Odyssey pandemOnium

drifting telemachus 2014 computer-robotic assisted acrylic on velours canvas 44 x 66”

drifting telemachus
computer-robotic assisted acrylic on velours canvas
44 x 66”


Odyssey pandemOnium
a migrational metaphor

November 15th – December 16th
Opening November 15th from 4 – 8 pm  

Galerie Richard 121 Orchard Street, New York City


Odyssey pandemOnium is a new series of paintings by Joseph Nechvatal that returns us symbolically to Homer’s displaced champion and his odd wanderings. However, Odyssey pandemOnium does not illustrate Homer’s epic poem. Rather, hints of classical sumptuousness and visual order are here submitted to controlled disorder through indeterminacy. This chance element is important in the construction of a lyrical consideration of human migration.

The characters Odysseus, his son Telemachus, his waiting wife Penelope, Polyphemus, Poseidon and a lyric siren loosely come together to suggest the beauty and pain of the migrating world. Present in the paintings is a partially hidden world of people and places (and images) lost and at ideological drift, looking for scenic alternatives.

The 10 paintings of Odyssey pandemOnium are conceptually situated within Nechvatal’s immersive noise theory. They make use of a complicated turmoil produced from close exchanges within figure/ground relationships that challenges us to think outside of the normal system of human perception. Classical looking figures are embedded into a complex and subtle ground so that the normal figure/ground relationship more or less merges. Painted on suede-like velours canvas, the colors used are dusty and subtle. This new support better contributes to the fugitive nature of the floating and migrating imagery. That double intricacy is what Odyssey pandemOnium is about, in one sense: being misplaced and adrift. The viewer’s eye must navigate the visual pandemonium in a way that suggests Odysseus’s wanderings.

This pandemonium is characteristic of Nechvatal’s art-of-noise theory that he established in his book Immersion Into Noise in 2011 and further developed last year in his Punctum Press book, Minóy.

Within the framework of Odyssey pandemOniumPunctum Press has launched a book with an original epic poem about the eros of the eye by Joseph Nechvatal entitled Destroyer of Naivetés.




About josephnechvatal

Since 1986 Joseph Nechvatal has worked with ubiquitous electronic visual information, computers and computer-robotics. His computer-robotic assisted paintings and computer software animations are shown regularly in galleries and museums throughout the world. From 1991-1993 he worked as artist-in-resident at the Louis Pasteur Atelier and the Saline Royale / Ledoux Foundation’s computer lab in Arbois, France on The Computer Virus Project: an experiment with computer viruses as a creative stratagem. In 2002 he extended that artistic research into the field of viral artificial life through his collaboration with the programmer Stéphane Sikora. Dr. Nechvatal earned his Ph.D. in the philosophy of art and new technology at The Centre for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA) University of Wales College, Newport, UK and occasionally teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City (SVA). His book of essays “Towards an Immersive Intelligence: Essays on the Work of Art in the Age of Computer Technology and Virtual Reality (1993-2006)” was published by Edgewise Press in 2009. In 2011 his book “Immersion Into Noise” was published by the University of Michigan Library’s Scholarly Publishing Office in conjunction with Open Humanities Press http://openhumanitiespress.org/immersion-into-noise.html. You can follow him on Twitter at @twinkletwink Homepage here: http://www.nechvatal.net
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