Carsten Nicolai

Carsten Nicolai is a German artist living in Berlin, using the pseudonym Alva Noto for his musical output. Born in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1965, he is part of a generation of artists working intensively in the transient area between music, art, and science. With a strong dedication to reductionism, he creates sound experiments with […]

Carsten Nicolai is a German artist living in Berlin, using the pseudonym Alva Noto for his musical output. Born in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) in 1965, he is part of a generation of artists working intensively in the transient area between music, art, and science. With a strong dedication to reductionism, he creates sound experiments with his own codes of signs, acoustics and visual symbols. His various musical projects include notable collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda (cyclo), Blixa Bargeld and Mika Vainio. Nicolai musical oeuvre is reflected in his work as a visual artist. Inspired by scientific reference systems, he deals with mathematical patterns such as grids and codes, error and random structures, and the phenomenon of self-organisation. In doing so, he constantly hurdles the boundaries across different artistic genres. Since his participation in documenta X (1997) and the 49th and 50th Biennale di Venezia (2001 and 2003), his works have been presented in exhibitions at renowned museums and galleries around the world.

As of June 2022

Video still courtesy of Galerie Eigen, Art Leipzeg/Berlin, and Pace Gallery

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