the arts. What influence
does the medium have on the iconic character of the image? What
chances and challenges do museums and image dealers face with the
"liquidity" of the image?

The interdisciplinary conference aims to step up to the challenge of
building a "visual inventory". One goal of the Conference therefore is
to build cross disciplinary exchange between the Humanities AND the
Natural Sciences.

PROPOSALS are welcome to the following topics and fields:

(New visualization techniques in Nano-, Bio-, Neurosciences,
Architecture, Photography, Digital Collections Management, etc.)

(in the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Politics, Advertising, Comics,
Diagrams & Models, Visual Music, etc.)

(Global economy, Tagging, Micromovies, Flickr, Second Life, You Tube,
Google Earth etc.)

DEADLINE PROPOSALS : October 21st 2007
Conference Languages: German/English.

One-page abstract or complete paper must be submitted by email. Upon
acceptance, complete papers must be submitted by March 21, 2008 as PDF
to All rights will remain with the
author. Papers will be selected for presentations. Proposals for panel
discussions are encouraged and individual papers may be grouped by the
Department for Image Science in panel discussion format. Panel
proposals should include names of prospective panelists and topics,
which should address the general themes of the symposium.

The DEPARTMENT FOR IMAGE SCIENCE is situated near Vienna in the UNESCO
World Heritage Wachau, in the Goettweig Monastery. The DIS is housed
in part of the fourteenth century castle. It is the platform for the
international projects: Database of Virtual Art, Goettweig Database of
the Graphic Print Collection,


* DIS * * *

Carl, AIGNER (St. Polten), Roy ASCOTT (Plymouth), Sean CUBITT
(Melbourne), Brigitte FELDERER (Wien), Felice FRANKEL (Boston), Beryl
GRAHAM (Newcastle), Erkki HUHTAMO (Los Angeles), Douglas KAHN
(Davis/California), Martin KEMP (Oxford), Harald KRAMER (Bern),
Machiko KUSAHARA (Tokyo), Jorge LAFERLA (Buenos Aires), Timothy LENIOR
(Duke), Gunalan NADARAJAN (Penn State), Christiane PAUL (New York),
Gotz POCHAT (Graz), Martin ROTH (Dresden), Wolf SINGER (Frankfurt),
Christa SOMMERER (Linz), Paul THOMAS (Western Australia), Wolfgang
WELSCH (Jena), STEVE WILSON (San Francisco)

* * *


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****

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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