Joseph Nechvatal

bOdy pandemOnium

Immersion into Noise


25 April – 21 June 2015


Opening hours: Fri-Sun, 2-6PM and by appointment


Press preview: 24 April 2015, 6PM

Opening: 24 April 2015, 8PM

Artist Talk & Noise music concert: 25 April, 2PM


rear windOw curiOsités (2012) 2x2m computer-robotic assisted painting


Joseph Nechvatal (born in 1951 in Chicago) is a post-conceptual artist working in digital art. He is one of the most important pioneers of new media art, but at the same time makes use of 'old media' (such as painting and drawing). What is phenomenal, and in our opinion relevant to the 21st century, is that his paintings are created through a use of custom artificial life software and computer robotics.


The exhibition, with the subtitle Immersion into Noise, will present Nechvatal's recent work to a Berlin audience alongside his eponymous book from 2011: Immersion into Noise. In that text, Nechvatal provides visual analogies to audio noise within the powerful effects of the act of immersion.


He does so by discussing visual and conceptual noise within the history of art and architecture; from Lascaux cave through Baroque art and Rococo architecture to modern and contemporary art. This publication was also the basis for the exhibition Noise at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) which explored visual noise in contemporary art through an aesthetic of excess and immersion.


In the bOdy pandemOnium exhibition, and in Nechvatal's work in general, the term viractualism, meaning the interface between the biological and the technological, plays an essential role: "The basis of the viractual conception is that virtual producing computer technology has become a noteworthy means for making and understanding contemporary art. This brings art to a place where one finds the merging of the computed (the virtual) with the uncomputed corporeal (the actual)."


Parallel to his theoretical research, Nechvatal has created a series of paintings and projections that show a C++ custom virus program (created with the programmer Stephane Sikora) invading, destroying and transforming his painterly art images based on intimate parts of the human body. In the exhibition at Art Laboratory Berlin, two large computer-robotic assisted paintings will be on display: frOnt windOw retinal autOmata (2012) and rear windOw curiOsites (2012).


As the artist says of his work: “My digital paintings conjure up an enigmatic world that signals the dynamic critical intricacy of a contemporary practice engaged in the fragile wedding of image production and image resistance. Through my use of intimate human body parts under pressure from software, I hope to bring a subversive reading to computational media by presenting an artistic consciousness of the body that articulates concerns regarding surveillance, encryption, safety, privacy, identity and objectivity.”


Also on view will be one of his famous viral computer software de-generative works: Viral Venture (2011). It is accompanied by a musical score for two hundred electric guitars by the composer Rhys Chatham.


In addition, for his first his solo exhibition in Berlin, we will add documentation of Nechvatal audio works: including his viral symphOny, a computer de-generating composition.


An artist talk with noise music concert of his piece 3 pOstmOrtems will take place 25 April at 2pm.


Curators: Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz


This exhibition is made possible in part by a generous gift from Michael Schröder.




frOnt windOw retinal autOmata (2012) 2x2m computer-robotic assisted painting



 Joseph Nechvatal

bOdy pandemOnium

Immersion into Noise


Vernissage: 24. April 2015, 20 Uhr


Artist Talk & Noise Music Concert: 25. April, 14 Uhr


Ausstellungslaufzeit: 25. April - 21. Juni 2015


Fr-So, 14-18 Uhr u. n. Vereinbarung




Joseph Nechvatal, geb. 1951 in Chicago, ist ein postkonzeptueller Kuenstler der digitalen Kunst – einer der wichtigsten Pioniere der sogenannten Neuen Medien-Kunst, der aber gleichzeitig auch auf die ‚alten Medien’ (Malerei, Zeichnung und Grafik) zuruckgreift. Das phanomenale und unserer Meinung nach zeitgenossische ist, dass seine ‚Gemaelde’ durch Computer-Robotik und Software Animation entstehen.


Die Ausstellung mit dem Untertitel Immersion into Noise ist Nechvatals erste Soloausstellung in Berlin und wird dem Publikum juengere Arbeiten vorstellen, die mit seiner Publikation Immerison into Noise (2011) zusammenhaengen. Darin stellt er eine visuelle Analogie zu ‚Noise’ her (im folgenden ‚Rauschen’) und betont die starke Wirkung durch den Akt der Immersion.


Im Ausstellungsprojekt, sowie generell in Nechvatals Arbeit, ist der Begriff Viractualism wesentlich, damit meint Nechvatal die Schnittstelle zwischen dem Biologischen und dem Technologi-schen: „The basis of the viractual conception is that virtual producing computer technology has be-come a noteworthy means for making and understanding contemporary art. This brings art to a place where one finds the emerging of the computed (the virtual) with the uncomputed corporeal (the actual).“


Neben seinen theoretischen Untersuchungen hat Nechvatal eine Serie von Gemaelden und Projek-tionen entwickelt, bei

denen seine Gemaelde mit intimen Stellen des menschlichen Korpers durch ein a C++ Virusprogramm uberfallen,

zerstort und veraendert werden (das Virusprogramm hat Nechvatal zusammen mit dem Programmierer Stephane

Sikora entwickelt). In der Ausstellung bei Art Laboratory Berlin werden zwei Computer basierte Gemaelde zu sehen

sein: frOnt windOw retinal autOmata (2012) und rear windOw curiOsites (2012).


Daruuber hinaus wird bei Art Laboratory Berlin eines seiner bekannten Arbeiten mit Computer-Virus-Software zu sehen sein: Viral Venture (2011). Die Projektion wird erweitert durch ein Stueck fur 200 E-Gitarren des Komponisten Rhys Chatham.


Das Kuenstlergespraech mit einem Noise-Concert seines Stuecks 3 pOstmOrtems wird am Eroeffnungswochenende

stattfinden – am Samstag, den 25. April um 14 Uhr.


Kuratoren: Regine Rapp & Christian de Lutz