Carsten Nicolai’s fusion of art and music has led to exhibitions and performances worldwide. static balance, Nicolai’s first exhibition with PaceWildenstein, blends electronic sounds and visual effects into highly energized environments that engage sensory perceptions.
The PaceWildenstein opening is the first of three consecutive evenings devoted to the artist’s work in New York City. On Friday, October 5th at 6:30 p.m., The Goethe-Institut, 1014 Fifth Avenue at 83rd Street, will host a discussion between Nicolai and curator Gregory Volk about the artist’s newest work. Admission is free and open to the public. The following evening Saturday, October 6 at 8 p.m. Nicolai (a.k.a. alva noto) will present Xerrox vol. 2. Created from a variety of ordinary source material ranging from Muzak to television advertising melodies, Nicolai will use a laptop to compress, multiply, and alter this digital information into a video projection of sonic visual abstraction. More information and tickets to the concert are available at www.thekitchen.org.
PaceWildenstein will exhibit four works by Carsten Nicolai. In static balance (2007) ambient noise bounces off the surface of parabolic mirrors producing an acoustic field of varying density according to your location within the installation. A second work, fades (2006), mixes mathematical equations-
primarily sine functions-and computer-generated images into a gradual increase and decrease of light intensity. White noise fills the space, and the light beams’ three dimensional qualities are accentuated by lingering stands of mist. static parabol 1 and static parabol 2 are two large horizontal wall works measuring 6 ½ feet by 13 feet. Without sound these static works evoke the pure pattern of their mathematical design.
Carsten Nicolai (a.k.a. noto, alva noto) currently lives and works in Berlin. Born in 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (Chemnitz) Germany, Nicolai studied landscape design from 1985-1990 in Dresden. In 1992 he co-founded the Voxxx.Culture and Communication center, in Chemnitz (Voxxx.Kultur und Kommunikationxzentrum). Nicolai began gaining notoriety in the music community in 1994 when he founded noton.archiv fuer ton und nichtton as a platform for conceptual and experimental related projects in music, art and science. Nicolai frequently performs his music under the pseudonyms noto or alva noto. His music combines video projection with sonic abstraction and minimialistic, post-techno mixing. In 1999, Nicolai fused the company he founded, noton, with rastermusic which was founded by Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider to form raster-noton.archiv für ton und nichtton.
Since 1987 Carsten Nicolai has been in over 50 international solo exhibitions, including Galerie EIGEN + ART’s 1992 Leipzig exhibition, Carsten Nicolai: Running Sap; Carsten Nicolai: Corpus organized by the Städtische Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Germany in 1993, which traveled to the Museum Scloß Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany and Espace des Arts, Chalon-Sur-Saône, France until 1994; Carsten Nicolai: Light-Stencil-Installation for the Windows of The New York Kunsthalle at The New York Kunsthalle in 1996; Carsten Nicolai, Konstmuseum Ystad, Ystad, Sweden, October 2000; Carsten Nicolai: Auto Pilot, WATARI-UM, Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan, 2002; Carsten Nicolai-Anti Reflex, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg, Frankfurt, 2005; Carsten Nicolai: Syn Chron, Architectural Body as Interface. Space. Light. Sound, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2005, traveled to Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media, Japan as Carsten Nicolai: Syn Chron in 2006; and Carsten Nicolai: Audio Visual Spaces, Stedelijik Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Gent, Belgium, 2006. In 2007 Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich installed the first major solo exhibition of Nicolai’s work in Switzerland, and many of the works on view were designed specifically for the museum. A substantial catalogue published by JRP Ringier Verlag accompanied the exhibition.
Nicolai’s work is part of major international collections including The Rubell Family Art Collection, Miami; Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Germany; Klingspor Museum Offenback, Germany; The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Kiev, Ukraine; Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Chemnitz; and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Gent, Belgium.
The artist has been awarded numerous prizes and scholarships beginning in 1990 with the Jürgen Ponto prize, Frankfurt. In 2000 he was awarded the Philip Morris Graphic Award in Dresden, Germany and the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award for Digital Music for the “20 to 2000 project” in Linz Austria. The Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica Award for Interactive Art was again awarded to him in 2001 for “Polar”, an installation created in collaboration with Marko Peljhan. Nicolai was the 2004 Artist in Residence at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles, and three years later he was the Visiting Artist for Deutsche Akademie Rome at Villa Massimo in Italy. In 2007 he was the first artist ever to receive the newly created Zurich Prize from Haus Konstruktiv.
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