CULTURE

A conceptual performer’s views on sound and space

Prolific Berlin crossover artist Carsten Nikolai, who combines electronic music and visual material for his shows, will be in Athens to present «Xerrox» at the Bios venue this Thursday evening. The show will be limited to an audience of 100 persons and reservations are necessary, organizers have announced. Born in the East German city of Karl-Marx-Stadt, the 41-year-old artist had originally studied architecture and landscape design before pursuing an interest in the theoretical properties between sound and space. His use of electronic sound and visual art function like a hybrid tool to create a personal microscopic view of the creative process. Taking his cue from artists such as the ambient pioneer and musical theoreticist Brian Eno, Nikolai’s «Xerrox» project, which takes its title from the Xerox photocopy machine, examines highly theoretical issues such as visual compression, multiplicity, change of form and analysis of movement. The production had premiered at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 2005. Its presentation in Athens coincides with a project Nikolai is currently working on with the famed and pioneering electronic composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. Nikolai moved to Berlin in the early 90s, where he founded an experimental music label, Noton Archiv Fuer Ton Und Nichtton, as a platform for his conceptual and music concerns. By the end of the decade, Nikolai ended up releasing a 12-issue CD and magazine series called «20 to 2000» on Raster-Noton Records, a merger that brought together the artist’s own label with another experimental label, Rastermusic. Though the German artist adopted the name Alva Noto following this project, he had released work and performed small-scale shows as Noto from the mid-90s onward. The extended series was followed by 2000’s «Prototypes,» a 10-track album of untitled sound collages created using the sound of electric hums and clicks which were then amplified and arranged into a series of movements going beyond ambient music into an innovative realm of what could be described as environmental music. Other releases by Nikolai, as Alva Noto, include last year’s «For,» and «Insen» a year earlier. Thursday, 10.30 p.m., Bios (84 Pireos, Athens). For reservations, call 210.342.5335 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.).