Tag Archives: Julia Christensen

Artists in Residence: Brian Springer and Chris Hill

This year’s Margin Release class, taught by Julia Christensen, is fortunate to have two artists-in-residence for the semester, Brian Springer and Chris Hill. The class’ semester-long project this year is entitled “Archives Alive: An Interdisciplinary Portrait of Ohio,” in which students will undertake projects using archival materials from city, corporate, church, non-profit, radio, television, and other databases in the area to cull together a multimedia work from their research. This will culminate in a media arts show at the end of the semester exhibiting a portrait of the state of Ohio that stretches beyond artistic mediums and academic disciplines. Springer is perhaps best known for Spin, a documentary he made in 1995 in which he recorded back channel news feeds not intended for public viewing in an effort to dissect the methods by which television is used to create and destroy notions of reality in the American public’s consciousness. Chris Hill currently teaches media production and theory at Antioch College and served as a consultant to Video Data Bank in their production of Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the  US along with aiding them in archiving seventeen hours of historic video tape.

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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Visiting Artist


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Tomorrow night in Fisher Gallery, Julia Christensen’s and Brett Kashmere’s classes will present work along with acclaimed video artist Marisa Olson.

Schedule of Events:
7-10pm Exhibition Viewing and Reception (Refreshments will be provided)
8pm Marisa Olson Artist Talk / Illustrated Lecture
10pm REEL FEEL Opening Party, with music by Teengirl Fantasy and DJ Wabberjockey

According to Wikipedia, the term SOUNDINGS “generally refers to a mechanism of probing the environment by sending out some kind of stimulus.”  The SOUNDINGS exhibition on May 12 at Oberlin College will explore this idea, through student work comprised of a range of media, from sound to video to installation. How do we, as artists and thinkers making cross-disciplinary work in the context of new media, send stimuli into the environment in order to interact with our audiences––culling a read on the response, the temperature, the landscape around us?  How does this response develop a feedback loop with our own creative processes, integrating an interactive approach into our practices?

SOUNDINGS will feature work by visiting artist Marisa Olson, who prompted the Oberlin students’ projects with the title of the show.  Olson’s piece, Performed Listening (Boomerang), explores this impulse/response duplicity while recalling the seminal work by Richard Serra and Nancy Holt, who explored a similar question with the video/sound project Boomerang in 1974.

Alongside Olson’s work, the SOUNDINGS exhibition features the work of students from Julia Christensen’s “Creative Resistance” and “Performance/Installation Technology” courses, and is produced by Brett Kashmere’s “Exhibition Practices in the Media Arts” course.  Students involved include Maira Clancy, Brooklyn Demme, Theresa DeSaltels, Vivian Gentry, Adriana Meraz, Sarah Michelson, Cooper Rogers, Susan Russ, Kevin Soulivong, Erika Zarowin, Asha Tamarisa, Ben Bacon, David Bird, Luke Lovett, Nick Weiss, Chrissi Boland, Katie Buono, Kelly Crimmins, Kate Ettinger, Rachel Garcia-Grossman, Kemi Gbadebo, Katie Gleysteen, Eliza Koch, Jack Mintz, Amanda Mummery, Ashley Roberts, Conor Shanahan, Logan Takahashi, and Solomon Turner.

Marisa Olson’s visit is co-sponsored between the departments of Studio Art, TIMARA, and Cinema Studies through the Luce Margin Release New Media Lecture Series and Sight Lines: Dialogues in Film and Media, a Cinema Studies initiative with support from the Blanchard Fund.

Image: Installation view of Performed Listening (Boomerang) (2009), by Marisa Olson.

About Marisa Olson: Marisa Olson‘s work combines performance, video, drawing & installation to address the cultural history of technology, the politics of participation in pop culture & the aesthetics of failure.  Her work has recently been presented by the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou-Paris, New Museum of Contemporary Art, 52nd International Biennale di Venezia, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Athens, Greece), Edith Russ-Haus fur Medienkunst, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst/ Montevideo, the British Film Institute, the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, the Sundance Film Festival, and elsewhere. She is also a founding member of the Nasty Nets “internet surfing club” whose new DVD premiered at the New York Underground Film Festival. Her work has been written about in ArtForum, Art in America, Folha de Sao Paolo, Liberation-Paris, 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. Her critiques of contemporary art and digital visual culture have extended to writing for Flash Art, Art Review, Afterimage, Planet, and Art on Paper and to curating exhibitions and programs at the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, the Performa Biennial, SF Camerawork, and Rhizome.  She has previously taught Film Studies and New Media classes at UC Berkeley and NYU’s ITP graduate program in the Tisch School of the Arts. She is Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase and remains a Contributing Editor at Rhizome, after several years of collaboration.  Marisa was born in Germany and lives in New York.


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Imagination Conversation

The Lincoln Center Institute will be hosting a panel this weekend on Saturday, May 15th from 1:30-3:00pm in Hallock Auditorium (Environmental Studies Building).  The Imagination Conversation is a part of a larger initiative of the Lincoln Center Institute which hopes to discuss imagination and why it is important in our nation’s institutions.  Oberlin is the site of one such panel, and information gathered from this panel will become a part of a final summit in 2011.  The Ohio Department of Education, OhioDance and Oberlin College are proud to host one of Ohio’s Imagination Conversations.

