Carsten Nicolai (alva noto) 

(*1965) seeks to overcome the separation of the sensual perceptions of man by making scientific phenomenons like sound and light frequencies perceivable for both eyes and ears.

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 sensual 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, for example the growing of snow crystals.


"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. (...) The article Active mutations of self-reproducing networks, machines and tapes (1996) by Takashi Ikegami and Takashi Hashimoto had a major impact on my work. They wrote about loop structures and self-organisation. 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."


After his participation in important international exhibitions like documenta X and the 49th and 50th Venice Biennial, Nicolai's works were shown in two comprehensive solo exhibitions at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany (anti reflex) and at Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Germany (syn chron) in 2005. In 2007 he had further extensive shows in Zurich and New York.


For several years now Carsten Nicolai experiments with sound under the pseudonym 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 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, at Centre Pompidou in Paris, at Kunsthaus Graz and at Tate Modern in London. Additionally he has projects with diverse artists such as Ryoji Ikeda (cyclo.), Mika Vainio or Thomas Knak (opto); recently he toured with Ryuichi Sakamoto through Europe, Australia and Asia.

Source: Carsten Nicolai's website


Carsten Nicolai (alva noto), max-msp, design, natural science


Grid Index (2009) by Carsten Nicolai is the first comprehensive visual lexicon of patterns and grid systems. Based upon years of research, artist and musician Carsten Nicolai has discovered and unlocked the visual code for visual systems into a systematic equation of grids and patterns. The accompanying CD contains all of the grids and patterns featured in the publication from the simplest grids made up entirely of squares to the most complex irregular ones with infinitely unpredictable patterns of growth, as editable vector graphic data files. (Gestalten)

Notations 21 (2009) by Theresa Sauer features illustrated musical scores from more than 100 international composers, all of whom are making amazing breakthroughs in the art of notation. Notations 21 is a celebration of innovations in musical notation, employing an appreciative aesthetic for both the aural and visual beauty of these creations. The musical scores in this edition were created by composers whose creativity could not be confined by the staff and clef of traditional western notation, but whose musical language can communicate with the contemporary audience in a uniquely powerful way. (Notations 21 Project)



Matt Pyke (*1967) is a painter, photographer, artist, curator, designer, animator, director, producer and lecturer based in a log cabin studio in Sheffield, UK. He founded Universal Everything after 8 years at the internationally renowned studio, The Designers Republic from 1996 - 2004. (Universal Everything)

Lithops: Graf (2009) by Karl Kliem for Lithops/ Jan St. Werner. From the album Ye Viols!, released on Thrill Jockey. Karl Kliem's video for Lithops won the third price in the music video category of Germany most important short film festival. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen. (Thrill Jockey)

FBAS Furniture (2003) by Karl Kliem. This video is part of the screensaver section of the DIN AV 01/04/CN/86.03 DVD. Karl Kliem made a Max patch that remixed Eric Satie's Gnossienne Nr. 4. (Dienststelle)

Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses (2002) by Richard E. Cytowic disposes of earlier criticisms that the phenomenon cannot be real, demonstrating that it is indeed brain-based. Following a historical introduction, Cytowic lays out the phenomenology of synesthesia in detail and gives criteria for clinical diagnosis and an objective test of genuineness. (MIT Press)

Cyclotone (2012) by Paul Prudence cross-wires sound and video material to create multi-modalities using a variety of algorithmic strategies, further synergies are created by employing associative, metaphorical and perceptual bindings between the visual and sonic domains. The work takes conceptual cues from cyclotrons and particle accelerators and is inspired to commemorate the first wave of Russian cosmonauts who conquered space physically as well as the artists of the Constructivist movement who conquered space conceptually. (Paul Prudence)