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image
© Oli Sorenson, AntiMap-23 (détail), 2011. Origami (carton mousse), projection vidéo | Origami (foamcore), video projection. 304 x 137 x 41 cm. Gracieuseté de l’artiste | Courtesy of the artist.

Oli Sorenson
From March 17th 2012 to April 21st 2012
Antimap

Oli Sorenson has always refused to define his work in terms of artistic discipline. He associates this trend to specialize with a nostalgic attachment to a bygone era, and prefers using the ubiquity and mobility of global communication networks as a metaphor truly capturing the imagination of our times. It is rather the overabundance of content that seeks his interest, a central issue that is specific of the Internet and the digital realm. He has further explored this theme through the VJ world, within media arts events in Europe (ZKM, Germany, 2002; K/Haus Museum, Austria, 2009) and Asia (MAF, Thailand, 2005). Thus he understandably describes his approach as that of an art operator: “I produce art as a DJ would produce music.”

Alternately as author, performer, musician, and plagiarist, he thrives in (re/de)constructing the sequential structures of moving images as well as to foil narrative conventions through a focus on editing, citation, and sampling as creative practice. With his Antimap series, Sorenson reappropriates the "mapping" technique, a process commonly used in video festivals which he (re)contextualizes in gallery spaces. In restrained interventions, he lays out minimal patterns reminiscent of Daniel Buren, Op Art aesthetics or the Supports/Surfaces group, to project these onto three-dimensional shapes which he underlines as “screens that resist their role of passive receptacles and inform the video images with an additional element of perception.”

Purposefully placing his work midway between visual and media arts, he is first in line to recognize the digital era as time-subordinate, a dire determinism which alter such productions in their inability to self-archive (witnessed by the quick succession of software obsolescence), while the act of painting ineluctably crosses over the ages. Sorenson thus proposes a synthesis of means that strives to return to painting via digital tools: using the specific visual vocabulary of media arts in such a way that the canvas is perceived as a “residual” component of a vast sampling exercise, he creates the Antimap series.

Marie-Josée Lafortune
editing: Geneviève Bédard



Born in Los Angeles, Oli Sorenson is a PhD candidate in Interdisciplinary Humanities at Concordia University. He holds a Masters in interactive media at the Université du Québec à Montréal (1998). Between 1999 and 2010 he lived in London where he practised many forms of expression including painting, interactive installation and VJing. He curated many video performance events at Tate Britain, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the British Film Institute, and also published a monthly column for international video events in DJ Mag (2003-2008). He lists many exhibitions, video and VJ performances to his credit throughout Europe and Asia. He lives and works in Montreal.