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.
Webpage : www.nechvatal.net
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.