Skip to main content

Carsten Nicolai in Japan


Posted by Gestalten—08/2002

WATARI-UM, The Watari Museum of Contemporary Art 3-7-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan Tel: 03-3402-3001 Fax: 03-3405-7714 E-mail: official [at] Date: May 11 - September 6, 2002 Carsten Nicolai (born 1965 in Karl Marx Stadt, now Chemnitz) is an artist using various media, such as sound, image, sculpture and computer, as hybrid tools in order to research the "codification of the world". Nicolai's work questions creativity, coincidence and artistic creative power. A lot of his works are directly linked with the natural sciences. The physics of oscillation in particular are a frequent means of his work and are not limited by audibility and visibility, but trying to make natural phenomena visible. Scientists like the Physicist Ukichiro Nakaya, who researched snow crystals in his studies, were an inspiration to Carsten Nicolai for his "snow noise" installation. The joint collaboration with scientists, search and research, will combine scientific experiment with artistic sculpture. In "snow noise", the laboratory becomes the exhibition space, the activity of the audience makes it a part of the sculpture itself. The complexity of his work becomes visible in projects such as "polar", together with Marko Peljhan, which was realized for the Canon Artlab no.10 in 2000 and which received the Golden Nica for interactive art at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2001. The preoccupation with physical phenomena finds it's way into Nicolai's sound work, which is released under the pseudonyms "noto" and "alva noto". In 1995, Nicolai founded the "noton" record label that merged with "raster music" to become "Raster-Noton" in 2000. The collective with Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider meanwhile put out more than 40 releases, among others the series "20 to 2000" that received the Golden Nica for Digital Music at the Ars Electronica Festival in 2000. In recent years, Carsten Nicolai has performed in major exhibition spaces, for example the New York Guggenheim Museum (2000), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2001) and the Opera of Sydney, mca (2000). His installations were shown at the Dokumenta X in 1997 and the 2001 Venice Biennial. Nicolai has collaborated with Ryoji Ikeda (Composer for Dumb Type), Mika Vainio (member of the Finnish minimal electronic music project "Pan Sonic") and Thomas Knaak (co-composer of Bjà¶rk's "Vespertine"-album) and is now preparing a project with Ryuchi Sakamoto. For the "Parallel lines cross at infinity" exhibition at the WATARI-UM Museum for Contemporary Art, Carsten Nicolai realized new installations and projects and shows the most important works of the last 3 years. To mark the occasion, an edition of silk prints and the catalogue "autopilot" in English and Japanese will be published. A wide range of events, a series of performances and lectures and a bookshop, accompany the exhibition. Lecture Series: Carsten Nicolai is releasing the â € œscientific experimentâ €? like new works for this exhibition. Nicolai is reproducing something we are not conscious with such as incidents in the nature and the process of self-organization by the use of technology, and this exhibition is a laboratory for examining that in the context of art. In the lecture series, we will examine Nicolaiâ € ™s work through talk of specialists from variety of field. Opening lecture May 11, 2002 Akira Asada + Carsten Nicolai Mr. Asada is one of the most excellent art critics in the contemporary Japan. As he published the book "Kouzou to chikara" ("Structure and Powerâ €?) he effected japanese thinking in a fundamental way. Mr. Asada and Carsten Nicolai will discuss the problem of "perception und creativityâ €? and the role of the singular artist. Sound experiment will be held at the end. 1 May 23 (Thursday) 2002 Takashi Ikegami + Carsten Nicolai "Conversation" Takashi Ikegami is a scientist researching the field of artificial intelligence and creative self-organisation. He and Carsten Nicolai will together discuss the connection and relation between Art and Science. 2 June 27 (Thursday) 2002 Kengo Kuma (Architect) "Anti-Object" The architect Kengo Kuma argues against the self-centered and coercive object. Since several years, he is observing Nicolai's art. In this lecture, he is going to present his theories in context with the works of the exhibition. 3 July 2002 ( to be confirmed) Junji Kido (Scientist) "Light of the firefly will be a liquid crystal display" Junji Kido is a scientist researching a lightingstructure called the organic EL element.and new LCD display technologies for the next generation. He is going to discuss creative processes in the context of scientific technologies. 4 July 25, 2002 ( to be confirmed) Takashi Ikegami (Physicist) "Source of Innovation" Mr. Ikegami will talk about his research and the theoretical background for his sketch â € œSource of Innovationâ €? that he contributed for the "autopilot" exhibition catalogue. 5 August 1, 2002 ( to be confirmed) Yuji Morioka (City Planning Architect) "Ukichiro Nakaya --- The scenery of Science" Yuji Morioka will give insight into the life and work of Ukichiro Nakaya(1900 - 1962), a pioneer in the physics of snow and ice crystals. Carsten Nicolai's "snow noise" installation was highly inspired by Nakaya's research. 6 August, 2002 ( to be confirmed) Hans Ulrich Obrist (Curator/Critic) "Laboratory is the Answer. What is the question?" Hans Ulrich Obrist, contributor to the catalogue, one of the most well known European critics and director of the Musee de la ville d'art moderne in Paris, will compare the work of Nicolai to his latest research on painting and light, space etc. In the connection to the exhibition a book will be released: Carsten Nicolai. autopilot (Japanese edition)104 pages, 47 colors, Soft cover, CD included: noto.autorec, Limited edition of: 1,000 copies. text and inserts by: C. Cox, T. Ikegami and M.Pesch, Interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist. Sound Post Office Period: May 11 - September 6, 2002 ; every Wednesdays (Except for August14 and September 4) Hours: 21:00-23:00 Place: WATARI-UM Museum Basement Bookshop On Sundays