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 and cybernetic 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. As alva noto he leads those experiments into the field of electronic music. Besides performing in club and concert halls, Nicolai presented his audio-visual pieces at museums like Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kunsthaus Graz or Tate Modern in London. Additionally he pursues projects with diverse artists such as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Ryoji Ikeda (cyclo.), Blixa Bargeld (anbb), Michael Nyman, Mika Vainio or Thomas Knak (opto). His latest musical project with Olaf Bender (byetone) is called diamond version and is released on mute records.