Liz Magic Laser

born New York City 1981
Also known as
  • Liz Magic Lazer
New York, New York, United States
  • American

Liz Magic Laser is a multimedia and performance-based artist who primarily produces work for film, video, installation, and constructed situations. She often draws in professionals from other disciplines, integrates audience participation, and redeploys found texts from popular culture as scripts. In doing so, Laser emphasizes the performative nature of intersecting aspects of contemporary life and the impacts of constant mediation on understandings of and interactions between the self and others. Laser’s work dissects performances of power and how ideas and ideologies are embodied and reenacted, often precisely investigating specific modes of mediation and sharing. For her projects, she borrows formats from the Living Newspaper performances of the 1930s and news reporting, TED Talks, and reality television of recent years; draws source material from internet memes, soap operas, and commercials; and models performance prompts on New Age and therapeutic techniques used in corporate culture and political movements.

Laser often stages her projects in public or semipublic spaces where disruptive or unexpected engagements with passersby are possible, such as bank vestibules, subway platforms, and New York’s Times Square. Describing her process, she notes, “My ideas usually start with a curiosity about the set design of places . . . and the behaviors these scenarios perpetuate . . . . Ideally, the place and the script will serve as catalysts for one another, unearthing the manipulative nuances of each.”

Laser has been showing work consistently and widely since completing her MFA from Columbia University (2008), and attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2008) and the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program (2009). Solo exhibitions have appeared at FACT, Liverpool, UK; CAC Brétigny, France; and Malmö Konsthall, Sweden, to name a few. Her performances have been featured in the Performa Biennial 11, New York, and at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Media - 2020.54.1 - SAAM-2020.54.1_2 - 139600
Musical Thinking: New Video Art and Sonic Strategies
June 23, 2023January 28, 2024
Musical Thinking explores the powerful resonances between recent video art and popular music.