Tuesday, July 8, 2008 at 8pm
People Are Strange (When You're a Stranger)

"People Are Strange" will be a night of multimedia performance and projections revolving around the release of Marisa Olson's new artist book, Poems I Wrote While Listening to the Doors, 1992-1994 (Before I found the internet). Written by the artist in high school "while burning incense and listening to the Doors," whose lead singer she then perceived as an "under-appreciated poetic genius," they are now a record of an active artist's earliest creative efforts and they provide evidence of an obsession with music, genre, psychology, and personal narrative that shines through in her more recent artworks. The title and form of the writings refers to a previous obliviousness to the internet, despite the fact that network culture (and particularly blogging or online diarism) have ultimately had a huge impact upon her practice. This evening will continue Olson's ongoing interest in public humiliation and the aesthetics of failure, from which she believes we can learn more, politically and personally, than from success. A handful of distinguished poets will read short excerpts from the book, a few experimental musicians will turn her words into lyrics, and of course Olson will do some singing and reading of her own. All of this will be mediated by live visual projections and recorded music videos created by the artist in an effort to reconcile past and present, word and image. Participating poets and musicians include Thom Donovan, Stephanie Gray, Christian Hawkey, Dorothea Laskey, and members of the bands Professor Murder, Aa, and Taigaa.

Marisa Olson's work combines performance, video, sound, drawing, and installation to address intersections of pop culture and the cultural history of technology, as they effect the voice, power, and persona. Her work has recently been presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou-Paris, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the 52nd International Biennale di Venezia, the Edith Russ-Haus fur Medienkunst, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst/Montevideo, the British Film Institute, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, Glowlab, and Free103Point9. She is also a founding member of the Nasty Nets "internet surfing club" whose new DVD recently premiered at the New York Underground Film Festival. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Art in America, Folha de Sao Paolo, Liberation, the Village Voice, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. While Wired has called her both funny and humorous, the New York Times has called her "anything but stupid." Marisa studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College-London, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, and Rhetoric at UC Berkeley.

Tickets - $6, available at door.