carsten nicolai

carsten nicolai

carsten nicolai a.k.a noto / alva noto / aleph

carsten nicolai, born 1965 in karl-marx-stadt, is part of an artist generation who works intensively in the transitional area between art and science. as a visual artist, nicolai seeks to overcome the separation of the sensory perceptions of man by making scientific phenomenons like sound and light frequencies perceivable for both eyes and ears. his installations have a minimalistic aesthetic that by its elegance and consistency is highly intriguing.

further aspects of his works consider the integration of chance as well as the inspection of the interchanging relations of micro and macro structures. special interest he also puts on so-called self-organizing processes, which for example occur when snow crystals develop.

"in my opinion the emphasis of self-generating processes is a reaction to the claim to plan everything. many of my works underlie a rule and introduce a model as organizing scheme to recognize chaotic movements. I am interested in both moments, they lie really close together. (...)
a major impact on my work had the article 'active mutations of self-reproducing networks, machines and tapes' (1996) by takashi ikegami and takashi hashimoto. they wrote about loop structures and self-organization. loops get created by mathematical processes whose results at the same time are the source for new calculations. by constant re-calculating mistakes occur, build up changing patterns and become the origin of new intelligent processes."
(carsten nicolai) 

after his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th venice biennale, nicolai’s works were shown in two comprehensive solo exhibitions at schirn kunsthalle, frankfurt, germany (anti reflex) and neue nationalgalerie in berlin, germany (syn chron) in 2005. in 2007, he had further extensive shows in hamburg, zurich and new york.

for several years now carsten nicolai experiments with sound under the pseudonyms noto to create his own code of signs, acoustic and visual symbols. as alva noto, he leads those experiments into the field of electronic music.

among others, nicolai already performed as alva noto at the solomon r. guggenheim museum in new york, the san francisco museum of modern art, centre pompidou in paris, kunsthaus graz and the tate modern in london. additionally, he has projects with diverse artists such as ryoji ikeda (cyclo), mika vainio, thomas knak (opto) or olaf bender (diamond version).

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