• Resources

    Task Information:

    Task Blog
    Oliver's introduction and updates on TASK events. The blog has extra links and information regarding the artist's TASK projects.

    Selected Publications:

    Berry, Ian. Oliver Herring: Me, Us, Them.The Francis Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, 2010. 128 pages, dialogue with Oliver Herring and Ian Berry, essay by Lawrence Rinder.

    Me Us Them weaves together fifteen years of works by New York based artist Oliver Herring. His ever expanding body of work explores many media, from sculpture and performance to photography and video. The exhibition includes several of Herring's early knit-Mylar objects, experimental videos, complex photo-collages, and documentation of recent TASK events, which invite participants to entirely shape the work.

    Oliver Herring, Kendra Paitz, Ian Berry, Kristen Hileman. Oliver Herring: TASK. University Galleries, College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University
    179 images, 4 essays, texts and commentary.

    TASK documents a burgeoning phenomenon begun in 2002 by artist Oliver Herring, who developed TASK as a self-generating, improvisational gathering in which a community engages in a collaborative art-making event. Using cardboard, tape, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, markers and other materials, participants follow a simple set of rules: write a task for someone to perform, then randomly select a task to perform yourself (e.g. "Use cardboard mailing tubes to make a symphony;" "Form a conga line;" "Create a crime scene"). The cycle continues, task building upon task, as people share new ways to develop ideas and solve problems.

    This volume includes a detailed history of TASK by Herring; extensive photo-documentation of TASK parties and events in the U.S., Canada, England, France and Japan; statements by participants; instructions on how to organize a TASK party; and essays by curators/organizers Ian Berry, Kendra Paitz and Kristen Hileman.

    Oliver Herring and Kristen Chambers. Oliver Herring: Sleepless Nights. Exhibition catalogue. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, 2001

    Oliver Herring's work is varied but unified. Working primarily in video and sculpture he seeks to capture movement and motion. His video work is comprised of highly stylized, choreographed pieces that explore motion, aesthetics, sexuality, and gender roles. While stills of video works seldom do the original justices, the images captured in this volume seem to leap off the page allowing readers to piece together, perhaps not the artist's original vision, but something as lively and engaging for sure. Herring's sculpture is equally as lively. Despite being static constructions, his sculpture suggests so much movement they often appear to have just come to rest after some vigorous activity. Chairs themselves recline after a long day of supporting others, and a series of bodies recreate the movements of one collapsing into bed or, perhaps, dragging oneself out. Electrifying and engaging, this catalogue's text comes in the form of a dialogue between the artist and CCCA Senior Curator, Kristin Chambers, as well as margin notes in the artist's hand writing, providing further, more personal insight into the work. With 100+ images (color and black-and-white), image index, performer credits, and videography.

    Selected Interviews

    Art21, Season 3, Play
    The artists in Play improvise games, draw inspiration from dance and music, and employ color, pattern, and movement to elicit delight. Indulging in process, these artists transform naïve impulses into critical statements about the nature of identity, creative expression, and pleasure. With Arturo Herrera, Ellen Gallagher, Hubbard/Birchler, Jessica Stockholder and Oliver Herring.

    "Searching for a release from his past meditative work of knitting colorless sculptures with Mylar tape, Oliver Herring began making fantastical stop-motion videos of himself, and subsequently of strangers encountered by chance. In addition to videos, Herring creates sculptures of “off-the-street” strangers, using Styrofoam covered with photographs that reproduce the skin of the model. He also photographs strangers’ faces after they've spent hours spitting colorful food dye over their faces. The portraits are intense documents of an unusual kind of intimacy. “I usually wait for a moment that brings out some kind of vulnerability,” he says. “That’s what I’m after. This personal connection with a stranger.”

    Art21 video of Mad Sq 200 TASK
    Art21 video of the biggest TASK Party to date. Mad Sq 200 TASK drew over 1000 people; Madison Square Park, September 6, 2014,NY, NY

    New York Times feature article on Mad Sq 200 TASK
    Written By William Grimes
    Published September 8, 2014

    Clocktower radio interview 2014|
    Conversation with Will Corwin about TASK, Joseph Beuys, Leigh Bowery, Ethyl Eichelberger… Aired 9/1/2014

    Feature article in (and cover of) Artnews Magazine
    By Hillary Sheets
    Published, September 1, 2009

    The Present Perfect with Art21
    The Present Perfect with Art 21 features artists Oliver Herring and Laurie Simmons in conversation with Robert MacNeil as well as with live and online audiences, about the role of collaboration and performance in contemporary art and everyday life.

    University of Missouri TASK, October, 2011
    Video documentation and interview with artist at a TASK event.

    In the Studio: Oliver Herring
    An interview in relation to the Museum of Art and Design exhibition "Slash: Paper Under the Knife." Herring discusses his photo sculptures and his interactions with a volunteer model.

    Oliver Herring
    Conversation with David Humphrey on Clocktower, PS1 radio show. Aired 4/28/08