"We need to rethink our notions of authorship, aesthetics, the cultural object, or the work of art, original and amateur. If we don't there is a very strong potential to dismiss or ghettoize important work and there is the also the risk of overlooking the many social and political benefits of appropriation."
"What we see a lot now in contemporary art and particularly in internet art is artists who will surf the net, collect images and represent them either as sort of ready-mades or as remixed images that then get shown."
"There is this idea that certain images are just so popular they are part of our core understanding of the world. We all know, for instance, an Andy Warhol soup can, or even the core images from Obama 's last campaign."
"It's a misnomer to think of the amateur as unskilled, even if they use 'proletarian' tools."
"We need more nuanced terms for understanding different forms and functions of amateurism. There are really important artistic functions furthered by amateurism. The artists that we're calling amateurs aren't those who are furthering the business of business, in the way that the professional/amateur polarization implies, or even that they are trying to further the business of aesthetics, but rather they're furthering the business of creativity and free expression."
Marisa Olson - born 1977 in Augsburg, Germany - is a new media artist, curator, critic, and media theorist. Olson's work has recently exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou, Tate[s] Liverpool+Modern, FACT, Nam June Paik Art Center, the Whitney, New Museum, British Film Institute, Sundance Film Festival, EdithRuss-Haus für Medienkunst, Nederlands Instituut voor Mediakunst/Montevideo, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive, PERFORMA, and PS122. This work has been written about in Artforum, the New York Times, Art in America, Folha de Sao Paolo, Liberation, the Village Voice, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. She studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, and Rhetoric at UC Berkeley. She's also written for Flash Art, Art Review, Wired, Afterimage, Planet, Art on Paper and has been Editor & Curator at Rhizome and Associate Director at SF Camerawork. She's organized shows/programs at the Guggenheim, SFMOMA, White Columns, Artists Space, and the New Museum. Olson has been Assistant Professor of New Media at SUNY-Purchase; visiting faculty at taught at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (ITP), Bard's Milton Avery Graduate Program, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's OxBox School; and is currently a Visiting Critic at Brown University.