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freya björg olAFSON  en français ci-dessous

Freya Björg Olafson is an intermedia artist who works with video, audio, animation, motion capture, XR, painting, and performance. Their praxis engages with identity and the body, as informed by technology and the Internet. Olafson’s work has been presented and exhibited internationally at venues such as the Bauhaus Archiv (Berlin), SECCA - SouthEastern Center for Contemporary Art (North Carolina), Ochoymedio (Quito, Guayaquil, and Manta in Ecuador), The National Arts Center / Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa), and Onassis Cultural Center (Athens, Greece). Olafson's video work has been screened in festivals and galleries internationally and is distributed by Video Pool Media Arts Centre. She has benefitted from residencies, most notably through EMPAC - Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center (New York), Oboro (Montréal), Atlantic Center for the Arts (Florida), and Counterpulse in San Francisco.


Olafson holds an MFA in New Media from the Transart Institute / Donau Universität (Austria), a BA Honors in Dance from School of Contemporary Dancers / University of Winnipeg alongside six years of training in the Professional Program of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and three summers with Springboard Danse Montréal. They maintain ongoing professional development; and have sought the opportunity to learn from senior artists such as Charles Atlas, Coco Fusco, Shawna Dempsey / Lorri Millan, and Tedd Robinson. A recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the ‘Buddies In Bad Times Vanguard Award’ at the Summerworks Theatre Festival; Olafson’s recent nominations include the Sobey Art Award, the Independent Media Arts Alliance’s ‘National Media Arts Prize’ as well as the ‘Making a Mark Award’ from the Winnipeg Arts Council. Additionally, their work CPA [Consistent Partial Attention] was selected by an international jury to represent as part of Team Canada at Les Jeux De La Francophonie in Ivory Coast, Africa in July 2017.


A frequent collaborator on projects, Olafson has worked with Wanda Koop, Sarah Anne Johnson, Praba Pilar, Grant Guy, Mark Neufeld, among others. As a freelance performer Olafson has worked in dance, film, and theater. Teaching, lecturing, and mentoring highlights include Olafson’s work with Saw Video (Ottawa), Syracuse University (NY), MAWA - Mentoring Artists for Women's Art, and Plug In ICA (Winnipeg). Upcoming publications include a score / script of Olafson’s performance work AVATAR (2009) as part of Canadian Playwrights Press’ 2021 anthology on Digital Theatre in Canada.


Olafson has been a member of the curatorial committee for the núna (now) festival since 2006, and served as president since 2010, in this role they have facilitated projects in dance, theatre, visual and public art. Olafson has been a board member for Video Pool Media Arts Center since 2012 and from 2013 - 2016 was a member of ISPA – International Society for Performing Arts through the Canada Council Legacy Program. Additionally, Olafson is a member of Projetbk / 8DAYS and a research collaborator with the Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas. In July 2017, joined the Dance Department at York University as Assistant Professor.


photo: by Robbie Sweeny

En Francais:


Freya Björg Olafson travaille en vidéo, audio, animation, capture de mouvement, RA/RV, peinture et performance. Dans sa pratique, Olafson traite des questions identitaires et du corps en relation avec la technologie et Internet.
Explorant les dimensions de personnification, de technologie, d’aliénation, de communication et de néolibéralisme, elle œuvre sur des sujets déterminants pour une compréhension des concepts liés à l’identité au XXIe siècle. Dans ses expositions d’art vidéo, ses installations et ses performances à grand déploiement, Olafson repousse les limites en détournant la technologie et remet en question les interactions du genre humain avec les médias et la fabrication de l’art médiatique.
Les créations d’Olafson ont été présentées sur la scène internationale et nationale, en particulier au Bauhaus-Archiv (Berlin), au Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Caroline du Nord), au Ludwig Museum (Budapest) et au Centre national des arts (Ottawa). Olafson a été artiste en résidence, notamment à l’Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (État de New York), chez OBORO (Montréal) et au CounterPulse (San Francisco). Olafson est titulaire d’une maîtrise en nouveaux médias du Transart Institute (Autriche).



photo: Hugh Conacher

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