The panel will include:

Mark Bradford, Professor of Biology and Neuroscience; Julia Christensen, artist, writer, and visiting Luce Assistant Professor of the Emerging Arts; David W. Orr, Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics; Lynn Powell, award-winning poet and Oberlin resident. The panel will be moderated by Ann Cooper Albright, performer, choreographer and feminist scholar, and Professor of Dance and Theater at Oberlin College.

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Posted by on May 11, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Miya Masaoka comes to Oberlin

The experimental musician Miya Masaoka is coming to Oberlin as a part of the Luce Margin Release lecture series.  Masaoka is an American artist who often performs on the Japanese 17-string koto zither.  Her work blends electronic innovations (such as using additional laser beams ‘strings’ above the koto zither ) and concept-based, often improvisational performance.  A member of the Bay Area Improv Scene, Masaoka is noted for her performance “What’s the Difference Between Stripping and Playing the Violin?”  on Market Street which combined dozens of musicians, male and female exotic dancers and taped interviews with sex workers. 

During her visit to Oberlin, Miya Masaoka will give a lunchtime lecture at the Cat and the Cream coffeehouse on Thursday November 19th at noon (pizza will be served).  Then, the following Saturday (the 21st) at 4pm two Oberlin student groups, WAM! and OINC, will perform Masaoka’s work, including “For Birds, Planes and Musicians” and “Jagged Pyramid”.  The concert will be directed by Julia Christiansen and Per Bloland.  Masaoka will play with students during the performance after intensive rehearsals.  The show will be at the ‘Sco in Wilder and is free of charge.

To find out more about Miya Masaoka, click here.  Here for more information about the Margin Release series.

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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in Visiting Artist, Visiting Speaker


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All You Can Eat Cleveland

“All You Can Eat: A Buffet of Architectural Ideas for Cleveland” is an exhibition at the Cleveland Sculpture Center which will be accompanied by a panel discussion by Cleveland-area architects, designers and researchers.   “All You Can Eat” will focus on new ideas for the use of vacant lots in the Cleveland Area.  The show’s organizers hope that the exhibition and surrounding events will generate interest and motivation towards not just building, but creating a forum for how to better use these spaces.

The show opens this Friday the 30th from 5-10 with an actual buffet of delicious food and music.   There will also be a  second event on Saturday from noon to 5pm with a panel discussion starting at 3.  The panel discussion includes Oberlin’s own Luce Visiting Professor of Emerging Media Julia Christiansen.   The panel moderator is the designer, critic and “All You Can Eat” organizer Michael Abrahamson.  You can find out more about the exhibition here.

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Posted by on October 26, 2009 in Art Openings and Exhibitions


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The Plum Academy at SPACES Gallery

Oberlin Professor Julia Christensen is co-curating an experimental show at SPACES Gallery in Cleveland.  The show takes the form of The Plum Academy:  An Institute for Situated Practices.    The Academy is up from September 11 through October 23 and includes three departments; the Department of Psycho-Cartography, the Department of Cultural Husbandry and the Department of Chance.    Below is the write-up about the show, but you can find out more at the SPACES website.

Throw away the canvas. Let the brushes dry out. Grab a #2 pencil (but you may not need it). This fall, SPACES will be host to The Plum Academy: An Institute for Situated Practices, an experimental school. Rather than house a traditional exhibition of objects, SPACES is choosing to organize a school-as-exhibition. Concepts and ideas will take the forefront, rather than materials, styles and conventional aesthetics. Specially selected facilitators from the regional community and beyond will lead forums that approach topics obliquely, find unique entry points to ideas and challenge the established structures of education. (To assist in taking a different look at education, we use the terms “forum” and “facilitator” rather than “class” and “teacher”, respectively.)

Forum subjects will be unexpected. The student-teacher relationship will be questioned and the school itself will function as a large, collaborative performance.

This is not an “art school” per se. We are not offering art classes. We do offer a variety of forums that tackle contemporary thought on a number of topics and disciplines—that challenge traditional educational systems, are out-of-the-ordinary, outrageous, educational and entertaining. Forums will be solo presentations, workshops, open discussions, field trips, etc.

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Posted by on September 14, 2009 in Art Openings and Exhibitions


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Julia Christensen’s Rust Belt/Bayou

Julia Christensen’s new piece involving sound and video launched last week on April 15th on Turbulence. Called Rust Belt/Bayou it is a sonic exploration of Cleveland, Ohio and New Orleans, Louisiana. According to

During these travels, she has often been struck by the similarities between Cleveland, a city of the Rust Belt, and New Orleans, a city of the bayou. Both cities dwell on the shores of bodies of water with global reach: Cleveland on Lake Erie, New Orleans on the Mississippi River. Both cities have seen the boom and bust of industry and population throughout their histories – past and present. Cleveland and New Orleans look remarkably different, but Christensen has often noticed that they have sounds in common: industry, birds, water, tourists. Rust Belt / Bayou offers an interactive document of aural snapshots from recent trips to both New Orleans and Cleveland.

Julia Christensen's Rust Belt/Bayou

Rust Belt/Bayou was commissioned in 2007 by New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for Networked Music Review. Experience it here.

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Posted by on April 20, 2008 in Uncategorized