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Video artist Tony Oursler to speak in UB’s Center for the Arts

During the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s 2011 exhibition “Videosphere,” visitors were greeted with an unforgettably strange piece by pioneering video artist Tony Oursler. It was a 2003 sculpture called “Junk,” a series of interconnected orbs onto which four eyes and a mouth were projected. It stared at visitors and muttered strange phrases, an artwork straight out of your latest nightmare and seemingly designed to make a permanent impression.

Oursler, regarded as one of America’s most influential video artists, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts, Room 112, in Amherst as part of a lecture series sponsored by UB’s media study department.

In a 2001 interview with critic Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times, Oursler discussed his reasons for gravitating toward video as a means of expression.

“I can also shoot a video and look at the tape instantly, which is one of the advantages of working with video as opposed to film, and that can be satisfying in a way I find almost as immediate and direct as drawing,” he said. “Then, aesthetically, the colors of video images, the way I can paint them, bleach them, the shimmering electronic quality of them, is, in terms of art history, just part of the continuum.”

Monday’s talk is free. Call 645-6902 or visit

– Colin Dabkowski