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transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Ocula Conversation transmediale Artistic Director Kristoffer Gansing Looks Back Terence Sharpe, Berlin

Since 2012, Kristoffer Gansing has worked as the artistic director of transmediale—a festival at the forefront of digital media and culture that analyses the current moment through self-reflection and anticipation of rapidly oscillating futures. Explorations into moving image, online culture, and the socio-political landscape of digital...

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Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Taipei Lowdown: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Taipei

As Taipei Dangdai returns for its second edition between 17 and 19 January 2020 at the Nangang Exhibition Center, a selection of exhibitions across the city confirm Taipei as one of the region's most exciting art hubs. Yahon Chang: Cursive OUR Museum, National Taiwan University of Arts (NTUA), No. 59, Section 1, Daguan Road, Banqiao...

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Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Ocula Insight Images from Abroad: Lada Nakonechna at Galerie EIGEN + ART Phoebe Blatton, Berlin

Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition, Images from abroad at Galerie EIGEN + ART (9 January–20 February 2020) ostensibly takes place on an end wall of the gallery. The wall bears markings hand-drawn in graphite that evoke shadows once cast by pictures, since removed, their fixtures also left in situ. Serving as a framework of variable...

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HomePage Artists

b. 1957, USA

Tony Oursler Biography

American artist Tony Oursler has been compared to a circus showman. It is not difficult to imagine Oursler as a ringleader of an orphic recital; known for his twisted and ethereal combinations of sculpture, film and technology, his practice has incorporated projections, smoke, puppets, video screens and automatons to examine themes such as UFOs, magic, séances, pseudoscience, camera obscura and mass media. In his Manhattan studio is a collection of over 15,000 objects, publications and ephemera related to the paranormal and uncanny—an accumulation that has fed his hallucinogenic practice. Over the past 40 years, Oursler has become recognised for his inventive works exploring the intersection of technology and the occult.

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Tony Oursler earned a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in the late 1970s, where John Baldessari and Laurie Anderson were teachers and his peers included artists Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, Sue Williams and Stephen Prina. He returned to New York after graduating, and his first handmade videos incorporated intricate sets, soundtracks and DIY special effects—works for which he is now considered a pioneer of video art. Formative installations from the 1980s experimented with distorting video images with reflections in mirrors, water and glass in dark rooms. Tony Oursler's early popularity was in part due to the fact he was picked up by Electronic Arts Intermix, a non-profit resource for video and media art. In the late 1980s, Oursler began incorporating social critiques into his works, touching on political and cultural violence, mass media and alienation. In the 1990s, he started to project disembodied facial features onto bizarre surfaces including fabric and smoke. The works were accompanied by layered recordings of voices reciting poetic, irreverent and sometimes nonsensical phrases written by Oursler–his 'sound collage' technique developed into a mainstay of his practice. His works over the next two decades experimented with the possibilities of video sculpture and psychodramatic technological theatre, all the while pointing at the ephemerality of the virtual image.

Tony Oursler's artwork has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions around the world including at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Liverpool, documenta 8 in Kassel and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. In 2016, Tony Oursler's Imponderable (2015–16) was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the feature-length film told an alternate history of technology by delving into the artist's own archive of objects related to the paranormal. Oursler called the work a '5-D' film as an array of sensory effects such as aromas, vibrations and a 19th-century phantasmagorical device made the experience dramatically immersive.

Harking back to the bodiless facial features of the 1990s, more recently Tony Oursler's art (as seen in his 2016 exhibition PriV%te at Lehmann Maupin) has stemmed from his interest in the pervasiveness of facial recognition technology. LCD screens or iPads are embedded within large, aluminium head-shaped structures and show ultra high-definition moving eyes and mouths accompanied by sound collages, making the actors within seem trapped between technology and real life. Algorithmic points are plotted around the faces, as if recording them in real time. 'Portraiture today', Oursler has said, 'is no longer a chiaroscuro painting or photographic mug shot.' Instead, according to Tony Oursler, portraiture is comprised of the ubiquity of data collected of our beings without our express knowledge or consent: 'It's changed the way we think about ourselves'.

