Carsten Nicolai, born 1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz), is a visual artist, composer and musician who lives and works in Berlin and Chemnitz.
In his work he seeks to overcome a separation of art forms and genres for an integrated artistic approach. Influenced by scientific reference systems, Nicolai often engages mathematic and cybernetic patterns such as grids and codes, as well as error, random and self-organising structures. Nicolai received numerous prizes and stipends, such as Giga-Hertz-Award, Karlsruhe (2012), Villa Massimo, Rome (2007), Zurich Prize, Basle (2007), Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2003), Golden Nica, Ars Electronica, Linz (2000 und 2001), F6-Philip Morris Graphik-Preis, Dresden (2000). His works have been shown at national and international major exhibitions in prestigious galleries and museums.
As well his works have been acquired by prominent private and public collections worldwide. For several years now Nicolai has released albums under the pseudonyms noto and alva noto which he has presented at live shows in national and international concert halls, clubs and museums. He has cooperated with renowned composers and musician including Ryuichi Sakamoto, Blixa Bargeld, Ryoji Ikeda, Michael Nyman, Mika Vainio, Olaf Bender + Frank Bretschneider (signal), as well as with diverse orchestras for modern music, such as Ensemble Modern, BCN 216 and zeitkratzer.