Joseph Nechvatal

Joseph Nechvatal’s contemporary art and theory practice engages in the fragile wedding of image production and image resistance. His Open Humanities Press book Immersion Into Noise (2011) has been re-published in a second edition in 2022. His book of essays Towards an Immersive Intelligence (2009) was published by Edgewise Press. He has also published three books with Punctum Press: Minóy (ed.) (2014), Destroyer of Naivetés (2015) and Styling Sagaciousness (2022). His audio works, Selected Sound Works (2021) and The Viral Tempest (2022), have been published by Pentiments.
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vOluptuary drOid décOlletage, 168 x 305 cm, 2002. Courtesy: Galerie Richard Paris

Gilles Deleuze’s vision of our post-industrial life re-opened the way for the production of subjectivity in art by affirming the applicability of multiplicity, strangeness and dissension. In recognition of his work, my computer-robotic assisted paintings, such as vOluptuary drOid décOlletage, attempt to hypothesize and demonstrate a high art of latent excess; an idea for art that was specifically inspired by the rhizomatic thinking of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. This idea re-establishes an ambiguously private critical distance for the art viewer: a distance achieved through the connective disparity between pleasure and frustration. This is my idea for a counter-mannerist art of noise that demands of society an active visualizing participation in private interpretations – and thus is a legitimate metaphor for contemporary art as a form of simulation-shattering engagement.
For me, a nomadic post-pop art like vOluptuary drOid décOlletage, when latently excessive in its own right, is capable of functioning, paradoxically, by nurturing in us a sense of polysemic uniqueness and of individuality brought about through a counter-mannerist style of reproducibility (circuitous, excessive and décadent). A style that takes us from the state of the social to the state of the secret distinguishable I, by overloading ideological representation to a point where it becomes almost nonrepresentational.
Such a rhizomatic reading of vOluptuary drOid décOlletage, as I have sketched out above using my 2002 painting as example, means a re-positioning of self-identity within an atmospheric and artistic ontological model of sublime wholeness – because a rhizome is this rich labyrinthine ensemble of relations, diversities, connections, heterogeneities, breaks and create unexpected links which inter-connect. This means that the visual-intellectual situation of Deleuzian inspired art, like my vOluptuary drOid décOlletage is one of magnanimous self-connectivity. And I deeply thank him for it.