Joseph Nechvatal

Immersion Into Noise Joseph Nechvatal 2011

Immersion Into Noise

An imprint of MPublishing – University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor,



Joseph NechvatalJoseph Nechvatal’s digital paintings conjure up an enigmatic world of almost dreadful depth – a depth that signals the dynamic critical intricacy of a contemporary practice engaged in the fragile wedding of image production and image resistance. His computer-robotic assisted paintings and animations are made up of an oddly excessive concoction of ambiguous sexual body parts (morphed from both sexes) and expressions of political ire that address the global influence of the viral form. Nechvatal brings a subversive reading to computational media by presenting an artistic consciousness that articulates contemporary concerns regarding safety, truth, identity and objectivity. In the introduction to the book Selected Essays 1981-2001 by Peter Halley, Richard Milazzo describes Joseph Nechvatal’s theoretic output as a systematic onslaught of critical theory. (Halley, Peter Selected Essays 1981-2001, Edgewise Press. 2013, pp. 34 – 35)

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 where he served as conference coordinator for the 1st International CAiiA Research Conference entitled Consciousness Reframed: Art and Consciousness in the Post-Biological Era (July 1997); an international conference which looked at new developments in art, science, technology and consciousness.

From 1999 to 2013, Nechvatal taught 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 the Open Humanities Press. His Punctum Press book/cd project (ed.) Minóy is available here:

His archive is housed at The Fales Library (Downtown Special Collection) at N.Y.U. in New York City.
Collected essays from Hyperallergic are at:
Web archive of current papers: and

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