Nik Nowak/ Foto: Hinata Ishizawa
Nik Nowak focuses on the affective dimensions and potential of sound and space in his multi-media interdisciplinary work that re-engineers the formal boundaries between installations, performances, sculptures, videos or paintings.
In his artistic work he examines the use of sound as a source of identity and socially formative element as well as sound systems as cultural transmitters and acoustic weapons. Known primarily for his series of large-scale mobile sound system sculptures and sound installations
including Panzer (2011), Echo (2014) and The Mantis (2019), Nik Nowak´s interdisciplinary projects are concerned with the wider cultural, political and neuro-affective nuances of the sonic ambiguities and acoustic weaponry inherent in the attraction-repulsion nexus of sound.
As a graduate of the late Lothar Baumgarten’s Masterclass at Universität de Künste, (UDK), Berlin, his work has been exhibited in an array of international contexts. In 2014 he conceived and curated the critically well-received exhibition BOOSTER Art Sound Machine in collaboration with Museum MARTa Herford, bringing together an international roster of artists all working with dimensions of sound and mobile sound systems. The exhibition was premised upon Nowak’s ongoing and long-term research into the global phenomenon of modbile sound systems and their g/local socio-political adaptations and characteristics, framed within an overarching and reverberative context of the First and Second World Wars, colonial history and the Cold War.
In more recent years Nik Nowak has dealt, in particular, with the German division and reunification notably in sound installations and performances. In this context, he shows parallel and exemplary nodes in the sound politics of the Cold War in Germany, Korea, Vietnam and Jamaica. His work, traversing the line between art, science and technology, is characterised by the examination of identity in connection with collective interdependent but national traumas, and questions regarding the possibilities for identity and social formations amidst the clamour of an increasingly digitalised and globalised world.
SOUND(ING) SYSTEMS, and all its constituent elements, has been conceived and curated under the artistic direction of Nik Nowak.