Destroyer of Naivetés: COMPUTER VIRUS 1.0 (September 3rd – September 27th) Paris

viral attaque la CaRne (1993) 190x275cm.jpg

Joseph Nechvatal

Destroyer of Naivetés: COMPUTER VIRUS 1.0

September 3rd – September 27th 2016


Galerie Richard (Paris)

74, rue de Turenne 75003 Paris

Tel: 01 43 25 27 22



Destroyer of Naivetés: COMPUTER VIRUS 1.0 is a revisitation to Joseph

Nechvatal’s HyperCard Computer Virus Project work from 1992-93 that dealt

with the AIDS virus epidemic placed in conjunction with a growing

concern for computer viruses.


Thanks to Francois Cheval, Computer Virus Project was created under the

umbrella of the Frac Franche-Comte at the Centre International de Réflexion

sur l’Avenir de la Fondation Claude-Nicolas Ledoux at La Saline Royale

d’Arc-et-Senans as part of Joseph Nechvatal’s artist-in-residency at Atelier

Louis Pasteur in Arbois, France (1991-1993). The original Apple HyperCard

computer programming was executed in 1992 by Joseph Nechvatal in close

collaboration with Jean-Philippe Massonie and Jean-Jacques Girardot at

Laboratoire MIS (Université de Franche-Comté) and in conjunction with

Christine Barrat at Apple Computer France. Dr. Nechvatal’s studio assistances

on the project were Laurent Alix, Jacques Lathuille, and Jocelyn Garbett.


Finished Computer Virus Project artworks were exhibited under the curatorial

direction of Anne Dary (Musee de Dole) at Saline Royale, Arc-et-Senans in

1993 and in 1994 at Espace d’Art Yvonamor Palix (Paris), Galerie In Situ

(Aalst, Belgium), Brooke Alexander Gallery (New York City) and in 1995 at

Galerie Karin Sachs (Munich). In 1996 pieces from Computer Virus Project

were exhibited in Joseph Nechvatal Retrospective at Galerie Berndt (Köln)

(catalogue). In 2001 the computer animation created as part of Computer

Virus Project was exhibited at Moving Image Gallery (New York City) in

Transformers, a two-person exhibition with Joseph Nechvatal and Cory



A 1993 catalogue, edited by Luc Gruson of Arc-et-Senans: Foundation

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, was produced by Franck Gautherot at CDM Dijon

titled Joseph Nechvatal: Computer Virus Project. It contains a short essay by

Joseph Nechvatal titled “The Computer and Conceptual Painting” (pp. 29-32),

working notes by Jean-Philippe Massonie and an art essay by Robert C. Morgan

titled “Nechvatal’s Visionary Computer Virus” (pp. 8-15). Bomb Magazine

(winter 1994 edition) featured a double page spread on the Computer Virus



The basic rule is, where information can go, a virus can go with it.


La règle de base, c’est que là où l’information peut aller, un virus

peut l’accompagner.


Ostensibly, human bodies are integrating newly evolved and

evolving viruses, only some of them, such as HIV, identifiable due to

their pathogenicity. The majority of viruses and bacteria circulate

around the biosphere and technosphere harmlessly and unnoticed.


Il paraîtrait que les corps humains sont en train d’incorporer des

virus récemment evolués et en voie d’évolution, dont certains

seulement, tels que le VIH, sont susceptibles d’être identifiés grâce à

leur pathogénicité. La plupart des virus et des bactéries circulent

dans la biosphère et technosphère, inoffensifs et inaperçus.


We form a rhizome with our viruses, or rather, our viruses make us

form a rhizome with other creatures.

– Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, “On The Line”


As I prepare for Destroyer of Naivetés: COMPUTER VIRUS 1.0 (September 3 – 27, 2016) at Galerie Richard Paris (a look back at my first virus work from 1992-3) I searched for and found a few Computer Virus 1.0 installation shots (some with me) from the 1994 Computer Virus 1.0 show at Espace d’Art Yvonamor Palix, 3 rue Keller Paris

Computer Virus Project 1.0 installation 1994 at Espace d'Art Yvonamor Palix 3 rue Keller Paris 5.jpgComputer Virus Project 1.0 installation 1994 at Espace d'Art Yvonamor Palix 3 rue Keller Paris.jpgComputer Virus Project 1.0 installation 1994 at Espace d'Art Yvonamor Palix 3 rue Keller Paris 4.jpgComputer Virus Project 1.0 installation 1994 at Espace d'Art Yvonamor Palix 3 rue Keller Paris 2.jpg


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 You can follow him on Twitter at @twinkletwink Homepage here:
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