Student

Eric John Olson

Eric John Olson’s work focuses on participatory art practices and social engagement. He has been awarded project grants by the City of Seattle, 4Culture, Seattle Public Library and The Project Room. His work has been written about in The Seattle Times, CityArts Magazine, The Stranger, Spin Magazine, and The Creator’s Project.

Recently Olson worked with contributors across the United States to create the “Dead Dad Dining Club Vol. 1”, a collection of poetic recipes that remind people of their absent fathers. During a residency at MadArt Studio, Olson co-hosted weekly public meals with authors based off their story and sewed large felt club banners to commemorate each meal. In 2015 Olson worked with The Seattle Public Library to conduct oral histories with members of Seattle’s vibrant LGBTQ community and created a series of short videos from the interviews. Interviewees were recreated as muppet-like puppets and memories were stop-animated. The work is now in the permanent public archive of the library. In 2014, Olson worked with Samuel Wildman on a public art project that solicited advice from octogenarians in retirement homes and created a marketable health and lifestyle plan called “Be Vintage”. The project attempted to reframe the role of retirement homes in our communities by creating a web based platform, thematic podcasts and a public ad campaign. The project was shortlisted on Creative Capital’s “On Our Radar” after making it to the third round of the 2015 Emerging Fields award process.

http://ericdidit.com


We Are a Crowd of Others

We Are a Crowd of Others (project website) was a collaboration with Gail Grinnell and Sam Wildman where we used our residency at MadArt Studio to weave together an expansive, site-specific installation with a series of public programs which investigated the language and resonance of ordinary acts. The open forum of public programs gave the public, participants, conversants, poets, performers, and artists a space to interact and delve deeper into questions about how the past and future can haunt the present, making its way into our daily rituals. Projects included workshops for catastrophe preppers, public re-enactments of meals reminding people of their dead or dead-beat dads, screenings accompanied with science lectures, open rehearsals of a new dance by Tia Kramer and Tamin Totzke, and an exhibition of oral and visual histories of Seattle’s DIY music scene.

 

Dead Dad Dining Club

The Dead Dad Dining Club is a series of public meals that explore fatherlessness through reenactment and embodiment. Each meal is based on a poetic recipe about a meal that reminded the contributor of their dead or dead-beat father. All recipes were collected and published as a collection of poems in “Dead Dad Dining Club Vol. 1”. For each public meal hosted at MadArt Studio, a felt banner was created to commemorate the reenactment.

 

Sharing Our Voices

In collaboration with Seattle Public Library, I conducted a series of oral histories celebrating voices from Seattle’s vibrant LGBTQ community. From the interviews I directed and animated 5 short films of interviews with muppet-style puppets of the interviewees and stop animations of their stories.