Gerald Nestler is an artist and writer and sometimes curator who combines theory and text with video, installation, performance and speech to explore what he terms the “derivative condition” of contemporary life in which finance-based models, methodologies, narratives and fictions form a world-producing apparatus that shapes the experience of the present by preconfiguring the future.
He is working on an "aesthetics of resolution" as a potential counter-strategy that includes the "figure of the renegade"—a traitor within (black box) systems and an educator beyond their confines that embodies a marginal and ambivalent but at the same time substantial move from dissent to individual forms of insurrection, which open potentials to revolutionize social and technological relations between (in)dividuals, groups and institutions.
Nestler graduated from the Academy of fine arts Vienna (1992). Subsequently, he focused on digital media and Internet art, which led to a growing interest in the economy as a pervasive field of social relations. As a consequence, Nestler pursued artistic fieldwork in financial markets as a broker and trader (1994-97), an experience that has formed his artistic and theoretical practice.
Nestler has shown his work internationally and among other grants and awards received the Austrian State Scholarship for Visual Art (2003) and Austrian AIR grants for Beijing (2008), Krumau (2010), and New York/ISCP (2016).
He is a practice-based PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmith, University of London.
Recent artistic and curatorial projects include:
The Trend Is Your Friend (with Sylvia Eckermann, steirischer herbst 09, MedienKunsLabor, Kunsthaus Graz); Breathe My Air. A paradoxical conversation piece (with Sylvia Eckermann, Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Vienna); Superglue. artistic research on scientific research (with Gerald Straub, Academy of Sciences, Vienna Art Week 11); scientific board for Declining Democracy. Rethinking democracy between utopia and participation, CCCS - Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence (2011); On Purpose. The New Derivative Order (kunstraum Bernsteiner, Vienna, 2012), Glitch (Kunstraum Innsbruck, 2013); Les Rencontres International, nouveau cinema et art contemporain (Gaité Lyrique, Paris, 2014); Parallel Vienna (by invitation of kunstraum Bernsteiner, 2014); FORENSIS (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2014); HEDGE AVANTGARDE. renegades, traitors, educators. Inquiries into an aesthetcis of resolution (Kunstraum Bernsteiner, 2015); Les Rencontres International, nouveau cinema et art contemporain (Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, 2015); SOCIAL GLITCH. radical aesthetics and the consequences of extreme events (kunstraum NIEDEROESTERREICH and other venues in Vienna, 2015). TRACING INFORMATION SOCIETY – A TIMLINE, exhibition + workshops by Technopolitics Research Group (MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna. June, 2016).
THE PROMISE OF AUTOMATION, group show, curated by Anne Faucheret (Kunsthalle Wien, 2016).
Co-director of THE FUTURE OF DEMONSTRATION. Art in the Post-Digital Era, Leitmotifs VERMÖGEN (2017) | PASSION (2018). Vienna (with Sylvia Eckermann and Maximilian Thoman).
Yx.fluid taxonomies—enlitened elevation—voided dimensions—human derivatives —vibrations in hyperreal econociety, artist book and reader on finance and economy as fields of artistic research (Schlebrügge Editors, Vienna, 2007). Editor of Kunstforum International issues 200+201 on art and economy (with Dieter Buchhart, 2010), The New City Reader, Issue 9: Legal by members of the Centre for Research Architecture for The Last Newspaper show, New Museum, New York (2012). Paratactic Commons (Catalogue, amber’12 Art and Technology Festival, Istanbul, forthcoming), What’s next. Art after the crisis. A reader (eds. Johannes M. Hedinger/Tobias Meyer, Kadmos Berlin, 2013). "Mayhem in Mahwah. The Case of the Flash Crash or Forensic Reperformance In Deep Time“, in: FORENSIS: The Architecture of Public Truth, Sternberg Press, Berlin (2014); Editor (with Armen Avanessian) of the reader MAKING OF FINANCE, MERVE publishers, Berlin, 2015. Editor of the special issue on art and finance, peer reviewed journal Finance and Society (with Suhail Malik, 2016).
Selected recent lectures:
amber'12 Art and Technology Festival, Istanbul (2012). “Kunst fördert Wissenschaft”, [ID]factory, TU Dortmund (2012). Lecture Performance at What Would Thomas Bernhard Do?, Kunsthalle Vienna (2013). Autonomies conference, Napon – Institute for Flexible Cultures and Technologies, Novi Sad (2013). Paris Market Seminar, organised by the philosopher Jon Roffe, hosted by ITO33, Paris (2014). Quantitative Easing (for the street), opening address for a public art project by Axel Stockburger, Vienna (2014). Austrian Broadcasting Corporation Radiokolleg feature: „Banking in Crisis. The Functions and Relevance of Financial Institutes,“ by Gerhard Pretting (2014); A FEW REASONS FOR A NON DISMISSIVE ART, an international symposium organized by esap – escolar superior artistica de porto (Serralves Museum, Porto, 2014); „Artistic Research on Algorithmic Finance,“ Technopolitics Workshop, Vienna (2014); Making of Finance book launch Berlin, Schinkelpavillon (Armen Avanessian und Gerald Nestler (ed.), Merve Verlag Berlin. With Elie Ayache & Armen Avanessian, 2015); Making of Finance book launch Vienna, kunstraum Bernsteiner (with Elie Ayache, Armin Medosch und Gerald Nestler. Moderation: Ina Zwerger); Investigating High-Frequency Trading: Cultural, Social and Anthropological Perspectives, Universität Konstanz (2015), Day In Day Out – Störungen des Digitalen, Dresden (2015), Renewable Future Conference, organised by RIXC, Riga (2015), ISEA 15, Vancouver (2015). Keynote and discussion with Gunter Dunkel (CEO Nord/LB), DIGITAL ARCHIVES exhibition, Kunstverein Hannover (2016). Lecture and panel discussion, book launch Elie Ayache, The Medium of Contingency (with Elie Ayache and Philippe Henrotte), Musee Sursock, Beirut (2016). Opening keynote and plenary panel, Financial Market Symposium, European Forum Alpbach (August 30 – September 2, 2016)