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telefunken
Carsten Nicolai, Germany
telefunken, 2000
Audio signals for television, audio CD, CD player, Sony HiBlack Trinitron television
Photo by Paolo Curti Gallery, Milano, Carsten Nicolai
VG Bildkunst Bonn
Courtesy of Galerie EIGEN+ART
Selected by: Yuko Hasegawa
Born in Karl-Marx Stadt (presently Chemnitz) in 1965, Carsten Nicolai lives in Chemnitz and Berlin. He worked as a gardener from 1985 to 1990, and studied landscape design in Dresden. In 1992 he co-founded “voxxx.kultur und kommunikationszentrum” in Chemnitz, and then “noton archiv fuer ton und nichtton” in 1994. Nicolai is active worldwide in areas ranging from contemporary art to sound art to media art. A motif of organic forms appears in his paintings, objets d’art, and sound installations, which sensitively recognize and present both visible and invisible information environments and are directed to the introduction of computer complex system research. Nicolai realizes an interdisciplinary artwork with a sensual effect of sound and visual output through an elaborate computer process.

Nicolai’s work telefunken (2000), surely the crowning achievement of his syn-aesthetic, multiplies these insights to the nth degree. Technological and conceptual considerations aside, telefunken is astonishing in its elegance, simplicity,and beauty. The raspy drones, pulses, and loops on tracks 1-20 (collectively titled “impulse to line”) generate a spellbinding array of white horizontal bars that rise and fall, merge and part, expand and contract on the television’s black background. Tracks 21-30’s “testtones” spark blocks of light that pulse, throb, bend, waver, and hold for a moment before extinguishing, as though from an unbearable strain. On the whole, telefunken presents a kind of abstract drama in two acts and thirty short scenes. Its characters are points, lines, blocks, thicknesses, intensities, and speeds–and their stage is the black space of the television screen.
Carsten Nicolai
noto@raster-noton.de
www.raster-noton.de/