Joseph Nechvatal: Immersion Into Noise
Sat, October 27, 2012 4 pm CEST, Reading
The noise factor describes the signal-sound relationship between an ingoing and outgoing signal. Noise can distort the meaning of a message or even block it. This applies to both human as well as electronic communication. But in information theory, now as before, noise is treated as information.

Through the further development of the definition of noise as something that is directed at us beyond our preferred comfort zone, Joseph Nechvatal, in his lecture, based on the book Immersion into Noise, investigates various aspects of cultural noise by transferring the audio understanding of noise to visual, architectural, and cognitive areas. Beginning with his experience in the Abside (Apse) of the Lascaux caves, Nechvatal expands our understanding of the function of cultural noise in that he leads us into algorithmic contexts and networked connections through the penetrating and phenomenon-based aspect of sounds.

Joseph Nechvatal has been involved with omnipresent visual information, computers, and robotics since 1986. Galleries and museums throughout the world have exhibited his computer-robotic supported images and software animations. From 1991 to 1993 he was resident artist at the Louis Pasteur Atelier and at Saline Royale / Ledoux Foundation Computer lab in Arbois where he worked on “Computer Virus Project” – an experiment with computer viruses as creative strategies. In 2002 he expanded this research to the field of artificial, viral life in collaboration with programmer Stéphane Sikora.

Dr. Nechvatal earned his PhD in art philosophy and new technology at the Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Interactive Arts (CAiiA), University of Wales, Newport, where he coordinated the first international CAiiA research conference “Consciousness Reframed: Art and Consciousness in the Post-Biological Era” (July 1997). The conference focused on new developments in the areas of art, science, technology, and consciousness.

He teaches at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. His book Towards an Immersive Intelligence: Essays on the Work of Art in the Age of Computer Technology and Virtual Reality (1993-2006) was published in 2009 by the Edgewise Press. Immersion into Noise was published in 2011 by the University of Michigan Library's Scholarly Publishing Office in collaboration with the Open Humanities Press.
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