Carsten Nicolai

"In his work carsten nicolai, born 1965 in karl-marx-stadt, seeks to overcome a separation of art forms and genres for an integrated artistic approach. influenced by scientific reference systems, nicolai often engages mathematic patterns such as grids and codes, as well as error, random and self-organising structures.

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), at neue nationalgalerie in berlin, germany (syn chron) in 2005, at haus konstruktiv, zurich (static fades) in 2007 and at cac, vilnius (pionier) in 2011. he is represented by galerie eigen + art in leipzig/berlin, the pace gallery and galleria lorcan o'neill in rome.

under the pseudonym noto carsten nicolai experiments with sound to create his own code of signs, acoustic and visual symbols."

The Images on the left are three of Nicolai's works from his moiré exhibition at the Pace Gallery. Although the subject and visual of the work does not relate to my phenomena of gravity, his intentions and presentations of ideas, does. In these pieces Nicolai has used various "random" techniques to create shapes and images, that capture our attention. This is due mainly to their aesthetic - use of tone and movement in the top left image, right through to dynamic shapes in the bottom last. The drawing and construction processes used to create these pieces where not in fact random. The disorganised arrangement of light emitting poles in the middle image is intentional. In this arrangement for example, we feel as though our own brain is making sense of the light forms and shapes created whilst the work is in motion, thus drawing us into the work. Again this principle is repeated in the bottom-most image, as we view the canvases we believe we can see "method in the madness" - shapes appearing from apparently disorganised lines. In actual fact Nicolai has ordered his steps to compose these drawings, in a way that cleverly lefts the audience believe they can see more than the next man, when in actual fact this feeling is what really engages each audience member to allow complex informational delivery. 

Below is another of Nicolai's pieces. I wanted to briefly include this piece, as this particular work directly represents a concept (sound). The stimuli or subject to be communicated is taken in, it is then transfered into a different physical format than it exists naturally in our world, and this new physical format is re-presented. Sound is played through speakers beneath the paint tray, the vibrations of particles that is essentially sound, becomes vibration of the paint aboard the tray, and thus representing the original stimuli. I think this piece is truly fascinating and in someways maybe it is so fascinating due only to it's incredible delivery of the underlying concepts of graphic design - to communicate an idea or concept as simply as possible.

© Ethan William Frisby, all rights reserved