Author Archives: josephnechvatal

About josephnechvatal

Joseph Nechvatal is an American post-conceptual artist who creates virus-modeled artificial life computer-assisted paintings and animations. Themes he has addressed in his art include the apocalyptic, communication excess, the virus, and gender fluidity. In 1975, he moved from Chicago to the downtown Tribeca area of New York City. He began studying at Columbia University with the philosopher Arthur Danto while working for the Dia Art Foundation as archivist to the minimalist composer La Monte Young. In 1980, he moved from Tribeca to the sordid Lower East Side where he found artistic camaraderie and politically inspired creative energy. There he became closely associated with Collaborative Projects (Colab), the influential post-punk artists’ group that included Kiki Smith and Jenny Holzer, among others. Those were glory days for the famous Colab projects, such as Just Another Asshole, The Real Estate Show and The Times Square Show. He also helped establish the non-profit cultural space ABC No Rio, where exhibitions were animated by political purpose. In the early 1980s, his art consisted of dense post-minimalist gray graphite drawings (that were sometimes photo-mechanically enlarged), of sculpture, of photographs, and of musique concrète audio collages. In 1983, he co-founded the famous avant-garde art music project Tellus Audio Cassette Magazine. In 1984, he created an opera called XS: The Opera Opus (1984-6) with the no wave musical composer Rhys Chatham that was presented in Boston and New York. In 1986, Nechvatal began using computer-robotics to make conceptual paintings. Some were exhibited at Documenta VIII in 1987. In 1992, when he was artist-in-residence at the Louis Pasteur Atelier in Arbois and at the Saline royale d’Arc-et-Senans, he created computer virus codes that he used as an artistic tool. This work was a reflection on his personal experiences of risk and loss with the AIDS epidemic. In 1999, he earned his doctorat in the philosophy of aesthetics and technology in England and soon wrote two art theory books: Towards an Immersive Intelligence and Immersion Into Noise. In 2001, he extended his initial experimentations into the virus as an artistic painterly tool in a series of artificial life works. These works include various series of paintings, animations, and a lengthy audio composition entitled viral symphOny. He has created a series of virus-based themed exhibitions of artificial life paintings and animation projections that explore the fragility and fluidity of the human body. You can follow him on Twitter at @twinkletwink Homepage: http://www.nechvatal.net

Review of Hypnose at Musée d’arts de Nantes

My art review of the Hypnose exhibition at Musée d’arts de Nantes has been published at The Brooklyn Rail here: https://brooklynrail.org/2021/05/artseen/Hypnose 

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Portrait of a Young Poet: Charles Baudelaire (1981)

Joseph Nechvatal, Portrait of a Young Poet: Charles Baudelaire (1981) graphite on paper ~ because today is Charles Baudelaire’s 200th birthday!

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Review of Gilles Barbier: Travailler le dimanche (Working on Sundays)

My art review of Gilles Barbier: Travailler le dimanche (Working on Sundays) at HAB Galerie in Nantes has been published at Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art here: https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/on-sundays-at-hab-galerie/4923

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cOmplete OrlandO et la tempête viral symphOny redux suite

cOmplete OrlandO et la tempête viral symphOny redux suite (2021) has been uploaded and archived to my collection of papers and audio files at archive.org here: https://archive.org/details/c-omplete-orland-o-et-la-tempete-viral-symph-ony-redux-suite

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pour finir avec le jugement de dieu viral symphOny plague (2021) broadcast April 17th on Radio for Open Ears

my full pour finir avec le jugement de dieu viral symphOny plague (2021) audio suite ~ based on Antonin Artaud’s radio play Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu (1947) and my viral symphOny (2008) ~ will be broadcast … Continue reading

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Joseph Nechvatal Biographical Background

Joseph Nechvatal Biographical Background (in French below) Joseph Nechvatal (born in Chicago in 1951) is an American post-conceptual artist currently living in Paris who creates virus-modeled artificial life computer-assisted paintings and digital animations. Themes he has addressed in his art … Continue reading

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plague pour finir avec le jugement de dieu viral symphOny (2021)

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Review of Eaux d’artifice

My art review of the Eaux d’artifice show in Le Théâtre des Expositions at the Palais des Beaux-Arts de Paris has been published at Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art here: https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/book-review-eaux-d-artifice/4906

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Brutal Aesthetics

My review of Hal Foster’s book Brutal Aesthetics: Dubuffet, Bataille, Jorn, Paolozzi, Oldenburg has been published at The Brooklyn Rail here : https://brooklynrail.org/2021/03/art_books/Hal-Fosters-Brutal-Aesthetics-Dubuffet-Bataille-Jorn-Paolozzi-Oldenburg 

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Isle of Dread (1983)

archival recovery photos of two of my large Isle of Dread (1983) drawing mural panels ~ part of a big installation installed on the ground floor at 71 Broadway in 1983 ~ sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

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