Tony Oursler lives and works in the city today. He studied at California Institute of the Arts and became Bachelor of Fine Art in 1979.
He has exhibited all over the world, particularly in American museums. From 1981 he has had a large number of solo exhibitions in venues including Folkwang Museum in Essen (1989), the exhibition System for Dramatic Feedback at Portikus Frankfurt, Les Musées de la Ville de Strasbourg, Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva and Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven.
1999 and 2000 saw the exhibition "Introjection: Tony Oursler Mid-career Survey 1976-1999" at MASS MoCA in Massachusetts, Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and at Des Moines Art Center. Group exhibitions include Documenta 8 in Kassel in 1987, 1989 Biennial Exhibition at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Documenta IX in Kassel (1992).
In 1997 he participated in both The Whitney Biennial at Whitney Museum of American Art and Documenta X and in 1998 São Paulo Biennial in São Paulo.
Since the 1980s Oursler has worked in video and like Bill Viola he is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the medium. His previous work was often single-channel video on painted sets, with puppet theatre-like arrangements. As is the case in his later works, here there is a manifest narrative element discussing alienation, media manipulation and the fragmented consciousness of the modern world.
Later on he has used liquid crystal display projectors which facilitated projecting images onto spatial surfaces. In this manner a lifeless dummy could be given a lifelike, moving face capable of provoking entirely new emotional reactions from the onlooker.
Since the 1990s Oursler has been concerned with complex superimpositions of light, sound and movement, communicating in various ways the feeling of split personalities, malaise and confusion.
Furthermore Oursler is represented at CAPC Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, KIASMA Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst in Munich, Tate Gallery in London, Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum.