The early nineties Nicolai studied landscape architecture in Dresden. His first exhibitions as a visual artist he had at the Galerie EIGEN ART Berlin / Leipzig. In 1997 he took part in documenta X in Kassel, in 2001 at the Venice Biennale, whereupon solo exhibitions at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt in 2005, at the New National Gallery in Berlin in 2005, in the house constructively in Zurich in 2007, and at Pace Wildenstein in New York in 2007.
1994/1995 Nicolai founded the label noton.archiv for sound and nichtton that the Chemnitz label raster music together went as raster-noton the basis of very similar content, alignments 1999. Today Nicolai lives in Berlin and Chemnitz.
As a musician, Nicolai is one of the most well-known representative of the contemporary electronic music. He has often worked in collaboration with eg scanners, Thomas Knak, Mika Vainio, Michael Nyman, Ryoji Ikeda or Ryuichi Sakamoto and is part of the project signal ( with Olaf Bender and Frank Bretschneider ).
Currently (2010) he is working under his pseudonym Alva Noto Blixa Bargeld ( Einstürzende Neubauten ) at the ANBB project. Released date is an EP by the name Ret Marut Handshake., As well as the album mimicry.
In October 2010, Nicolai presented in the context of an event on the occasion of the exhibition Not in Fashion. Fashion and Photography of the 90's at the Museum of Modern Art (MMK ) in Frankfurt am Main, his light and sound art along with fashion creations of man from Dresden Kostas Murkudis. In the Ruhr Triennale 2012, he worked with Ryuichi Sakamoto and the Ensemble Modern.
Selection of solo exhibitions
- 2012: UniDisplay, Hangar Bicocca, Milan.
- 2009: rota, Schering Foundation in Berlin
- 2007: static fades, shown at Pace Wildenstein, New York and in the house Constructive, Zurich.
- 2006: inverted, shown at Frieze Art Fair, London, and at the Galerie EIGEN ART, Leipzig
- 2006: Polylit, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart.
- 2005: AUDIO VISUAL SPACES, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Art ( SMAK ), Ghent
- 2005: ANTIREFLECTIVE, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main.
- 2005: syn chron, shown at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin and Bern, and in Yamaguchi (Japan).
- 2003: spark, Galerie EIGEN ART, Berlin
- 2002: International Art Biennial, Buenos Aires
- 2000: Konstmuseum Ystad (Sweden)
- 1999: 1 % space, Copenhagen
- 1998: Polyfoto, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Leipzig
Selection of group exhibitions
- 2007: 2nd Moscow Biennial, Moscow
- 2007: Constellations II, Stadel, Frankfurt am Main.
- 2007: SPACE FOR YOUR FUTURE, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
- 2006: Singapore Biennale, Singapore.
- 2006: sonambiente 2006, Berlin.
- 2005: künstler.archiv, Academy of Arts, Berlin
- 2003: Biennale di Venezia, Venice
- 2003: Berlin-Moscow / Moscow - Berlin 1950-2000, Martin -Gropius -Bau, Berlin and Moscow.
- 2002: FREQUENCY [Hz ], Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt am Main
- 2001: Wild Zone, Witte de With, Rotterdam
- 2001: Biennale di Venezia, Venice
- 2001: Quobo, Art in Berlin 89-99, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
- 2001: Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul
- 2001: Audible Images, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago
- 2000: Volume, MoMA PS1, New York
- 1999: Examining Pictures: Exhibiting Paintings, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
- 1999: Liverpool Biennial, UK
- 1997: Documenta X, Kassel
- 1997: Reopening P.S.1, MoMA PS1, New York
- 1996: projector ( with Olaf Nicolai ), Municipal Art Museum, Reutlingen
- 1996: all day ( with Mika Vainio ), Chemnitz Museum of Industry
- 2010 ANBB ( Alva Noto blixa cash ): red marut handshake, raster-noton
- ANBB ( Alva Noto blixa cash ): Mimicry ( on CD & Vinyl)
- Alva noto ryuichi sakamoto with ensemble modern: utp_, raster-noton
- Alva noto: unitxt, raster-noton
- Alva noto: transform (re -release), raster-noton
- Signal: robotron ( with Olaf Bender, Frank Bretschneider ), raster-noton
- Alva noto: xerrox vol .1, raster-noton
- Alva noto: for, LINE/12k
- Alva noto ryuichi sakamoto: insen live, raster-noton
- Alva noto ryuichi sakamoto: revep, raster-noton
- Alva noto ryuichi sakamoto: insen, raster-noton
- Alva noto: transvision EP, raster-noton
- Alva noto: trans spray EP, raster-noton
- Alva noto: transrapid EP, raster-noton
- Noto: sonar endless loop edition III (i, j), raster-noton
- Opto ( noto opiate ): 2nd, hobby ind.
- Noto: endless loop edition II (e, f, g, h ), raster-noton
- Alva noto ryuichi sakamoto: vrioon, raster-noton
- Cyclo. ( noto Ryoji Ikeda ), raster-noton
- Ø Noto: well-tempered, raster-noton
- Alva noto: transform, mille plateaux / raster-noton
- Opiate noto: opto files, raster-noton
- Noto scanner: uniform, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- Alva noto: prototypes, mille plateaux
- Noto: telefunken, raster-noton
- Signal: centrum ( with Olaf Bender, Frank Bretschneider ), raster-noton
- Noto: time.dot, 20 'to 2000 (September), raster-noton
- Noto yoko towada: 13, raster-noton
- Noto: empty garden, Watari -um Museum, Tokyo
- Noto: Polyfoto, raster-noton
- Signal: waves and lines ( with Olaf Bender, Frank Bretschneider ), raster-noton
- Noto: cores, plate lunch
- Noto: endless loop Edition I (a, b, c, d ), scanning music
- Noto: ∞, noton / raster music
- Ø Noto: mikromakro, noton / raster music
- Noto: spin, noton / raster music