Elliat Albrecht | Ocula | 2018

Tony Oursler Featured Artworks

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FuzzyU by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerFuzzyU, 2019Acrylic, resin, steel blown glass, projection with sound
101.6 x 78.7 x 50.8 cm
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
EntroP by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerEntroP, 2019Acrylic, resin, steel blown glass, projection with sound
119.4 x 78.7 x 73.7 cm
Lehmann Maupin Enquire about this work
aU>t-0 by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OursleraU>t-0, 2019Glass, wood, LED screens, audio, video, acrylic, resin, and computer
152.4 x 20.3 cm
Lisson Gallery Enquire about this work
B!aS by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerB!aS, 2018Aluminum, acrylic paint, resin, video monitor, digital player
121.9 x 129.5 cm
Lisson Gallery Enquire about this work
iD^•8 by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OursleriD^•8, 2017Aluminum, acrylic paint, resin, video monitor, digital player
87 x 139 cm
Lisson Gallery Enquire about this work
Ghostop by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerGhostop, 2003Fiberglass, wood, LCD monitor and acrylic paint
77.6 x 71.2 x 6.4 cm
Dep Art Gallery Enquire about this work
M·}age by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerM·}age, 2019Acrylic on cardboard, monitor and micro-computer
53 x 43 cm
Dep Art Gallery Enquire about this work
Untitled by Tony Oursler contemporary artwork
Tony OurslerUntitled, 2008Mixed media on paper
61 x 48.3 cm
Dep Art Gallery Enquire about this work

Tony Oursler Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Oursler, Le Volcan, Poetics Tattoo & UFO at Dep Art Gallery, Milano
Closed
6 April–1 June 2019 Tony Oursler Le Volcan, Poetics Tattoo & UFO Dep Art Gallery, Milano
Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Oursler, Tony Oursler: TC: the most interesting man alive at Lisson Gallery, New York
Closed
29 June–10 August 2018 Tony Oursler Tony Oursler: TC: the most interesting man alive Lisson Gallery, 10th Avenue, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Tony Oursler, PriV%te at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
14 January–5 March 2016 Tony Oursler PriV%te Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

Tony Oursler Represented By

Tony Oursler In Ocula Magazine

Rachel Lehmann Ocula Conversation Rachel Lehmann Anna Dickie, Hong Kong

Rachel Lehmann is not only one half of the gallery powerhouse that is Lehmann Maupin , but she is also an international citizen of the world. Lehmann was born in Asmara, Ethiopia, and studied at the University of Fribourg in France. She worked at the legendary Sonnabend Gallery in New York, and was the proprietor of two contemporary galleries in...

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Tony Oursler In Related Press

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Art in the dark: Dark Mofo Related Press Art in the dark: Dark Mofo 17 June 2019, Art Guide Australia

Now in its seventh year, Dark Mofo transforms Hobart into a red-hued spectacle of art, food and music. In addition to new Mona exhibitions Mine by Simon Denny, Siloam, Gorillas in Our Midst , and Kirsha Kaechele's Eat the Problem , Dark Mofo's 2019 program pushes a hefty dose of visual art into the nooks and vacant spaces of Hobart's CBD.

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Tony Oursler: Exploring Technology's Dark Arts Related Press Tony Oursler: Exploring Technology's Dark Arts 30 May 2019, The East Hampton Star

For this exhibition, he has been thinking about water and how it has functioned as a vehicle for magical thinking throughout history, from the belief in sea monsters and other early legends to the pseudoscience of water memory used in homeopathic medicine today. Themes of deluge and the environment reveal themselves, and the work explores how...

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Creature Discomfort: Art in the Cycle of History Related Press Creature Discomfort: Art in the Cycle of History 2 March 2017, Hyperallergic

Creature , a thematic exhibition at The Broad, is one of those shows, like the recently opened Raymond Pettibon: A Pen of All Work at the New Museum in New York, whose meanings and context have been jolted, scrambled, and reloaded by the resistible rise of Donald J. Trump. As it so happens, Creature opened on November 5th, the Saturday...

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Tony Oursler: Museum of Modern Art, New York and Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, USA Related Press Tony Oursler: Museum of Modern Art, New York and Center for Curatorial Studies, Annandale-on-Hudson, USA 13 December 2016, Frieze

A film and exhibition exploring the artist’s vast collection of images and ephemera relating to illusionism, the occult, photography and unexplained phenomena, Imponderable  is an engrossing voyage through the interzone between science and spiritualism. It also demonstrates the ways in which human imagination has reacted to periods of...

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