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  • Visual Marginalia:Marina Zurkow’s Immortal Trash
  • Marina Zurkow (bio)

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  • Artist Statement
  • Elena Glasberg

Marina Zurkow is a media artist who works with and within systems to build new systems. Beginning her career as a digital animator, Zurkow has flowed through and colonized sculptural, video, conceptual, linguistic, solo-installation, collectivist-activist, and bio forms of art practice. Visiting her studio, one is struck by the vivacious and tenacious objects that comprise her manufactory: books, computer screens and storage equipment, video displays, printed images tacked up, models, plastic figurines, moldering painted canvases, and shaped mycelium spores. From her earliest digital image-sound animations, Zurkow was drawn to create abstract patterns both beautiful and purposefully annoying enough to drill into your senses, while her abject-heroic biomorphic figures clung impossibly to the edges of propriety, and of life proper. Zurkow’s universe of perverse cartoons eventually began to meld with the strange parts and cast-offs of the global ecosystem as it continually shreds and dies off and remakes itself under the pressures of irreversible anthropogenic change. Over the years, as her installations and vision have expanded in ambition and reach, the once-abject cartoons and sketches (as in sketchy, not to be totally trusted) were squirreled away in files and forgotten. Now they are gathered and dispersed—parts of no part—as a wordless visual essay.

The visuals were selected by Zurkow and the editors of Survival, and further selected by the editors of WSQ. Their placement on the page is a result of random processes and layers of selection that include the Feminist Press art department. The appearance of these parts of parts, digital ghosts, and leftovers of a coding and assembling process have been collectively dis/organized.

The Visual Marginalia comes together through the shared concerns of those involved in Survival and in feminist publishing practices in general. And yet an ineluctable force emanates from the visuals themselves—perhaps they placed themselves to a certain extent, landed where they willed, working their cute, exaggerated, and strange appearance to hook the human eye or to clump together, as dandelion seeds adhere lightly to each other before they disperse to other adherences, not the least of which may be the retinas of yet-unknown readers. [End Page 250]

Marina Zurkow

Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections, researching “wicked problems” like invasive species, superfund sites, and petroleum interdependence. She has used life science, bio materials, animation, dinners, and software technologies to foster intimate connections between people and nonhuman agents. Her work spans gallery installations and unconventional public participatory projects. Currently, she is working on connecting toxic urban waterways to oceans, and researching the tensions between maritime ecology and the ocean’s primary human use as a capitalist Pangaea. She is a full-time faculty member at ITP, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-1520
Print ISSN
0732-1562
Pages
pp. 226-251
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-01
Open Access
No
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